马永峰的博客

Aug 11
2009-08-12 中华美术网(www.ieshu.com)

    内容概要:   2009年7月18日下午,“黑屏”当代艺术展在成都廊桥当代艺术机构拉开帷幕。此次展览汇集了图片、装置、影像等当代艺术前端的艺术形式和表现方法。其中不少作品完全用一种非现场的形式来展现行为艺术作品中所能看到的方方面面,都以平面的形式讲述其自身所要表达的内涵。记者带着关于此次展览的种种疑问,采访了本展览的学术主持迈涯女士。

  【编者按】2009年7月18日,“黑屏”当代艺术展在成都廊桥当代艺术机构拉开帷幕。此次展览汇集了图片、装置、影像等当代艺术前端的艺术形式和表现方法。99艺术网记者采访了本展览的学术主持迈涯女士。迈涯女士称此次的展览很有有价值,展览中一些新东西可以带领我们从新考虑这个世界,重新认识自己,体现了真正艺术价值所在。

采访记者:刘丹放

编辑整理:张 瑜

点击在新窗口中浏览此图片

  99艺术网:迈涯女士你好!非常高兴您能来到成都。这个展览全部都是关乎于行为艺术的图片以及视频、装置等的展示。作为一个艺术批评家您怎么看待这些作品?

  迈涯:这个展览许多作品都有行为的艺术成份在里面,但是媒介、呈现形式是多样性的,不局限在行为。比如说吴承典的摄影,是非常有意思。你可以说是一种行为成份,但不能说这是一个行为艺术作品,它主要还是摄影作品。他那个作品特别有意思,他找了很多中国非常象征性的、代表性的建筑物,像鸟巢,或者是奥运水立方,或者是宜家家具等等,代表各种各样的东西。比如说现代化,国家的辉煌,消费文化和小康社会的舒服,小资生活。这种东西在我们社会里有的时候有点像一个大方向,或者是一个偶像、一个目标,象征着那种大的价值观。但是他把这个东西,他不拍一个整体,他拍各种各样的角度,都是分分、碎碎地拼在一起了,所以他把大的、非常宏观的所谓理想和价值观拆开了,解构了,让我们从各个方面看,其实看的角度不一样。

  这个图片也是这样把鸟巢拆开成无数的部分,所以很多、很多小照片,所以我们不是从大的,特别宏观的角度去看它。而是从生活中真正的,微观的各方面的角度去看的。所以他在我们身上可以起到很大的作用,让我们思考到很多大的问题。

  99艺术网:通过这个展览,有那么多种的展现形式,您觉得在这些展现形式当中最喜欢哪一种?

  迈涯:这个问题很难回答,因为我不能说我偏向于一种形式,或者一种语言,或者一种媒介。其实我不在乎什么媒介,而且我觉得我们这个时代,是什么媒介真的不重要, 我在乎艺术之中传达什么问题什么感觉,有什么话要说,是如何触动,如何刺激我们的思考,这样的问题,我觉得更重要。展览当中有装置有摄影,或者别的东西,像里面有王庆松的一个录像,还有马永峰的录像,这都不是行为艺术作品。何云昌这个是一个正儿八经的行为艺术作品,是以行为摄影来呈现的。他在英国,你看那个地图,他在英国拿了一个石头,然后他走了整个一圈,他就背着这个石头跟他一起旅行,他跟它是很亲切的,跟大自然的一个关系,而且也是在考验自己的能力和体力、忍耐能力,忍受的能力,各种方面地考验自己,还有沉默的跟大自然的对话,他坚持做这个做了很久,你看他去了那么多地方,这是很感人的东西,最后他把石头它放回原地。

  99艺术网:最后又回到他捡石头的地方?

  迈涯:是的。你看看图片吧。我觉得何云昌是中国行为艺术非常重要的艺术家之一,当然也有很多好的,但他是重要的一个代表人物。他的东西里面有很多成份,很多是关于爱的,就是爱这个世界,把自己深入这个世界,去介入这个世界,而不是排在外面,或者把它当做商品。

  遗憾行为艺术,尤其是在中国的媒体可能有一些不好的口碑。因为有几个别的人做了一些血腥的东西,暴力的东西,所有媒体特别喜欢强调这种刺激的例子。其实大部分的中国行为艺术非常内敛,又有批判性,但是也有爱,也有去思考我们在这个世界如何做人,我们跟这个世界是什么关系,不是砍我自己的肉,看看能流多少血,其实这种简单的暴力表达即便在行为艺术历史也不能代表新东西的,独立判断是不会附和被媒体盲目炒作的东西。像何云昌行为里面的东西,你看到里面这个是爱或者是血?像中国在成都,从95年到现在有了很重要的一个行为艺术的传统,我称作“公共行为艺术”。你知道这个事,像戴光郁、刘成英、周斌、朱罡、余极等等很多别的人,都做了跟环境和公共领域有关系,涉及包括环保意识和行为、保护国家文物(比如明代的城墙) 做了很多其实为社会作出很大贡献的工作,例如一个老图书馆的保护和变迁—行为艺术也可以做到这种事情。

  99艺术网:我想问一下,您作为一位国际友人,您觉得中国的行为艺术和国外的行为艺术,它们的差别和优势分别体现在哪些地方?

