David Byrne: This series of sculptures and photos had their beginning with voodoo. I was in Miami a few years ago and caught the huge voodoo exhibition there...in this show...there were some examples of wrapped votive objects - fetishes, as they used to be called...although they were possibly only wrapped, I enjoyed the idea that they were dressed.
I immediately thought to myself...could ordinary objects be given a kind of dangerous lifelike aura by merely dressing them? What if objects that already were somewhat anthropomorphic - furniture, for example, were dressed in this way? I wondered for some time how to create the clothes for these objects, which I began acquiring at discount stores and flea markets and then I realized that the perfect person to collaborate with was a costumer...my wife.
I realized that instead of creating fetish objects, as I'd originally intended, we had created little people. a family in fact. The objects had become animated, as I'd intended, but in a completely different way that I had assumed rather than being contemporary votive objects they were caricatures of uncles aunts and other relatives...and when grouped together they looked like a motley group assembled for a wedding...I then began to photograph them not as shrine or altar pieces, but as relatives in familiar contexts. In their homes and gardens, with their possessions and furniture. And, in keeping with the Afro Latin religious inspiration, I gave them all their names in Spanish.