Kara Walker’s Upcoming Installation For NOLA’s Prospect.4 Biennial, And Uncomfortable Art

The NYT had a feature on Kara Walker’s installation for New Orleans’ Prospect 4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp triennial later this year.

Ms. Walker’s contribution will be at Algiers Point, where a ferry will take visitors to an installation she created for a riverboat calliope — a pipe organ evocative of old circuses and steamboats — with the MacArthur-winning jazz pianist Jason Moran.

The piece only mentions four other works, those by Yoko Ono, the late Louis Armstrong (collages), Derrick Adams, and Mark Dion.

There will be a total of 73 artists taking part at 17 different venues around the city. Thirty of the works will be original for the triennial.

Here, a series of Kara’s works I photographed at the 21c Hotel Museum in Bentonville

and though her pieces are in the collections of several different museums, my favorite thus far is of her Freedom Fighters for the Society of Forgotten Knowledge, Northern Domestic Scene at the Menil in Houston.

At today’s NYT, Kara Walker is quoted on the Dana Schutz painting of Emmett Till’s coffin, “Open Casket” at the Whitney Biennial — actually the NYT article is on that and the Sam Durant “Scaffold” sculpture.

Kara Walker noted that “the history of painting is full of graphic violence and narratives that don’t necessarily belong to the artists own life,” but may inspire “deeper inquiries and better art. It can only do this when it is seen.”

(There are always things that will make people feel uncomfortable, and taking out all that juicy uncomfortable-ness would make a world full of…I don’t know…boring Thomas Kinkade in which we’re all just blankly staring slack-jawed at paintings of snow-capped mountain peaks. Pope.L’s “Claim”, at the Whitney Biennial in which he used slices of (real, stinky, pork maybe? prob?) bologna nailed to walls with b&w pictures of people atop to represent the percentage of Jews in New York (whyyyyyy?)makes me uncomfortable. And yet The Root thought it was pretty awesome. So what makes some of us cringe makes others applaud. Thus, art.)

Speaking of rotten food in an exhibit: Spencer Shoults “Cupcakes!” at Space One Eleven several years ago

Ingredients: acetic acid, acrylic tubing, baking powder, bolts, distilled water, eggs, eye bolts, flour, food coloring, glass, glue, grain alcohol, graphite, honey, hose clamps, hydrogen peroxide, icing, masonite, milk, motor oil, nails, paint, plastic caps, pvc tubing, salt, screws, shortening, silicone, silicone tape, sprinkles, sugar, teflon tape, valves, vanilla extract, white wine, wire, wood”

Memorial Day

Found this in Florence, Alabama a few years ago. Hope you all have a meaningful Memorial Day! xoxo!

This Week’s Various 05.21.17

As always, all images here unless otherwise noted are copyright deepfriedkudzu.com. Wish to use one? Contact me.

Hi friends! Thanks for sticking with me this past week with the transition to WordPress. I found out (thanks Jacob!) that my Blogger template had some code that wasn’t 100% which needed cleaning up, and it was time to make the leap to a better platform anyway. I’ll keep streamlining and such, and have things in a really good place very soon. Now, back to ‘This Week’s Various’! xoxo!

The NYT reviews Wayne Flynt’s new book of letters between himself and Nelle Harper Lee, Mockingbird Songs: My Friendship with Harper Lee. I was at a conference in Auburn last month, and got to ask him about the book. He said we’ll see her in this book ‘unfiltered’ and told me that if someone already liked her, they’d like her more. And the converse would also be true.

From the Times:

In her letters, Ms. Lee often mentioned books and writers. She praised a host of authors, from Frank McCourt to William Faulkner. She referred to Eudora Welty as “my goddess.”


Of Olek‘s plans to make 50 large-scale yarn creations of ‘strong female figures’ in each of the 50 states by 2020, the first is this fab one of Harriet Tubman in upstate NY. And it was a group effort: people crocheted 2’x2′ sections that were stitched together to make the mural.

(above: if you’ve never gotten the turkey — yes, the turkey — at BBG, there’s some exploring to do)

Big Bob Gibson‘s has won their 5th Grand Championship at Memphis in May.

Inside Appalachia and West Virginia Public Broadcast are doing a project called The Struggle to Stay

Just saying: there are a world of great hamburgers in the world, but two of the best happen to be at Chez FonFon in Birmingham, and Stamps Superburger in Jackson. 

