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Nam June Paik’s Kuba TV in the Exposition of Music – Electronic Television, Parnass Gallery, Wuppertal
Date/ 1963
Artist(Credit Line)/ Manfred Montwé
Classification/ Photography
Dimensions / 30.4×40.2cm
Medium / Black & white photograph on baryta paper

Taken by Manfred Montwé, this is a photograph of Kuba TV, one of the works featured in Nam June Paik’s first solo show Exposition of Music – Electronic Television held in Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal in March 1963. In this exhibition Paik presented thirteen experimental televisions, and one of them called Kuba TV is a television connected to a tape recorder showing different images depending on the frequency of music input. The title implies the Cuban missile crisis, one week of extreme tension between the Soviet Union and the US, caused by Kennedy’s military command to blockade the route to transport Soviet weapons to Cuba. This was a reaction of the Kennedy administration to the Soviet Union’s support for Cuba’s construction of nuclear facilities. Khrushchev eventually scrapped the Cuban plan seeking reconciliation. Alluding to the political affairs that took place only a few months before his exhibition, Paik created a television whose light waves were in sync with sound waves of a recorder. In another part of the exhibition, there was a framed news article of Bild Zeitung dated 16 April 1961, with a headline “War Against Fidel Castro, Invasion Has Begun.” Above Kuba TV are Raoul Ubac’s slate relief sculptures that gallery owner Rolf Jährling had originally displayed
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