“Cuba T.V.” is a selected series of color photographs from the book of the same name by Simone Lueck on exhibit from July 16th to August 27th at the Kopeikin Gallery in Culver City. Lueck’s series focuses on photographs of televisions inside Cuban homes, offering a unique view of twenty first century Cuba. Lueck seems to focus on the eerie glow the televisions cast upon the rooms and their inhabitants. Sometimes, this includes a human subject, usually seen from behind or in another faceless position, demonstrating how Lueck intends the photographs to be portraits of the televisions themselves; the people in the photos are simply supporting characters in the story Lueck is creating. One particularly poignant image, Nightly Programming, 2000, aptly paints one of these mysterious stories. Lueck captures an image of a woman watching a television, which to us appears blank and blown out; we will never know what this woman is watching. Lueck photographs the woman from behind, consistent with most of the other images in the series, and as such, the viewer is only given access to her legs, never knowing what this woman’s face looks like. We also notice an empty chair in front of the television set and a portrait in front of it, both adding to the mystery; who should be accompanying this woman? Is that a portrait of her? This one image leaves so many questions unanswered and certainly leaves the viewer feeling uneasy. All the images in “Cuba T.V.” create this mysterious, eerie, almost surreal feeling, through the monochromatic green glows the flickering televisions cast upon the walls inside of these Cuban homes and through the faceless humans interacting with these surreal t.v. sets. Lueck does a wonderful job of placing the viewer in her artwork, as we become a viewer of not only the photograph, but also of the surreal and colorful television sets themselves.
The book launch and signing of “Cuba T.V.” will be Saturday, August 6th from 6 to 9 P.M. at the Kopeikin Gallery.