So apparently every year, the UK McDonald’s franchises do a special ‘Great Tastes of America‘ promotion whereby they develop hamburgers that are supposedly representative of a certain region. This year, among those selected are the ‘South Carolina Stack’ with “two beef patties, beechwood-smoked bacon, smoky cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, and a “sweet ‘n’ tangy” South Carolina mustard sauce on a toasted corn meal-dusted bun” plus a ‘Louisiana Stack’ with “two beef patties, pepper jack cheese, red and yellow peppers, mayo, and spicy ketchup on a spicy sesame seed bun” (huh? you had all of Louisiana to go on and that’s what you went with?) and the ‘Tennessee Stack’ with “two beef patties, beechwood-smoked bacon, smoky cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, and “Tennessee-style” BBQ sauce on a toasted flour-topped bun.”

Via Via Hannah Raskin at the Post and Courier: Charleston is having a ‘Spririted Brunch’ on Sunday:

The menu for the event is terrifically diverse: Participating houses of worship were asked to serve whatever best represents them, so attendees will sample dates at the Central Mosque of Charleston and pound cake at The First Baptist Church of Charleston. Most of the congregations are offering something sweet, ranging from rugelach to ice cream. But there are savory reminders of the surrounding area, including pimento cheese sandwiches and okra rolls, which likely have little meaning to Episcopalians and Unitarians in Montana or Maine.

Tennessee Farm Table talks with Ronni Lundy on her new book, Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, with Recipes, and greens, greens, greens.

A new exhibit at the Eudora Welty Education and Visitors Center in Jackson, “Dear Miss Welty: A Rotating Selection of Correspondence” is based around her fan mail.

At Lucky Peach, The Quest to Make a Super Tomato: Why do most tomatoes taste bad

Klee and his team of researchers based at the University of Florida have figured out what, precisely, makes a tomato taste like a tomato. Using one hundred and fifty tomato varietals, an extensive taste testing panel, chemical analyses, and genome sequencing, they describe with laser accuracy the alchemy of acid, sugar, and scent that yields the best tomato, and all the genes responsible. It’s a tomato instruction manual—and Klee thinks he can use that instruction manual to build a better tomato.

#spoileralert: the best tomato is always the one you grow in your backyard

…and Duke’s Mayonnaise had a celebration for their 100th year, and of all the items:

Still, as the market research promised, attendees weren’t especially interested in hopped-up mayo. They gravitated instead to the simplest mayonnaise presentation on offer: Duke’s smeared on white bread and topped with sliced tomatoes.

The winner of their 100th anniversary recipe contest was one for ‘Lolly’s Alabama White BBQ Sauce’ and online later this year, they’re making available (they verified for me these will not be available in stores) Duke’s jars in glass, one with a tomato graphic.

And as strange as it is, the glass jar made me think of the gentleman who in 2014 made his wishes known that when the time came, he wanted his cremated remains to be housed in a glass Duke’s jar:

The company obliged, contacting their label makers to help prepare two bespoke glass jars and labels printed with Clinton’s full name on them.

“They were custom all the way,” said Sauer. “We took the basis of the label and with the swirl on the bottom and put his name in there. His daughter said he was just delighted.”

From Texas Standard: Crawfish in Your Lawn? Hope You’re Okay with That

The family of Willie Seaberry plans to reopen Po’ Monkey’s in Merigold, Mississippi this summer.

Why Some Say It’s Past Time Texas Bans ‘Lunch Shaming’

And yes a million times to people paying off school lunch debts.

Oseola McCarty’s home in Hattiesburg will be turned into a museum. From the AP:

McCarty, a former washerwoman, revealed in 1995 that after her death she would leave a portion of her life’s savings for scholarships. Those savings, which totaled about $150,000, were donated to USM…

The person who runs the Smithsonian’s Sweet and Sour Project tells Munchies in Are We Wrong to Call Americanized Chinese Food ‘Inauthentic’? that Chop Suey probably has origins in China after all, and that

Chinese food has been in this country for about 160 years, and even from the beginning, immigrants were never accepted, but the food was. When the first immigrants arrived in the 1850s and they needed to feed themselves, they didn’t have access to recipes; they weren’t even cooks. Most of them were bachelors. It was all men who came over at first, and men didn’t cook; women cooked. So you were getting some strange versions of the quote-unquote traditional dishes to begin with.

Rosa Parks’ recipe for pancakes includes melted peanut butter.  Eudora Welty contributed this recipe for onion pie that Katherine Anne Porter gave her. Robert Penn Warren put together a ‘particularly insidious punch‘.

