In 2005 Letter to the Censors was requested for loan. Carlos Garaicoa had been awarded the prize of laureate for Fine Arts and there was to be an exhibition as part of the XXXIXe Prix International d’Art Contemporain de la Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco. It was important to the artist that Letter to the Censors be part of this show.
This gave the conservators a deadline by which to mend the many broken elements, to upgrade the wiring and access to the lighting, redesign the chandelier and resolve the problems of overheating. A packing case also had to be made to ensure that the work could travel safely to the exhibition venue. Find out more about the packing process in Preservation packing
Carlos Garaicoa often opts to work outside the walls of the gallery or the museum. In many cases his works are created in response to a particular city. Even when exhibiting an existing work, he sometimes seeks out spaces outside the museum.
In Monaco, Carlos originally considered using an old cinema Théâtre Princesse-Grace / Centre de Rencontres Internationales to display both Letter to the Censors and Now Let’s Play to Disappear (II).
Due to the requirement to show Letter to the Censors in a climate-controlled environment, the artist agreed to show the installation in the exhibition space Salle d’Exposition du Quai Antoine at the other side of the harbour.
The core elements of the installation which been developed in Rome and Miami began to become more formalised. The model was placed diagonally in the exhibition space, which in Monaco was circa 11 meters long by 10 meters wide. The lighting was dimmed and red carpet was laid on the floor. The cinema type lighting was placed around the bottom of the walls and the model was carefully lit with eight spot lights arranged in an oval on the ceiling. The balance of lighting is important as it should not be too bright to wash out the projected image inside the cinema. The ten light boxes were shown on the walls surrounding the model.
An ingenious solution was developed for the floor lights. Instead of red bulbs, fairy lights were positioned within the cavity walls and the opening was covered with a red plastic lighting gel.
During the early displays of the work, Garaicoa had become aware that there was a display problem with the piece. In order to see inside of the cinema’s auditorium to see the film titles, the public had to get very close. Because of the fragility of the work allowing people this close created a risk of the model being damaged.
In Monaco, Carlos began to explore solutions to this problem. Here the prints of all censored film titles were displayed in an adjoining space. The film titles, organised by country, were printed onto fifteen sheets of white vinyl wallpaper covering the entire height of the walls.
The show was only open for 6 weeks but it had provided a useful opportunity to clarify some of the display issues associated with the work.
Venue: Salle d'Exposition du Quai Antoine