Tony Labat: Left Jab
Labat's heritage gets a pasting in a dazzling cycle of videoworks about cultural myth. In Babalu (1980, 10 mins, Color), Labat appears as the Afro-Cuban god disguised with face-paint and contesting the caustic stereotypes purveyed by pop figures like Ricky Ricardo. Recounting the (re)discovery of America by a Marielito, Ñ (enn-yay) (1982, 8 mins, Color) conveys the surreal displacement of exile. Challenge: POV (1981, 20 mins, Color) is a rarely seen work about a boxing match between Labat and artist Tom Chapman. According to his challenger, Labat “needed his ass kicked.” The outcome of this sanctioned match is one of earned humility and bruising to the maximus. Also screening: Room Service (1980, 7.5 mins, Color). Kikiriki (1983, 12 mins, Color). The Hooters Project (2000, loop, Color). Selections from Solo Flight (1977, 32 mins, B&W).