  迈涯:我是特别拒绝国家界限的东西,限制或者捆绑我们。当然有的东西会吸收很多本土文化的元素,不一定能了解那个东西。我觉得说实话,所有真正的国际历史上一流的艺术是面对人类社会的,它本质上不是分美国的、中国的或者是什么国的问题。它可能通过说明一个地方或细微的问题,让全人类了解自己大的问题,从一个微观的东西呈现宏观的问题,在这一个点上,这个是好的艺术,不管是什么国家,我不是特别觉得中国艺术是这样,别的艺术是怎么样的。因为我觉得艺术是一个永远在超越自己的,它是一个长期的流程,不是一个一次性做出来的结果,它是过程。而且这个过程是无数不同的人都在做,从不同的角度,不同的背景,不同的价值观,它是一个多元化的东西。但是往往很多批评家,特别喜欢把艺术套在某个观念里面,为了“找个说法”或“定位”,或是要确立某某艺术流派,批评家为了“占山头、圈地”而不惜违背艺术的自由本质然后艺术家有可能开始学这个“被认同的流派”,因为这样他可以参与展览或者怎么样。其实最好的艺术不是根据别人的剧本去走,而且去看这个世界需要什么样的艺术,需要说什么话,这种艺术肯定是最好的。

  马永峰,他做的是另外的一种媒介,他做了很多录像和摄影作品,他的东西也有装置性,因为他会造一个模型,然后对这个模型做一些事情,比如说有一个小山头,最后被水淹没了。他的研究是关于科学的裂变,那个观念化,就是把大自然和我们的世界分为什么样不同的观念去归顺这个世界,成为我们可理解的,被知识形成的一种实物。他研究的很多是这方面的东西。

  慕辰和邵译农,他们的东西看到有一部分社会学和人类学在他们的摄影里面,你也会说这个有行为,他去寻找各种各样的东西,比如说这个塔的作品,这种快丢掉了,以前是很重要的一个集中的地方,在人的生命中是很重要的。现在这种空间的地位已经变了,可能消失了或者变成仓库了,或者烧了,或者坏了。以前是开会的地方,各种各样国家意识形态的东西,凝聚在那种地方,现在意义就完全不一样了。因为我们的时代、信仰完全不一样了,人在集体之间的关系也不一样了,不像以前特别的集体,现在人越来越分散了,可能人与人之间的关系越来越弱。所以在这一张照片里有无数的历史,已经看不到的历史,但是你能想得到。这个楼可能塌了,最后变成一个高楼了,房地产过来买这个地,谁知道,反正塔里面有过去、有现在,有未来。其实很感人、很残酷,看那个时间的流失,痕迹在某个楼上怎么呈现,很有意思。

  99艺术网:作为一个艺术展览,无论如何都会产生一些社会价值和历史的意义,您觉得今天这个“黑屏展”它的价值和意义体现在什么地方?

  迈涯:首先我们看一个展览意义要放在一跨时间跨领域角度上来,我觉得这个展览可以呈现它的价值,从几个方面:

  一、 它呈现的是一种综合艺术。对这个世界有不同的观念,有不同的看法、态度和姿态。这不是一个简单的,比如说每一个都是个大头油画,就是一个脸,一个形象或者一个指标性的东西,这个其实很碎,很不一样的东西,就像我们的时代一样,不是一个单一风格媒介可以把艺术的思考联袂在一起。就像我们的时代,它是多元化的,各方面的东西都有,很多层面在这里都可以看到。我觉得“艺术不仅是思想的视象也应该是感知的”,在这个方面这很重要。

  差不多从05年,中国当代艺术走向国际,特别全球化的市场化以后,开始制造中国的艺术泡沫。越来越多的画廊,尤其是被一个很恶劣的话语权给控制住了,这个就是金钱,不管艺术的价值,不管历史的价值,不管社会的价值,不管艺术作品好不好,或者有没有意义,只是管能不能快点卖给一个有钱人,然后这个东西如果在十年以后,不怎么搭配暴发户的沙发,他可以转手或者可以卖了,就不管了。这个就变成跟买卖其它的东西没有一点区别。艺术特有的价值,是被 这种现象弱化得一塌糊涂。如果艺术特殊的价值,不是作为一个装饰品,不是作为一个美的东西。

  如果艺术特殊的价值是取决于它能提供我们新的一双眼睛去看待我们的世界,看待我们的自己,我们是一个镜子,你看我们现在多俗,就管吃个胖的肚子,买点名牌衣服,贷款开个好的车,用公款盖一个没有任何内部设施的豆腐渣高楼,给人看我多牛啊,不能光是一个镜子,必须得是让我们反省,我们到底是谁,我们在往哪里走,为什么我们往那边走?如果我们往那边走,到底会发生什么样的事情?如果我们集体,社会按照这个价值观往前走,我们是不是走进一个陷阱,是不是丢掉一些有价值的,被我们忽视的一些东西?我觉得好的艺术,真正的艺术具备这个本质,这个能力去刺激我们,真正地思考人类的状况,不一定是特别社会学的,有的时候抽象的东西也可以改变我们的眼神,可以感动我 们,改变我们的思考方式。如果艺术光是一个东西挂在那儿,就跟装饰品没有任何区别了。

  99艺术网:您觉得今天这个展览的价值实际上也就体现在社会的,包括对我们人自身反省的方面?

