Fetishism, which accompanies an exhibition touring England, is a sloppy attempt to link the West African tradition of “power object” fetishism with 20th-century surrealism and Western sexual fetishes. The book’s four dense essays perfectly reflect the overwrought quality of the artwork in the show. The best part of the book is a brief history of African power figure sculpture accompanied by a section of fine colorplates displaying these eerie aboriginal works. Other essays, covering surrealist fetishism and evidence of the broader acceptance of alternative sexuality in contemporary art, fall flat with excessive intellectualizing and overreliance on Freudian theory. These selections of artwork lack focus, and the reader is left unconvinced that any continuum exists between the anonymous carvers of West Africa and today’s sexually frank culture.