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Detail of the installation "Zeitgeist" © Yoel Díaz Vázquez

Zeitgeist by  Yoel Díaz Vázquez

Curated by Katerina Valdivia Bruch for the exhibition ZEIT UNZEIT

Our human relations have changed through communication technology, as media and communication somehow rule our lives in the cities. While some people research on media ecology – the study on how media and communication might affect our ways of behaving in society and influence social change –, others prefer to follow the news as a mode of being 'informed' and a way to live in the present.

But, what if the newspapers would not say anything? No more bad news about killings, drone attacks, massacres, wars, diseases, natural disasters or inequalities among people. Oh, what a  feeling! However, our current time is filled with mass communication, not only via printed media or public broadcast, but also through online media (blogs, Facebook, Twitter or other social media) – sometimes, they might even happen simultaneously. For better or worse, we are overwhelmed by information all the time.

In an era of excess of information, at least we are now in the position to decide whether we want or not to be part of this information overload. Nowadays, we are able to produce or comment 'our' personal news in our own way. Social media has made us capable of being able to send our news to the world, no matter where we live. In this age, it is a sort of 'revolution' to turn off the computer, television and all media devices, and simply enjoy the moment.

No news is good news? News is actually the title of the ongoing series of over-worked newspapers by the artist Yoel Díaz Vázquez (1973, Cuba), a series that he has been working on since 2011, using newspapers from Mexico, Cuba and Germany. For the exhibition ZEIT UNZEIT, Díaz Vázquez has created a collage of newspapers, that was originally inspired by the work of Argentine artist Jorge Macchi.

Similar to the work of a censor, the artist cuts out actual news' texts, creating with this action new documents that are reminiscent of silhouettes and convey unclear or unfinished messages. A newspaper extract is placed over the other and presented in layers as a sort of grid or window, which we regard from outside in a voyeuristic manner. What is behind it? New messages arise from these paper shavings that are left open to the reader to interpret them.

Zeitgeist portrays in a simple way how information might be adapted, according to the needs to inform (or disinform). The artist's selection of news are reflections on current global and local political agendas and depict a particular moment in time: how contemporaneity is captured by the media. His work allows us to interpret our own news, leaving them uncut in our brain.

Yoel Díaz Vázquez' works have been exhibited internationally, including group exhibitions at the 6th Göteburg Biennial (2011), the 29th Săo Paulo Biennial (2010) and the 9th Biennial of Video and Media Art at MAC (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Santiago de Chile (2009). In Berlin, he is best known for his participation in exhibitions at nGbK, Ballhaus Naunynstraße and Savvy Contemporary, and for his performances at Radialsystem V. Since 2005, the artist lives and works in Berlin.

ZEIT UNZEIT – Exhibition with works by Markus Keibel, Yoel Díaz Vázquez and Leo Zogmayer

Opening: December 13th, 7 pm at KUNSTBÜROBERLIN
Exhibition: December 17, 2014 - February 21, 2015

Uhlandstraße 162
10719 Berlin

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