In his project “Nothing in the News”, Joseph Ernst – an Anglo-Portuguese artist, filmmaker and creative director – presents newspapers from around the world with, you guessed it, nothing in them.
“We live in a world of constant sensory overload,” writes Joseph. “Twenty four hours a day we are bombarded with information in real time by every media outlet and platform competing for our attention, one pop-up notification at a time.
“Yes, we live in a particularly sensitive era, where the truth really matters, and where newspapers have a more important role to play in modern democracies than ever before. We are a society addicted to breaking news, gossip, and celebrity status, to Facestagram and Twapchat, the latest trends, and the top tens, to sports punditry, conspiracy theories, cat videos, and ridiculous amounts of porn. Especially, in the post-Brexit, post-Trump world, everything is screaming for our time. And there are only so many hours in the day – eventually, we need to switch off. For this cultural precipice, we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: ‘Nothing’. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.”
In these “blank” newspapers, you can still see the brands and logos – the New York Times, Le Monde, Die Zeit, El País – but instead of articles and features you have boxes, fully grey or white. You can declutter your mind by staring at and meditating on them. The emptiness hits you hard and makes you realise just how obsessed we are with current affairs. We are confronted with important questions – what and how much do we really need to know?
Joseph Ernst studied architecture at the University of Edinburgh, SCI-Arc in Los Angeles, and the Bartlett in London. He currently lives between London and New York. He creates works in a wide range of media, and has gained recognition in the capacities of a director, conceptual artist and publisher. His pieces continue to be exhibited in galleries and museums across the world. He is influenced by figures like Mauritzio Cattelan, Claude Closky, Martin Creed, Ai WeiWei and Bas Jan Ader, and conceptual magazines like Permanent Food, Hara Kiri, and Nice.
Images used with permission.