3 posts tagged cajun
3 posts tagged cajun
“Black Beans” and “Slap Ya Mama”
gouache and calligraphy marker on paper
on view in the “Southern Open 2011” at the Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette, LA until July 9, 2011
Banuchi’s drawings occupy the outer edge of a wall near the entrance to the exhibition in an area of the Southern Open 2011 I’ve taken to calling the UN. It was located near Dave Greber’s cultural mash-up “Open Arms,” and the NatGeorific photographs of Dr. Jian Hang, and the “cathedral window/mandala” collages of Troy Dugas. Banuchi was representing the cultures of South Louisiana and Puerto Rico with her two drawings. One drawing is of a can of Goya black beans: Gooo, Puerto Rico! One is of a can of Slap Ya Mama seasoning: Gooo, South Louisiana! These two drawings, presented as they are, end up reading as a latter-day Warhol portrait, if you know something about Banuchi: her mother is Cajun and her father is Puerto Rican. The drawings, along with their subjects, become stand-ins for the artist herself. The mix of products identifies the user by way of the cultural associations they engender. This is what saves them from being simply kitsch. What may come across as being homespun and naive, ends up saying something about the artist, and, by extension, ourselves. The infiltration of “products” and the “commercial” in our lives has gotten to the point where these things have begun to speak for or stand-in for ourselves. For instance, a “portrait” of myself would have to include a pack of Pal-Mal menthol shorts, CC’s Coffee, a bottle of Canadian Mist, a pound of cheddar cheese, Facebook, and Tumblr, Yes! It’s sad but true. Art criticism is that glamorous … and healthy!
Anyway, Banuchi had a nice moment in the show - something diminutive, unassuming, yet thought-provoking to it’s core.
- Reggie Michael Rodrigue
Reblogged from thevisionarypost-deactivated201
Les Blank, trailer for “Yum Yum Yum” (1990)
MoMA recently hosted a retrospective of Les Blank’s films, which have documented everything from localized American music genres to things as specific as gap-toothed women. Elements of Cajun and Creole cultures were featured in a number of his films, including the above pean to Cajun cooking, as well as: “Hot Pepper,” a portrait of Zydeco musician Clifton Chenier; “Dry Wood,” which explores black French creole life; “J’ai Été Au Bal / I Went to the Dance,” a history of southwestern Louisiana music; “Marc & Ann,” a look at the Cajun musician couple the Savoys; and “Spend it All,” which features various French Cajun Lousiania musicians. Blank’s career is a testament to the histories and legacies of American folk music and cultures.
Before we start off this week’s theme, let’s get something straight … namely, what’s the difference between Creole and Cajun?
Here’s a helpful definition:
Dictionaries generally define Cajuns as “a Louisianian who descends from French-speaking Acadians”. However, that is not totally accurate. Because of circumstances, an Acadian is not a Cajun; however, cajuns are in-part descendants of Acadians! The word “cajun” is itself a dialectal derivation of Acadia. But Louisiana Cajuns are more homogenous than that due to the early mixture of several ethnic groups such as Spanish, German, French Creole, Anglo-American as well as the native Indians.
Creoles were originally descendants of early French and Spanish settlers in the New World. The term “creole” became very popular in the colony. It was used to apply to people and things native to the colony. The word comes from the Spanish “criollo…a child born in the colony”. The term first applied to natives of the West Indies, Central and South America, and the Gulf States region, but eventually became synonymous with the race of people found in Louisiana.
Definitions via LandryStuff, where you can find more info about the distinctions.