Erzulie Momento Mori (2007)

Erzulie is the loa (Spirit, Goddess) of love, dreams, romance, beauty, yearning, and sensuality in the Vodoun spiritual tradition. In her passion, she embodies a cosmic Innocence: “she is Goddess of the Heart, not of  the body; the loa of things as they could be, not as they are, or even as they normally should be”— the divinity of the Dream: ”the impossible perfection which must remain unattainable.” (see “Erzulie Ge-Rouge” by Maya Deren)

As the personification of sensuality and of the heart’s longing, Erzulie represents what I most love and miss in New Orleans, where I lived for 4 1/2 years. The mockingbird that sings to her recalls many evening pageants of mockingbirds’ songs shimmering across the Mississippi river, echoing from building to building.

In this image Erzulie wears deep red, and ruby pendants, signifying purity of passion, and between her hands is suspended a new version of her vévé— her sacred design, which always resembles a valentine heart– pierced by lightning and releasing drops of floodwater or tears– to acknowledge the immensity of Hurricane Katrina.

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