  迈涯:对。 我觉得每一件作品就是一个机会,因为一件作品不具备一个固定的意义,它的意义是跟人看到它、思考它、感受它,在这个瞬间产生的。而且这个意义的解读可能是无数的。可能你把你自己的生活背景,自己的经验,你带来到的这个作品里就跟我不一样了。那么艺术家把他的东西摆在那儿给我们,当这个被我们看到了,感受到了,思考到了以后,它才成为一个新的东西。这个新的东西是一个领先的东西,它可以刺激我们自己的想象力。所以,我觉得这个展览的价值,肯定是提供给我们多样的语境,去考虑我们自己,去考虑我们的世界。但是它也不是那种特直接给我们上课似的,也不是说必须得这样,要不然不行。它是很微妙地提供给我们这个条件,思考这些问题。所以我觉得它的价值就是在这一点上最明显。我喜欢可以做到这一点。

  99艺术网:谢谢迈涯女士。
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Jul 21
许盛

黑屏,是画面传输的中断,或者失败,总之不会是完结。这次展出,并不是为了中断传递,而是可以把黑屏作为开始或者终极的状态,来讨论不同的传递的可能性。

何云昌先生在2000年为《不合作方式》所作的艺术家声明中,有这样一段话:“关注弱势群体,关注生命意志与现实持久而无畏的对峙和诗意化的表达方式,是我近年努力的方向”(注1)。这句认真的言语却令人想到一个幽默的场景:一个人,采访正在菩提树下冥想的释迦牟尼,问他“你为何坐在这里?”,释迦牟尼则用上面那句同样的话回答了他。

人们也许不愿意听到这句话从释迦牟尼的口中说出,因为这打破了人们的某种宗教观念;却很高兴能听到这句话从何云昌口中说出,因为这句话满足了人们保持某种艺术观念的需要。那时的何云昌也许还没有明确自己的道路,他的“不合作方式”,也只是在英文翻译中才成为充满力量的“Fuck off”。而六年后,当“石头英国漫游记”结束时,人们问他,为什么拿着一块石头绕着英国走了一圈,他回答说:“就是为了把它放回原来的地方”(注2)。这句回答,比起任何对采访的回绝,或者缄默,都更能够让作者对它自己的作品保持沉默。“Fuck off”终于以另一种方式回归了。

这句对“解释”的冒犯,揭示了一个常常被忽视的基础,即所谓艺术“观念”,只有在作为分析的“途经”时,才具有启发性和操作性;可是,对评论工具的使用方式本身,却往往被误当做评论的目的。写作,这个甚至可以“对自身意义的不存在发表评论” (来自乔治.巴塔耶)的表达方式,促使人们不断用文学的分析法领悟作者,领悟荒谬,领悟“自我”,领悟四海皆准的真理。然而,在这个“分析精神”变得自然而然的过程中,作品自身的能量和内容已经被掩埋在地下,并且踏平了。

在“天山外”(2002)的时候,何云昌与强烈的爆炸对峙,还只是在感受身体对另一侧的能量的承受;在“铸”(2004)的时候,他把自己封闭起来,没有预留任何传递的出口,他的创作不再以沟通和被接受为目的,而成为自身的修行和体验;在“石头英国漫游记”(2006)的时候,他不再用封闭,而是用行走来体验自我——作者体验了些什么,我们也许永远不得而知,只知道“中间有一段时间情绪很烦躁” (注3)。可以肯定的一点是:在何云昌的作品中,行为传递给艺术家自身的体验和经历,比任何对作品的诠释或者想象,都重要得多,这种传递的方向是行为内部的,处在作者自身封闭的能量循环中,无法通过行为以外的,对观念和意图的诠释来接收。就像身体的痛苦,是无法分享的。

“只有破坏的天性,才会让我们与某个东西建立真正的联系,不论这东西是什么。”(注4)。在何云昌的一些作品中,“这东西”是他自己,作者与自己的关系是共处在一个封闭的体系中,这个体系与外界的联系是完全不存在的,被消灭了的,甚至连体系的界限都是不被承认的。除了作者,唯一的“异类”就是他自己。观众,是不被考虑在其中的。

而在马永峰本次展出的作品中,“这东西”是金鱼(作品“漩涡”)。在“漩涡”中,作者制造了一个不需要理由的,自主的机械运动,并让鲜活的生命运动受其破坏。作者与金鱼的关系,不再是共处于一个排外的封闭体系,而是处于一个庞大的,自动的背景当中(洗衣机)。在作品中,生命被机械残忍地排斥,而机械代表了人造的必然性(或者“一种机械化的,被驯服的自然秩序” ——注5)。于是,通过这个作品,生命被人造的必然性所排斥——于是,生命与人类建立了互相排斥的关系——于是,人类被赋予了异端的色彩(这里,也可以认为是生命被赋予了异端的色彩,但这样的论述将令人毛骨悚然)。作者通过与金鱼(生命)建立的破坏性联系,发现了自身排斥生命的部分,也就是死亡的部分,如同在半夜长时间地照镜子,便能感觉到自己身上有异于自己的存在……在这个作品中,作者与观众的关系,就像是作者与自身异端的关系。作者在破坏自己与观众的联系——所以作品也在带给观众感官和心理的不适——迫不及待地要摆脱,却永远摆脱不了。

