David Zink Yi | De adentro y afuera
KÖNIG GALERIE | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 16.2.–29.3.2003
Press Release:

From February 16 to March 29, 2003, KÖNIG GALERIE, will be presenting David Zink Yi’s first solo exhibition.

The video works of David Zink Yi, born in 1973 in Lima, Peru, are based on the conflict between culturally and emotionally determined actions. These actions, like cooking, speaking, dancing, singing, writing or storytelling, outline the complexity of identity, as well as the creation of identity and its form of expression. In the centre of the mainly large format installations stands the body. The body here is the place and the medium of expression and perception of identity as a cultural construction. The recurrent motif of the Berlin artist’s installations is a reduction of action, ever-increasing to the point of absurdity. This form follows in the tradition coined by the Bruce Nauman or Vito Acconci. The images are so precisely staged together with rhythm and music that the musical element creates a sound-space exactly like the picture-space produced by the video recordings. The resulting impression is that the aural and visual sources are reciprocally generated. The formulation of content is based on the historical method of oral history, which plays an important roll in conjunction with contextual art.

The three projections of De adentro y afuera show fragments of the body of a person – a mouth that sings a Spanish song, hands that play the rhythm and legs that dance. Above all, the dance illustrates very vividly the syncopated characteristic that unites Latin American music with jazz, namely free improvisation on and a return to a given theme. The external demands of the song are altered by the musicians according to their personal, and thereby internal, disposition. 

The underlying motif of Latin American music, the clave (key/code), constitutes the musical focus in De adentro y afuera. Originating in Cuban musical tradition, the clave became, to a certain extent, the basis of the later developing salsa, in which singer, orchestra and choir are united with a specific choreography. The salsa developed in all South and Middle American countries, including South American communities in the USA. Cuba, in turn, was greatly excluded from this development, because of, among other things, US embargos. The artist’s dialogue-based song lyrics deal with the history of the singer, with the independence gained by the salsa from the clave, and with the salsa’s re-importation into Cuban musical development. Following this development, elements of the clave are merged into a completed salsa piece and orchestrated in Cuba by David Zink Yi with a Cuban musical group. The result can be heard playing from the back room of the gallery as an integral part of the exhibition. 

Ultimately, elements of previous video works by the artist are restated in this piece, De adentro y afuera, and are united in the first complex sound and image installation. The fusion of music and personal history into a ‘picture’ can be read as a metaphor for the interplay of the structures of socialisation, subjective experience and history, which can simultaneously create or destroy identity. The exhibition room ultimately becomes a place in which the viewer is largely confronted with physical expression. Through this form of expression a broader paradigm is referenced: emotionality.