Vesperae: A Caffeinated Installation
Cafe du Monde coffee tins, alloy aluminum fittings and hardware,
Kodak Kodachrome images, digital projector, DVD
Inspired by Café du Monde chicory coffee and coffee house, this installation draws upon coffee as object of connectivity and serves as a sensual reminder of its communal andritualistic roles. Repurposed coffee tins areconfigured to resemble a honeycomb. Digitized slide images projected through bottomless cans make cell-like compositions on the plastic lids reminiscent of stained glass. Amateur images convey a time, place and people — universal themes of comfort, ritual and home. The Latin title refers to Roman Catholic vespers or evensong.
A lifetime of chicory coffee consumption, a career in advertising, and a fascination with containers led to the creation of Vesperae. Inspired by Café du Monde chicory coffee andcoffee house, this installation draws upon coffee as object of connectivity and serves as a sensual reminder of its communal and ritualistic roles. Afternoon coffee is a New Orleans tradition and a link to my Sicilian and Acadian ancestors who settled in Orleans and Ascension parishes. [Pictured: My grandmother and great aunt on a porch swing on rue Ponce de Leon.] For me, the aroma, color and flavor of a creamy cup of coffee is a caffeinated comfort whether away from home, or in a familiar spot. As sociologist JurgenHabermas suggested, 18th century coffeehouses of Europe sparked dialogue and the exchange of views. That same level of engagement is possible in cafés and on porches today. Notably, Cafe du Monde was the first business to reopen after hurricane Katrina.
BIO ON ARTIST: Cristina Speligene explores southern iconography and postmodern themes in her visual art and music. The New Orleans native moved to Tulsa in 2011 after two decades in Greenwich Village, New York. Cristina holds an MFA in Design Technology and a BFAin Communication Graphics and has held art director positions in the advertising, publishing and music industries. She is Founder and Principal of Fearless Design, Inc.and teaches at Tulsa University in the Communications and Art departments.
Vesperae: Exhibition History
• Aronson Gallery NYC 2010
• Tenri Cultural Institute NYC 2010
Note: This exhibition featured original New Orleans funeral-inspired music composed
and performed by accordionist Dr. William Schimmel during the Accordion Seminars.