在邵译农-慕辰本次参展的“大礼堂”系列图片中,观众席与其中的舞台有一种看与被看的关系;观众席同样被作品的观众所观看;而作品的观众,似乎因为镜子原理,也有种要被放上舞台的感觉。在这些看与被看的循环中,作者力求保持作品中每一个符号的中立性,也就常常否认自己与作品的联系。可是,否认联系也是一种联系,它和消灭联系是完全不同的。于是,作者与作品也成为看与被看的关系,作者与观众便建立了一种身份的带入。在寻找那些存在于所有人的记忆集合之中的符号时,作者企图把自己变成容纳各种记忆的平台。但是,这始终只是一种企图,因为每个人的个人记忆都是无可传递的。不过,这种试图消灭传递隔阂的过程,究竟是单纯的来自生活经验,还是可以来自更多的创造或者冥想?在“天上人间系列”的创作中,这也是个有趣的问题。

这种无法消灭的,根本性的隔阂,在王庆松的作品中被忽略不计了,因为他的很多作品都在放大那些记忆中一目了然的东西,比如可口可乐和大字报。他的作品也确实像一场庆典,从人数上看,至少是个中型的生日聚会。这些真人“材料”和影像的使用,让作者营造出真实的,被无限放大的,完全受控于自己的自我空间。在本次参展的“大摆战场”和“盲流梦”中也是如此。创造出一个临时空间,然后用全景影像客观地记录下来——比起观众,作者似乎更在乎自己对这个自我空间的创造欲和控制欲。王庆松曾说:“艺术作品有时到了一定程度不一定非要说真话,谎话有时候也要去说,但同时就是说真话的时候,你自己最清楚。”(注6)。也许,对王庆松来说,作品就是简单的对话。空间本身,本来是无法传递的,至少目前的人类智力还达不到,但变成了影像之后,这个空间就变成了一个语言符号,以被发送和被接收为目的。在观众对他作品的欣赏中,这个自我空间也完成了传递的过程。所以观众是必不可少的接受者,也是这个空间在思想中存在的基石。

说到空间,空间已经在吴成典的作品中被撕得粉碎(本次展出的“鸟巢”和“水立方”),因为这个空间不是他创造或者传递的,而是他要针对的。碎片又被他黏贴在一起,成为一个平面。在这两幅作品中,画面似乎只是作为阐述作者观念的介质而存在的。但是,如果在电脑显示器上打开其中一幅的电子版,并用全屏观看,让画面充满显示器,显示器便呈现一种电脑死机的效果。“死机了”,便是这幅作品在电脑前传递给观众的内容。这种时候,就只能“黑屏”,然后“重启”了。于是,这篇文章,也找到了一个结束的最好借口。

注1:摘自安德鲁.布华顿的引用,《存在的尺度——何云昌作品》,华艺莎艺术中心,162页
注2:摘自江铭的引用,《存在的尺度——何云昌作品》,华艺莎艺术中心,35页
注3:摘自何云昌与江铭的对话,《存在的尺度——何云昌作品》,华艺莎艺术中心,122页
注4:拉康,《讲座 第八本》,Seuil出版社1980年版,406页
注5:Maya Kovskaya,“将自然放在它所属之处”,翻译自赵欢提供的该文的电子文稿。
注6:摘自“王庆松栗宪庭对谈录”,《血色艳丽》,环碧堂画廊,2007年印刷,17页

A Discussion on Transmissions

Xu Sheng

“Black screen” signifies the interruption or failure of image transmission, but not its end. This exhibition is not to put an end on the transmission, but can discuss the various possibilities of transmissions, with black screen in the beginning, or in the end.
In 2000, Mr He Yunchang declared for the “Fuck off” as the following: “My concerns in recent years are about powerless groups and will of life. I seek enduring and fearless confrontation with reality and a poetic expression for this.”[1]This serious expression can even present a imaginary scene of humour: A person interviews Sakyamuni musing under the tree of Buddha and asks “Why are you sitting here?” -- Sakyamuni gives answer with the sentence cited above.

People may not like to hear this answer from Sakyamuni, because it can break a certain conception of religion. People may like to hear this from He Yunchang, because it satisfies their attention to protect some of their notion on art. At that time, maybe He Yunchang wasn’t determined enough of his path, his “Fuck off” was only a translation from a powerless Chinese expression “way of no cooperation”. And six years later, when the “The Rock Touring around Great Britain” was finished, he was asked “why” and his answer was “just to put the stone where it used to be.”[2] This answer has been more silent that any refuse or silence before the public. “Fuck off” has finally returned.

