1980, Video, 10:10 (Colour, Stereo)
In a powerful collusion of traditional and pop cultural mythologies, Labat confronts his Cuban heritage and identity, and critiques the representation of this culture by the mass media. Donning theatrical face-paint and a wig, Labat transforms himself into an icon of Babalu, the Afro-Cuban folk God. His use of Babalu as a cultural metaphor is steeped in irony; to millions of Americans, Babalu is the theme song of Cuban bandleader Ricky Ricardo on TV’s I Love Lucy. In other sequences, Labat deconstructs the stereotypical gestures and objects -- macho posturing, jai alai, maracas -- that are used by the media to signify “Latin culture”.