They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Case in point: the censorship of Fiji media providers.
Day one of the gag and the Fiji Times replaced political stories with blank pages saying “The stories on this page could not be published because of government restrictions.” Fiji’s Channel One also protested, replacing their usual 6pm news bulletin with a black screen, with the message: “Viewers please be advised that there will be no 6pm news tonight.” Unfortunately for the Times Editor, this act of defiance led to his arrest. Which only proves that, sometimes, saying nothing is the most powerful statement of all.
Abraham Cruzvillegas is an artist based in Mexico City, and while his latest work doesn’t take a direct stance against censorship, it certainly understands the power of silence – visual silence, in this instance. In the above work Autorretrato Ciego: SF Suite 1–11, Cruzvillegas cut an image of an American soldier from a newspaper, then framed it with the image facing inwards: an obvious protest against the ongoing war in Iraq. At first glance, the work appears to be abstract and almost unimaginative, however when hearing the underlying story, the audience is given an entirely different perspective, rich with context and meaning.
Cruzvillegas is now exhibiting at Wattis in San Francisco.