This offence against “explanation” shows a basic which is usually ignored: the so called “notion” of art, can only be heuristic and operational when it is used as the “Way” of analyse. The usage of all the tools of critique, is usually regarded as the goal of critique. Writing, this expression that even “comment on the absence of meaning on itself” (from the idea of George.Bataille), pushes critiques to approach the artist, approach the absurdity, the “ego” and all the truth. However, in this process where “critique spirit” becomes natural, the energy and matter carried by the work have been buried into earth and stepped on.

In “Beyond TianShan”, He Yuanchang stood against a violent explosion to recept the energy from the other side. In “Casting”, he closed himself without any exit for transmission. His creation was then not for communication and reception, but for self torture and cultivation. In “The Rock Touring around Great Britain”, he didn’t close himself any more, but experienced himself through walking. We may never know what he has experienced, only that he “felt boring and irritable in the middle” [3]. What’s certain is that in the works of He Yunchang, the experience transmitted from the action to the artist, is much more important than any interpretation or imagination out of the work. The transmission is directed towards the inner of the action, in a closed energy circle inside the artist. It can’t be received through the explanation of notion or interpretation of the work. It’s not for sharing, just like the pain of the body.

“It’s only by the instinct of destruction that we comes really in contact with some object whatever it is” [4]. In some works of He Yunchang, the “object” is himself. The relation between he and himself is coexistence in a close realm. The contact between the realm and the outer world has been perished and exists no more. Even the border is not admitted. Beside him, the only alien is himself. The audience is not in the opinion at all.

In Ma Yongfeng’s work for this exhibition, the “object” is goldfish (“The Swirl”). In this work, the artist has created a no-reason, automatic and mechanical exercise, inside which the exercise of life has been destroyed. The relation between the artist and goldfish is no longer in a close realm, but in a huge automatic background (the washing machine). In this work, the life is cruelly denied by the mechanism, while the mechanism represents the artificial (man made) inevitability (or “an order of mechanized, domesticated nature.” – [5] ). Then, through this work, the life is denied by the artificial inevitability – thus, the human being becomes heretic in front of the life. Through the connection by destruction between the artist and goldfish (life), the artist found the denying-life-part (alien) on himself, that’s the part of death. Just like when looking into the mirror in the middle night, the alien part on oneself can be felt… In this work, the relation between the artist and the audience is like the relation between the artist and the alien on himself. The artist destroys the relation between him and the audience – that’s the reason that audience feels uncomfortable before the work – he wants to escape from this relationship, but he can’t.

In the image series “The Assembly Hall” by Shao Yinong & Mu Chen in this exhibition, the relationship of “looking and being looked” exists between the stage and the auditorium. The auditorium is also being watched by the audience of this work. Probably due to the “mirror theory”, the audience can feel like on the stage. In this circle of look, the artist tries to keep every sign of the work neutral, and try to make them automatically find connection with the audience. In the process of creation, the relationship between the artist and the work has usually been denied, but denying the relation is a kind of relation, which is totally different from the destruction of relation. The artist then becomes and identifies himself with an audience who can only look at the work.。In the search for the common memories, the artist intends to turn himself into a container of all memories. This can only be intent, as the memory of every individual can’t be transmitted. However, this intent of going beyond the limit of transmission, does it only come from personal experience, or can it come from creation or musement? In the creation of “Between sky and earth”, this topic is also interesting.

This limit of transmission has been ignored in the work of Wang Qingsong, because lot of his work concentrates only on the common and huge image in the memories, for example Coca-Cola and Mcdonald. By using real people and big material in the creation of scenes, the artist has created a real, magnified space totally under his control, which is also the case in “Competition” and “Dream of Migrants” in this exhibition. Recording a temporal space by photography after creating it, the artist seems to pay more attention to his own will of creation and control than to his audience. The space itself can’t be transmitted, at least for human beings today, but it can be transmitted after turning into image, or, in his work, into the sign of language, as Wang Qingsong regards his creation as talking [6]. This sign need transmission, which is secured by the recieption of audience. The audience assures the existence of the space -- in their opinions.

Talking about space, the space has been tore apart in Wu Chengdian’s work in this exhibition (“Nest” and “Water Cube”). The space is not to be created or transmitted, but to be dealt with by the artist. In these two works, the image seems to be only a medium for the explanation of the artist’s notion. However, if the electronical version of the image is presented on the computer’s screen, and displayed by full screen, the visual effect on the screen will suggest that the computer is in a “system is busy” situation. And this is the transmission of the work while presented by a computer. In this moment, we can only chose to turn black the screen, and restart it. And this discussion has found a best excuse to conclude itself.

