During broadcast hours, all TVs in Cuba are on, no matter if they are being watch or just serving as background noise. Simone Lueck is a Los Angeles based photographer originally from St. Paul, Minnesota who visited Cuba and captured TV culture, for better or worse. The photo essay is a hardcover 80 page book.
The actual television sets are outdated relics imported from America or Russia close to twenty years ago. Convulsing static pictures in off-color hues, the sets are jury-rigged with computer parts and other discarded technological talismans; they are adorned like religious altars.
In her words:
It happened by chance. In 2000, I tagged along with a good friend on a two-week trip to Cuba. I took my 35mm camera and a bunch of film. The first thing I noticed in Havana was that the city was dark at night. There were no streetlights, porch lights or living-room lamps. It was pitch black except for the faint colorful glow spilling out of open doors everywhere, and it came from the TVs. The light captivated me. For the next two weeks I wandered around, slipping in and out of strangers’ living rooms. Each time I came across an open door and a TV set, I asked if I could take a picture of it. The answer was always yes. Nobody seemed to think it was an odd request and it was usually accompanied by a Cuban coffee or rum.
To purchase the book, visit Clicgallery.com
Today we introduce another 2 hours of Cuban jams and talk time with our special guest of the week, Helena Kubicka de Braganca. At 20 years old, Helena saw Soy Cuba for the first time and her life would never be the same.
(Sugar Barons guest, Photographer Helena Kubicka de Braganca)
It would take another 8 years before she finally followed her gut and dove into the island herself for over 2 months meeting “artists, musicians, prostitutes, farmers, and revolutionaries”. The result is I Am Cuban, a hardcover coffee table book inspired by her travels through the nation. Although Helena was born in London (to Polish and Portuguese immigrants), we consider her an honorary Cuban. You won’t want to miss our conversation about contemporary Cuba and the fountain of inspiration she bumped into.
Tune in today (Wednesday) on www.radiolily.com from 2-4 pm for a new set of Cuban classics and some a trip down memory lane for Helena.
Just a few little snapshots from my adventures in Cuba this holidays.
Happy New Years readers!
Nowness recently ran a photo essay by American photographer Michael Dweck, known for his photos of natural babes in Montauk, New York. This time, Michael visited Cuba and discovered a whole scene of the young cool crowd in Cuba’s elite circles (not the type of youth normally captured by most predictable photographers). “These people travel freely, have nice cars, big studios and a lot of assistants” writes Nowness. “They sell their artworks in other countries; they show at Art Basel, some have work in MoMA and the Tate. The government allows it even though Cuba is supposed to be classless. The regime doesn’t admit that this creative class exists, but I think they also realize that without culture you don’t have a society.”
Visit Nowness to see the whole feature… or go to Michael Dweck’s Cuba Project to see a more complete collection of images. The photographs will be exhibited in San Francisco at Modernism Inc from Sept 8 to Oct 29th located at 685 Market Street.