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Betye Saar

Published for the artist's presentation Betye Saar: MOJOTECH at The Armory Show, New York, Roberts Projects Stand 710 (March 5 – 8, 2020).

“A mojo is an amulet or charm used in some voodoo-based beliefs (religions). Its power is somewhat ambiguous, as it depends on both the user’s strength of belief and his or her motive. As a shaman gleans the environment for special ingredients and objects to fabricate the mojo, I glean estate sales, flea markets, and thrift shops at home and in my travels for special materials for my work.

My intuition works like radar in accumulating materials. The found objects and discards are then altered, manipulated and transformed in assemblages, collages and installations.” -- Betye Saar, 1987

Los Angeles based collage and multi-media artist Betye Saar was in the residence at MIT List Visual Arts Center for a month to create several new works, pursue research in new media, and participate in public events. In making her art, Saar draws deeply from her experiences, expectations, intuitions and convictions. Life’s pleasures and pains, facts and mysteries, are the subjects of her work.

In this project at MIT, Betye Saar combines her interest in a variety of spiritual forces with a curiosity about the possibility for magic in technology. In the mural work Mojotech, a variety of amulets, charms, and voodoo symbols are merged with printed circuit boards, electronic apparatus, and assorted technological tidbits. This is a communal work and visitors are invited to participate by bringing personal or technological offerings to be placed on the platform at the base of the work. This accumulative process was inspired by the tradition of African sculpture which incorporates a variety of both decorative and “power” elements from throughout the community.

Published by Roberts Projects, Culver City, California, 2020
Format: Softcover, 6 x 9 inches / 24 pages / 6 color images
English
ISBN: 978-1-7336647-1-4

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