[1] Cited from Andrew Brewerton, “The Ability to Exist – He Yunchang Art Works”, Vanessa Art Link, P. 162.
[2] Cited from Jiang Ming, “The Ability to Exist – He Yunchang Art Works”, Vanessa Art Link, P. 35
[3] Cite from the conversation between He Yunchang and Jiang Ming, “The Ability to Exist – He Yunchang Art Works”, Vanessa Art Link, P. 122
[4] Jacques Lacan, translation from “Ce n’est que par l’instinct de destruction que nous venons vraiment au contact de quelque objet que ce soit”, “Le Seminaire, Livre VIII: Le Transfert”, Seuil, Champ freudien, 1980, P. 406.
[5] Maya Kovskaya, Putting Nature in its Place: Ma Yongfeng's Video Art and Photography, electronical version provided by Zhao Huan.
[6] “Sanguine Splendour, A talk between Li Xianting and Wang Qingsong”, Chinablue, 2007, P.17.
Jul 19
Maya Kóvskaya, PhD

Theorist David Harvey argues that the condition of post-modernity can be best understood in terms of its expression in the dramatic reorganization of spatio-temporal relations and fragmentation. "Space-time compression," refers to the process by which distances are functionally shorted by the temporal accelerations of social and economic processes made possible by new technologies, particularly those of information and communication. As a result of this condition, increasingly, we live in turbulent, rapidly changing, often bewildering world, where old roles and ways of being no longer function to provide stability and old unifying myths no longer condense our complex realities in convincing ways. In these fragmented times, now more than ever, we need an art that offers not only a mirror in which to see the perplexing and polyvalent status quo, but also transforms our understandings of ourselves, giving us new ways to visualize who we are and can be. Explorations of the lived quotidian connections between the social and the individual, the macro and the micro, and the global and the local, are the sorts of inquiries that characterize the most important contemporary art in today’s China.

Much ado has been made in recent years about trendy auction house darlings such as Big Head oil paintings that range from the "Cynical Realism" and "Political Pop" of the 1990s and the tacky cartoonish images of drooling cutesy girls and exaggerated, stylized icons that facilitate commercial branding strategies for galleries and artists alike. Critics in China have also often made their names by coining catchy labels for so-called art movements or trends, such as Cartoon Generation, Gaudy Art, Hurt Art, as well as those named above. Indeed, the Chinese contemporary art forms most familiar to Westerners are the genres such as that often consciously manipulate foreigners' desire for a "sexy" Chinese art that hints at disaffectation, using the same tired Cultural Revolution imagery, pretty exoticized "Oriental Girls," and slick, stylized figures, stock symbols and "big heads" ad nauseam. Yet this sort of iconography fails to offer critical optics for understanding the human condition, at best reflecting vulgar contemporary realities rather than critiquing and questioning them.

Offering an alternative to the easy labels and empty categories, the most relevant and interesting art in China today scrutinizes the complex, fragmented and multifaceted nature of contemporary China as the nation and its people undergo profound transformation. The art works presented in the exhibition Fade to Black (黑屏) reject simple 1+1 visual slogans and easy formulas. They were selected not only for their visual and aesthetic appeal, but also for their breadth and scope. Long after yesterday's fads have given way to tomorrow's trends, it will be the rich and varied works that speak to the fragmentation and disorientating predicaments of our time will have lasting value and relevance. Works that have the power to illuminate facets of the human condition, giving us visual and conceptual tools for understanding not just China as a nation, but also for interrogating the place of us human beings ourselves in this world of rapid and destabilizing transmutation, are the works that will ultimately last and matter.

Through works by He Yunchang, Ma Yongfeng, Shao Yinong & Mu Chen, Wu Chengdian, and Wang Qingsong, Fade to Black rejecting neat labels, pat answers and gimcrack gimmicks in favor of complexity, richness and diversity in this era of transnational flows of people, culture and capital, localized globalization, and so-called "modernization.”

He Yunchang

One major form of fragmentation from which we are suffering is the rupture of our relationship to nature. He Yunchang's (Ah Chang) performance art work and performance photography, take meditations on self-making through our engagement with the nature or humanly made constructions to extremes. While many have interpreted his works to be exercises in corporeal endurance, the more powerful aspect of his work involves his joyful acts of will in the world. Combining aspects of Quixotic struggle to "fight the unbeatable foe," he grapples with our nature and the limits of our powers, and expresses a joie de vive and life-embracing ethos in the process of attempting the impossible. Noteworthy performances include his attempts to move mountains, by literally hitching himself to the earth and pulling in the direction of its rotation for a specified time, his famous phone call to tomorrow, or attempt to out-drink a hundred people in a row.

Particularly salient are his signature pieces Beyond Tianshan (Beyond Mountains and Sky), "Dialogue with Water" and "Golden Sunshine." In the “Beyond Tianshan,” he quixotically tries to push a huge concrete structure that is in the process of exploding. In “Dialogue” he is hung upside down from a crane over the river in Yunnan. His shoulders have been sliced open and he is bleeding. He holds a knife made of ice and for twenty-some minutes he communicates with the water, seemingly imposing his will on nature by "cutting the river in half." Of course the irony and beauty is that, as the river reclaims the melting knife, we see the futility of this attempt and the resilient power of the natural world in the face of our attempts to subjugate it to our will. There is a kind of reverence for that power in this work that calls upon our humility.

In Golden Sunshine, once again hung from a crane, this time painted yellow, Ah Chang brought light to a place where it was needed—a prison wall. After painting the wall the color of sunshine, he used a mirror to deflect rays of light, as he followed the path of the sun, onto the places on the prison wall where the sun did not shine. The love in this gesture reminds us that there are ways in which our presence in the world can fundamentally alter the environment around us and make use of nature's resources without violence or exploitation.

