Nailed Knowledge Fetishes

Nkisi N'Kondi is a Congo phrase for a power figure, the African name for sculptural artworks westerners call " nail fetishes". These generally are small statues of human form, containing a spiritual energy bundle secreted in a cavity or container in the statue. The energy is activated when the wooden statue is ritually pierced by a nail or other sharp object.




N'Kissi N'Kondi Black Nkisi N'Kondi Red Clamped Book Chained BooksReassembled Federal RulesTwo Book Stack (2001)

Prior to the LAW sculpture in 1994, I was making objects from books. I began by burning, chopping, soaking, piercing, chaining and binding law books, history books, dictionaries, encyclopedias and scientific reference books to transform them beyond their mundane existence. Like their African namesakes, the books incorporate the energy into their form which alters their meaning. 


Intellectual Power Tools

Hacker's Ax Orange (1995) Epoxy painted keyboard and cord with ax handle, Selene and Rene Vega collection

 The Intellectual Power Tools started when I attached a shovel handle to a previously epoxied book. I attached ax, hammer and pick handles to other objects of intellectual activity such as phones, typewriters, cameras and computer keyboards. The gestural communication from the tool handle to the viewer's body couple with the conceptual meaning of the phone, book, or keyboard "tool head". Heavy layers of paint emotionally color and elevate the object from material portmanteau to immaterial symbol.
Crossed Phone Axes (1995)
32 x 30 1/2 x 5 1/2
Wood axe handles, books, epoxy



Bureaucrat's Ax (1995)
30 x 3 1/4 x 6
Wood handle, rubber stamp, rubber finger caps, counter, epoxy

more Intellectual Tools





 
Airborn Expletive
Evidence of concern.
Legal Fetishes
Juris Voodoo.

 
Time Fetishes
Is time like color,
strictly a 
psychological sensation?


Pallas home page