David Zink Yi, UNTITLED, 2000-2003, ceramics installation, 8 parts, dimensions variable © Courtesy Mobberley-Springmeier Collection, Switzerland
8 SEPTEMBER – 16 OCTOBER 2004
For the first time, David Zink Yi shows a sculptural installation.
Eight huge arms of an octopus rest on the floor of the gallery. With their white, cut parts and their red, flakily shining, modelled skin these parts of the octopus body seem to have been just separated from the animal. Some are rolled up, some are stretched out on the ground. The head of the animal is missing.
Although David Zink Yi has particularly produced video installations so far, this seemingly new orientation towards materiality is closely related to further works and their subject matters. The used material by Zink Yi for instance is repeatedly employed in the sense of the collective memory: also in the video installation EL FESTEJO (2000), figures made of porcelain become unnaturally big familiar reminders. The adoption of the peregrine represented by the influences of geographically distant, foreign cultures- here becomes the appropriation of the biologically exotic – the oceanic animal.
In particular, the chosen depiction of the motif –cut arms of the octopus- negates the conjecturable naturalism of the sculpture and in contrast underlines a concealed process: this comprises the act of fragmentation put on the modelled animal, which serves either the scientific inspection or the alimentary preparation. This obviously taken transformation of the octopus to alimentation is evocative of further works by the artist, who was born in Lima in 1973: the video DEDICATED TO YI YEN WU (2000) is about different traditions of cooking and their contribution to the creation of identity.
In doing so, it shows hands that are involved in the cooking process as well as the arranged material. A narrating voice is allocated to the ensemble.
Thus the seemingly plastic motif of the octopus shown in the installation, with its connotation of strangeness and its related strategy of alienation such as “disrelish” as well as emotions like “danger” up to the mythological penchant of the historiography (particularly in parts of Latin America) and impartially scientific disposition virtually acts as the intermediary of cultural operation.