In a recent major performance piece, A Stone’s Journey, He Yunchang engaged in a remarkable journey around the coastline of English with a stone in hand. The endurance he performed in this piece was more subtle than some of his exercises in enduring pain or confinement, and this return to a dialogue with nature, marks an important continuity in his language and expressive forms.

Ma Yongfeng

Ma Yongfeng’s work engages the condition of postmodernity by interrogating the signs we use to represent who we are to ourselves as well as our simulacra of nature. Exploring how the artifacts representing the "natural" world can tell us more about ourselves than about that putative “nature,” Ma Yongfeng's works examine our relationship to and discourses about nature. He deftly shows how the artifacts representing the "natural" world can teach us about ourselves—perhaps more so even than about nature. With his meticulous photographic and video reconstructions of a variety of scientific models—such as cells, fossils, habitats, storms and the like—he shows how our relationships to "nature" and the "natural" world play a role in constituting how we understand ourselves and our society. His video Beijing Zoological Garden uses the round-frame of traditional Chinese Song Dynasty "bird and flower" palace paintings, to both aestheticize and criticize the suffering of animals kept in captivity for human entertainment. The zoo is a site of dislocation for its inhabitants and extreme power inequality between the keepers and their animal charges. These disturbing and hypnotic pieces expose routinized, aestheticized violence and suffering, the casual objectification and wanton abuse of other lives, and reveal a sense of estranged agency, as well as hinting at the futility of resistance in our contemporary society.

By highlighting the difficulty, or even futility of resistance to processes that seem to control our lives, Ma Yongfeng’s video work, The Swirl, critiques society by indirection. Examining the apparent power of exogenous "forces" or seemingly "autonomous processes" to move us and our lives to rhythms beyond our will, he presents a disturbing scene in order to provoke us to think about the order of things, and the limits of our powers within it. The Swirl has generated controversy over its use of six live goldfish, Chinese symbols of fertility and prosperity, which are subjected to a brutal 15-minute wash cycle in an upright washing machine. The work has prompted much discussion (mainly outside of China) about the ethical implications of the callous abuse of animals in the name of art. And perhaps, inciting such controversy was part of the artist's agenda, asking us to rethink our relationships to the natural world.

In Ma Yongfeng's photography series, Origin of the Species, he photographed the fake "natural habitats" created for birds, monkeys and other animals at the zoo. These with sad spaces are either empty or house only the skeletons of their former inhabitants. The painted waterfalls on concrete (painted for whom, we might ask, but the visitors at the zoo themselves) and dry sticks that serve as branches so the birds can perch, the artist has removed all traces of the animals themselves. This artistic fiat that has emptied the cages, foregrounds the invisible hands that have built these miserable spaces, these shabby simulacra of habitats—they are our hands. These spaces were built for us, as part of the collective narratives we tell ourselves about who we are and our place in the world. By removing the animals, our true motives are presented without euphemism. Without the animals to animate these spaces with their gay colors and lively movements, the meagerness of our own representations and simulacra of nature is laid bare, and the skeletons of monkeys swinging on a tree, leave us with a chilling feeling. They could just as easily be us.


Shao Minong & Mu Chen

A way of life is irretrievably passing, as the conditions of postmodernity bring with bewildering changes. Long before people have a chance to react to these changes, to catch up, to make sense of the nature of the new world being formed around them, that world has changed once again. And so, collective memories, old ways of life, sets of roles and socially constructed identities begin to fade. Professions, identities and social roles are shaken from the solid foundations. Social and geographic mobility, along with changing economic fortunes, break down the traditional structure of family life and erode old forms of association and collective membership.

Using a wide selection of family photos, old and new, such as snapshots from home, typical studio portraits, Shao Yinong and Mu Chen create a richly nuanced, intertextual visual narrative about the vicissitudes of the family in contemporary China as it undergoes great social change. In the Red Childhood works, they offer poignant portraits of school children, their faces and attire rendered in overly bright colors. In Childhood Impressions (2001), naked, innocent children are photoshopped onto backgrounds of iconic edifices that symbolize various moments in China’s history.

In their Family Register (2000), we see the diversity and fragmentation of postmodernity, as well as the impact of space-time compression on the everyday lives and identities of lives of ordinary family members. Using the form of a traditional scroll to present the genealogy of the Shao family, the work documents over 100 members of the Shao family, set against the backdrop of the larger historical changes in Chinese society, from the Cultural Revolution to Reform and Opening, and onward to the dawn of the new millennium. These images, also powerfully explore how memory is constituted through practices that endow certain artifacts of a family’s past with condensed, sedimented meaning. Images become compact visual points of entry into complex lives and relationships, and these images both draw us in to certain narratives as well as lead us away from others, that is, the serve the function of both revealing and concealing simultaneously. In these and many of their other images, the juxtaposition of the old and the new, the traditional and the modern, functions to show how the passage of time leaves its marks on the lives of ordinary people. Unlike the static images, that freeze a single moment in time and elevate that image to the status of representation of some aspect of that a human life, real, actual lives are always in flux, under way and in transit.

