Inside Installations: Mapping the Studio II

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Details of the model

Explore Letter to the Censors by clicking on each section.

 

1 Model

The model is built on a wooden base that is placed on top of metal table legs. Around this the artist has placed scaffolding typical of that seen supporting the old buildings of Havana.

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Display view of Letter to the Censors Readagraph at the front of the model View inside the auditorium

Letter to the Censors views
© Tate Conservation
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2 Façade

The main façade is divided into semi-circular arches with moulded pilasters carved to imitate stone. Each column has an ornamental brass bracket which holds a lantern.

Details of the façade Details of the façade Details of the façade Architectural Drawing: Front

Details of the façade with architectural drawing
© Tate Conservation
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3 Foyer

The foyer is a grand space at the front of the cinema, with a balcony on the second floor. In the middle is an ornate chandelier, which is flanked by a winding staircase. From the ground floor double doors go to the auditorium.

Outside the foyer Inside the foyer Inside the foyer Chandelier inside the foyer

The foyer with chandelier
© Tate Conservation
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4 Galleries

Flanking the main entrance to the cinema, two galleries present a series of back-lit photographs of old cinemas from Havana.

View inside the gallery View inside the gallery Construction View Construction View

View inside the gallery and construction
© Tate Conservation
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5 Figures

There are fifty-one hand modelled figures and three dogs which occupy the cinema and the surrounding arcades. The figures are made from a material similar to Plasticine, each with their own individual posture and gesture. Each figure is approximately 5 cm high.

What size is it?

Figures inside Figures inside Figures outside Figures outside Figures outside

Figures inside and outside
© Tate Conservation
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6 Censor’s office

The censor’s office is situated in a corner of the cinema on the first floor, in a well lit room. The censor and his assistant sit in front of a pile of unwound film. Behind them is a shelf stacked high with film canisters. Garaicoa has used Cuban money to simulate the film canisters, and standard audio cassette tape for the unwound film.

Censor’s Office: View from the outside Censor’s Office: View inside Censor’s Office: View from above

Censor’s office
© Tate Conservation
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7 Auditorium

The model's roof has been left open to reveal the auditorium with its green chairs, stalls and balcony. The screen shows the titles of censored films from around the world. The red carpeted floor slopes towards the stage to allow the audience a good view. The movie's audience of nineteen figures are seated throughout the auditorium.

View in the auditorium View in the auditorium Architectural Drawing: Longitudinal axis

View in the auditorium and architectural drawing
© Tate Conservation
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8 The video and audio component

Censored film titles from video Censored film titles from video Censored film titles from video

Censored film titles from the shown video
© Tate Conservation
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There are a total of 1,014 separate film titles which are shown over a duration of 80 minutes. Each title is shown for approximately 5 seconds before it fades into the next title. The titles are accompanied by the intermittent sound of a clarinet. Garaicoa’s wife holds the position of first clarinet for the Symphony Orchestra of Cuba and here plays 'Sequenza IX' by the composer Lucino Berio.

Garaicoa thought carefully about the introduction of music to the piece. In an interview with Tate conservation, he explains how he hates the use of music with video, if the music is not good. However for this piece, he felt that the addition of contemporary instrumental music would add something and draw people in.

My wife is a clarinet player and I loved this music from Berio, it is very strong with a lot of energy. I always listened to her playing that, I’ve been thinking that I would like to do something with video that would fit the music because the music is very intense. I came up with this idea and I said that it is very strong, the song, the clarinet, very intense. And then, the reason that we play twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off is for people to rest.

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9 Equipment room

The power supply for the lighting accessories and electronic equipment is hidden in its own space, above the foyer, and is accessed by the removal of the pitched roof above. In the wall towards the auditorium is an opening through which the film is projected.

Equipment room

Equipment room
© Tate Conservation
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10 The light boxes

Surrounding the model are ten light boxes containing black and white photographs, each showing the decaying facade of a Cuban cinema.

The photographs capture both the former grandeur of Havana’s movie theatres and their current state of dereliction.

Light boxes Light boxes Light boxes: back side

Light boxes
© Tate Conservation
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Size comparisions

Size comparision of model to a man

PreviousSize comparision of the model to a man

Size comparision of figure to an eye

PreviousSize comparision of a figure to an eye

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