Renée Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman
at American Univeristy MuseumJanuary 26 - March 13, 2016
American University Museum at the Katzen Art Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Renée Stout: Tales of the Conjure Woman features recent work by Renée Stout, who is best known for her exploration of vestigial retentions of African cultural traditions as manifested in contemporary America. Stout’s work lets audiences view some of the rich traditions and cultural practices of African America through exploration of an underground system of African-derived folk beliefs as transmitted from slavery to the present. This system, known variously as Hoodoo or conjuring, has its origins in herbal medicine, root work, and a belief in the spiritual attributes of plants and animals. Stout uses the alter ego Fatima Mayfield, a fictitious herbalist/fortuneteller, as a vehicle to role-play and confront issues such as romantic relationships, social ills, or financial woes. Tales of the Conjure Woman offers a peek into a fascinating world ruled by superstition and ancestral wisdom.