15 May Fetish: Art/Word
May 19, 2002 – July 14, 2002
This exhibition explored the shift in meaning that the term “fetish” underwent from its beginnings as a derogatory description of African art to its Freudian and Marxist applications in contemporary art. Stunning examples of African art from the Fowler’s collections were on view, including Akan gold from the Asante peoples of Ghana and nkisi, widely-misunderstood objects that traditionally served in religious, healing, and judicial practices for several ethnic groups of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Works by such modern and contemporary artists as Marcel Duchamp, Barbara Bloom, Mary Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, Monica Majoli, Renee Petropoulos, Lari Pittman, and Naomi Talisman were on view to express the psychoanalytic and political connotations of fetishism.