(above: inside Heirloom Barbecue)
Munchies on Heirloom Barbecue in Atlanta

Taylor and Lee, who are married, fuse American barbecue and Korean cuisine, but it is not “Korean barbecue,” which is meat cooked on a charcoal grill. Taylor even grimaces at the fusion label. “It’s just us being us,” he stresses. Certainly, Heirloom sounds like fusion, though. On offer are ribs marinated in gochujang—a sweet, fermented chili paste–cooked in a Texas smoker, and a smoky gochujang-marinated pork sandwich topped with kimchi slaw and collard greens in Korean miso. But one can see what Taylor means: There is nothing tacky, forced or unnatural about the menu, which is probably the secret to their success.

The second-most popular American opera after ‘Porgy and Bess’ is Southern Gothic ‘Susannah’, written by the son of a South Carolina Methodist minister:

Floyd based his story on the tale of Susanna and the Elders, included in the Book of Daniel by Catholic and Eastern Orthodox faiths, in which two lechers falsely accuse a righteous woman of adultery after she refuses to have a tryst with them. She is condemned to death, saved only when the prophet Daniel exposes the lies of her accusers. Floyd transplanted the plot to Tennessee, making Susannah a free-spirited outsider conspired against by members of her church. 

I’m #teampamplemousse & this is fab

Oh ya know, we just made a LA CROIX CAKE!!!!! NBD! (Full tutorial on the blog! 🎥: @sugarcoatedinsp)

A post shared by Kelly Mindell (@studiodiy) on

And no, Pepsi is not okay.

(above: the old Brotherhood Blues Lounge in Bessemer AL)
Via PopMatters: Contrary to Popular Belief, the Blues Were Not Born on the Mississippi Delta and much credit is given to Montgomery’s Butler “String Beans” May and black vaudeville.

His legacy, elusive and too little acknowledged, is preserved in the repertoire of country blues singer-guitarists and pianists of the ‘20s. (May neither recorded nor copyrighted any of his songs.) May was best-known for his song, “I’ve Got Elgin Movements in My Hip and Twenty Years Guaranteed”, which later “became entrenched in blues tradition”. Robert Johnson fans know the “Elgin movements” phrase from his song “Walkin’ Blues”, but it appeared in songs by many other artists, including Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “Change My Luck Blues”, which actually preceded Johnson’s recording by eight years. 

(above: inside Lusco’s)
Wright Thompson writes Taste the Delta of Old at Lusco’s…on the magic of traveling to a Mississippi institution for G&G:

I’m writing about Lusco’s from memory, which makes sense. As long as it continues to exist, then those ghosts have a home…

Last month, a group of students from Colorado College came to Oxford on something of a Faulkner pilgrimage, but:

No students in the class hail from any cities traditionally considered “the South.” In fact, most of the students had never even visited it before. Other students commented on Oxford’s thriving bar scene, the stark difference in people’s clothing style, and of course, the humidity. One student even shaved his head because the heat and humidity was so overwhelming for him.

…heat and humidity was so overwhelming…and that was in April.


Elliston Place Greatness + Parthenon + 100 Layer Doughnut

We’ve been meaning to get back to the Parthenon (and Athena, inside) — both full-scale replicas — in Nashville’s Centennial Park for a while now, knowing the boys would get a kick out of it.
The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

From the city’s website:
Originally built for Tennessee’s 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture. The plaster replicas of the Parthenon Marbles found in the Naos are direct casts of the original sculptures, which adorned the pediments of the Athenian Parthenon dating back to 438 B.C. The originals of these powerful fragments are housed in the British Museum in London.

The Parthenon also serves as Nashville’s art museum. The focus of the Parthenon’s permanent collection is a group of 63 paintings by 19th and 20th century American artists donated by James M. Cowan. Additional gallery spaces provide a venue for a variety of temporary shows and exhibits.

The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Athena project began in 1982, was unveiled in 1990, and was completely gilded and painted by the summer of 2002.
The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The gold leaf is 23.75 karat gold and three times thinner than cigarette paper. There’s nothing sealing the gold leaf as it would just dull the surface.
The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The Parthenon and Athena, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

To keep things easy, we decided before visiting the Parthenon to have lunch at Rotier’s — a Nashville institution, since 1945
Rotier's Restaurant, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

where they’re famous for their cheeseburger on french bread
French Bread Hamburger, Rotier's Restaurant, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js
this hamburger has some serious adherents. I’m not one, but love that this place is still going. And where else can you go that has a Spuds McKenzie lamp and a poster from the 80s with ET telling you to ‘call home’ if you’ve had too much to drink? I don’t need to come back but feel good that they have their own crowd that will hopefully keep the place going even longer.

