David Zink Yi (*1973 in Lima, Peru) has been dealing intensely with music and the production of music for many years now, especially music from Cuba. “I was immediately fascinated by the musicians and their musical vocabulary; the structure, the rhythm, and the forms in which they—less hierarchically and more organically—find expression. It seemed to me that I found so many things in this music production that were inherent in its practice and which I could only achieve with great effort in the visual arts. . . . What is important for me is above all the emotion this music evokes; the resonance between the protagonists and the way they perform for one another.”
David Zink Yi created a new work for his exhibition Why am I here and not somewhere else—independencia II at the Kunstverein Braunschweig: the entire architecture of the Villa Salve Hospes will become a sounding body based on a complex sound concept. For his eleven-channel video installation, the artist invited eleven Cuban musicians—many of them from the circle of the band De adentro y afuera he started up in Havana—to perform in a collective rehearsal. Besides compositions by the participating musicians, the majority of the pieces that will be played were written by David Zink Yi and arranged by Michel Alonso Castro and Yuliesky González Guerra and were major features in productions by De adentro y afuera (2001) or Horror Vacui (2009).
The musicians and their sounds have been distributed throughout the spaces of the villa in such a way that the organic proliferation of the music counteracts the hierarchic arrangement of the building’s rooms. A composition and cooperation of the sounds develops that is dependent on the visitor’s position. At the same time, improvisation is one of the key aspects.
Based on Michel de Certeau’s Walking in the City, in which perception by the eye works against that by the body, David Zink Yi’s work is tantamount to listening to the driving force of the wanderer. Attracted by the instruments and their tonal attributes, visitors walk through the rooms of the villa and in the process encounter individual musicians in the group. At the same time, this results in an intimate moment of watching and listening in a combination with the strict and complex music production. As the building’s architecture and the music ensemble intertwine to become a unit, they merge in the viewer’s mind like the pieces of a sound puzzle. Besides the music, the visitor’s can also walk through the building, perceiving it as a “space of expression.” According to Michel de Certeau, “the pedestrian speech act has three characteristics which distinguish it from the outset from the spatial system: the present, the discrete, and the ‘phatic.’”
A one-time-only live performance is taking place on June 7 in direct connection with the video installation and with all eleven Cuban musicians: Michel Alonso, piano (Mexico City); Julio Barreto, drums (Zurich); Victor Díaz, trumpet (Berlin); Yuliesky González, trumpet (Berlin); Eliel Lazo, conga drums (Copenhagen); Irving Acao, tenor saxophone (Paris); Wiljoph Mounkassa, timbales (Berlin); Alain Pérez, bass (Madrid); Carlos Pérez, trumpet (Copenhagen); Elaine Pérez, vocals (Barcelona); and Lesmer Solenzar, vocals (Stockholm).
David Zink Yi studied from 1997 to 1999 at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich and from 1998 to 2002 at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Solo exhibitions of his works have already been mounted at the MAK—Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Arts in Vienna, the Kunsthalle St. Gallen, and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (NBK) in Berlin. He has furthermore participated in numerous international group exhibitions, including at the Tate Modern in London, the KW—Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the 9th Havana Biennale, Made in Germany I in Hannover, and in 2004 he was the recipient of the Karl Schmidt-Rottluff Scholarship.
The exhibition is being supported by:
Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur, Stiftung Niedersachsen und