Canefield Fire, Breaux Bridge, LA 2000-2001
In the area around St. Martin Parish in southern Louisiana the various stages of sugar cane production can be observed at different times of the year. We lived for a period of time in the small town of Breaux Bridge, LA, on the Bayou Teche. After the sugar cane was cut we would often pass by a field that was set afire by the farmer. At dusk the intense radiance of the fire was particularly striking in the violet and gold of the dying daylight. The cyclic, universal, primitive rhythms of human interaction with the land (the farmer as artist) was felt immediately by us in the present yet somehow reverberated like an echo into antiquity.
The stripes in this piece represent the rows of the now decapitated cane. The fire is based on alchemical wood blocks from the 16th. and 17th. centuries and the brilliant violet blue the evening sky. There is, in the color and the shape, a reference to Mardi Gras.