Unseen Forces

Funk Dreamscapes from the Invisible Parallel Universe: Renée Stout

January 14, 2018 — August 5, 2018

Stout's sculptural installations often include materials used in the practice of voodoo. Handmade potions, roots and herbs, found objects, bones, and feathers combined with painted and sculptural elements are all employed in the creation of complex narratives featuring characters conceived by the artist.

This exhibition focuses on devices that Stout and Mayfield built to transport clients to the psychic realm. In highlighting these machines, Stout is processing her—and Fatima Mayfield’s (Stout's alter ego)—frustration over the issues now affecting our world. Stout offers a diversion from the multitude of weighty matters plaguing society today as she imagines ways to escape this reality and move to another plane of existence. As Stout says, “these new works have become a way to imagine ways that I can not only leave the stresses of the world behind me, but that I can take any viewer with an open mind, with me.” As the relationship between Stout and Mayfield evolves and Stout continues on this journey of self-discovery, one expects that another, still unseen alter ego will reveal itself to help her—and us—through this unchartered path of life.

This exhibition is supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding was also provided by the Kohler Trust for the Arts and Education, Kohler Foundation, Inc., and the Frederic Cornell Kohler Charitable Trust. The Arts Center thanks its many members for their support of exhibitions and programs through the year.