Frieze Magazine | The Power of One

The wonderful thing about belief is how uncritical it is of its surroundings. Take amulets, for example. These can be man-made (coins, dominoes, glass beads) or naturally occurring (fossils, shark teeth, mole paws), but in general an amulet’s physical attributes are worth much less than the faith placed in them. 

Amulets can be held for an almost infinite number of reasons: for good luck or for love’s satisfaction; for protection against disease or for defence against malignant personalities; for wind or to safeguard against storms. However, all amulets have one salient characteristic: they’ve got to be able to fit in your pocket. For although amulets communicate with forces beyond our ken, their range is limited. They must be carried close to the flesh in order to work their magic.