After we left the Parthenon, it was time to run back down the street, this time to the Elliston Place Soda Shop for a quickie milkshake. Which was great. Like…not like the greatest milkshake you’ve ever had in your life, but this is the kind of retro place that makes it all seem fabulous anyway.
Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

They’ve been in business since 1939 and are Nashville’s oldest continually operating restaurant in the original location.
Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It looks pretty good, but we passed.
Pie, Elliston Place Soda Shop, Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A couple of days later when we were leaving, we decided to stop at the East Nashville Five Daughters for a snack for our trip. Four people, four things. Two got demolished, one barely touched (that choc vegan one), another just meh (the twist, kinda one note). Av’s doughnut with the chocolate icing got four thumbs up.
Five Daughters Bakery, East Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

…but I was the genius who got the 100 layer doughnut and everybody declared it fab. It has a light cream on top and completely unnecessary sugar on the outside
100 Layer Doughnut, Five Daughters Bakery, East Nashville TN//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

but the filling is on the inside too, which is pretty awesome, and all four of us liked that one too, so yeahhhhh
100 Layer Doughnut, Five Daughters Bakery, East Nashville TN

P.S. Dominique Ansel shops are celebrating the Cronut® four-year anniversary this week. Every month, they feature a different flavor: May’s is blush peach and elderflower ganache.

Graveshelters Froooommmm Spaaaaace, Another, And Curious Designs

I’ve been documenting graveshelters for a few years now, and there have been ones you literally can’t get to from here (private roads), others that were functional apiaries, some that have obviously been homes to other kinds of wildlife, and this one was — well, another you can’t get to from here, actually. It was gated off because the area around it serves as a cow pasture.
Graveshelters at Peck Cemetery, Falkville AL -- has two graveshelters behind fence//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It’s Peck Cemetery in Falkville, Alabama. I got the directions from FindAGrave (where there’s another pic of the grave shelters) so I could drive out this past winter. I did manage to get the phone number for the landowner, so I’ll call him sometime soon to ask for permission to go right up to it, but thanks to satellites…under that nice big tree, you can see — and a little tiny bit in the pic above — two nice graveshelters for a married couple:

John (the wonderful person who did the FindAGrave entry even included the local paper mention for them both: “He was the leading citizen of his vicinity in the respective walks of life.”) and Elizabeth Brown (“She has been a consistent member of the Methodist Church for eight years. She died leaving every evidence that her future was safe.”), who died in 1889 and 1890.

The other one I visited the same month was at Prudes Creek Cemetery in Adger, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. It’s for Martha and W.R. Gwin (and there are a *lot* of Gwins in this cemetery).
Graveshelter at Prudes Creek Cemetery, Adger AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Martha A. Gwin, March 14, 1852 – December 1932
W. R. Gwin, March 12, 1848 – November 10, 1946
Graveshelter at Prudes Creek Cemetery, Adger AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Graveshelter at Prudes Creek Cemetery, Adger AL//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This is a great cemetery. There’s a man nicknamed “Litebread” with a son nicknamed “Cornbread“. And behind this grave shelter, there’s this curious, wonderful design on a monument for Earley H. Gwin, who was born in 1899 and died in 1917:

Monument With Nice Scene, Earley H. Gwin, Prudes Creek Baptist Church Cemetery//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Monument With Nice Scene, Earley H. Gwin, Prudes Creek Baptist Church Cemetery//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Monument With Nice Scene, Earley H. Gwin, Prudes Creek Baptist Church Cemetery//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Derby Day

In honor of the Derby (which I never watch, but I have a new fab friend who does dressage (and I realize that has nothing to do with thoroughbreds other than, you know, horses) so maybe I will this year), a collection of Derby-ish pics

Derby cake
Kentucky Derby Cake//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Derby Lounge in Crowley, Louisiana
Derby Lounge, Crowley LA//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Emerson’s Ginger-Mint Julep mural in the Quarter
Ginger-Mint Julep//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

and…you knew this was coming…

mint julep at SoBou
SoBou, New Orleans LA//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

when the Veranda was Veranda and not what it is now
Mint Julep at Veranda//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

at Giardina’s
Mint Julep, Giardina's, Greenville MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

at Commander’s Palace
Mint Julep, Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

at Stanton Hall
Mint Julep and Tiny Biscuits at the Carriage House at Stanton Hall, Natchez MS//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

May your Derby Day include cute biscuits and maybe some sweet little benedictine canapes, and whatever you’re calling the pie you don’t call ‘Derby Pie’, and bourbon in just almost everything else that sounds good too. xoxo!