In a different way, their Assembly Hall series documents a similar set of changes at a time when these once central spaces have lost their original power and significance, victims of the changing times. By photographing these iconic meeting places where so much history has taken place—from the grandiose, stirring spaces resounding with the propaganda of various eras and campaigns, to sites of brutal and humiliating struggle sessions—long after the fact, we see in stark relief how out of sync with the tenor of our times these spaces and their activities now seem, making them icons of the historical dislocations and ruptures that characterize this postmodern era.

Wang Qingsong

Wang Qingsong examines the condition of postmodernity in his dramatic and restaging of significant cultural phenomena, and his time-lapse video of urbanization in progress. The conceptual genealogy in Wang Qingsong’s work is evident from his first modest explorations that used simple Photoshop techniques to surround various personae he play with icons of capitalist consumer culture. In his early works, Coke cans formed the bars of a prison, the McDonald's logo a brand on his chest while he mediated. This consistent grounding in the visual vernacular of local Chinese realities as they undergo sometimes bizarre permutations permeates his work through the present. He mediates on a Chinese cabbage, Western products—Marlboro cigarettes, CDs, cell phones, Kodak film—are grasped in his multiple arms like a consumerist Bodhisattva on a globalized shopping spree, with dollars alongside RMB and the Chinese flag fluttering above.

More than simply bemoaning Western cultural imperialism, Wang Qingsong’s optic deconstructs China's complicity in the fraught construction of its superficial new "face." In Follow Me (2003), which broke records at Sotheby's last year, Wang Qingsong poses as a typical English teacher inculcating his students with nationalist Chinglish embodied in the phrase on his blackboard: "Let China walks towards the world! Let the world learns about China!" Disguising himself in the trappings of a variety of prevalent social roles—consumer, beggar, press attaché, pedicab driver hauling a fat white man, wounded soldier crawling through barbed wire to storm a hill crowned with a huge McDonald's sign—he signifies the active agency of Chinese in assimilating outside culture, instead of treating China as a passive victim.

His latest works—elegant, elaborate, staged productions, are a darker take on contemporary cultural realities with greater complexity and ambiguity. In Dream of Migrant (2005), Wang Qingsong's face is hidden behind the camera, but the rich array of local actors present his vision of the ramshackle life of China's millions of migrants. In The Glory of Hope (2007), his meditation on China's national "face," embodied in its hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games, does not require us to see the artist's face at all: we see him from the back, hobbled on crutches alongside his family, mired together in mud trying to catch a glimpse of the sun (rising or setting it's hard to tell) on the horizon. In the foreground, the Olympic Rings are etched in the mud, oozing with dank water.

In Wang Qingsong’s recent foray into video art, he captures the pith of China’s overnight transformation in Skyscraper (2008). Morning dawns on a sub-urban, sub-rural area in China, and we watch blue sky grow marred by billowing smoke, coiling in puffs from the smokestacks of low, ramshackle pingfang dwellings. The massive cloud that converges in the firmament above is a hulking harbinger of China’s impending change. Over the course of the next five minutes or so, we watch the landscape transformed as the scaffolding for a gargantuan skyscraper erupts from the earth and thrusts its way towards the heavens—instantiating the logic of postmodern space-time compression in the process. A building of massive proportions appears before our eyes as if overnight, followed by jubilant fireworks, illuminating the darkness to the tune of Silent Night, sung in a syrupy Mandarin. In this work, Wang Qingsong offers this singular edifice as an icon of the larger process of urban construction and the fireworks frame the piece as a celebrated feat of nation-building, in which the dominant paradigm of modernity qua urbanism is unquestioned and feted with much fanfare as a meaningful sign that China’s time has arrived.

Wu Chengdian

Since the onset of Reform and Opening, China’s struggle to construct a viable modernity has been intimately bound up with the dual processes of industrialization and urbanization. The city is a site of desire, and a space in which the vastness of its scope offers an anonymous stage upon which people can remake their identities. At the same time, the postmodern city is also a site of dislocation and alienation. The same conditions that make it possible to disappear into the enormous grid and engage in flexible strategies of self-making, also make it difficult to find one’s bearings, and to know one’s place in the ever-shifting world that is constantly undergoing profound shocks and transformation. Old routines, roles and rules are all thrown into question, and while this is liberating for some, it is also terrifying and fraught with the possibility of failure as well. Even as the city, as an idea is invested with the semantic weight of the desires that its sojourners and inhabitants bring to it, it is also an unyielding, unforgiving behemoth that sprawls beyond the control of any individual. Thus the city and its signifiers are fraught with multiple meanings. Among the most prevalent signifiers of urban modernity, massive “modern” buildings play an extraordinary role in the signification of the city and all that, for which the city has come to stand.

Wu Chengdian’s recent photography works address these conditions of postmodernity in a number of ways. The most salient way his work engages this discourse and this discourse, likewise, informs his creative language is in his use of urban structures in works that span a variety of media.

In one recent series, Wu Chengdian selected a number of iconic structures in Beijing, which represent the idea of the New Beijing. The concept of the New Beijing came into currency after China was awarded the privilege of hosting the 2008 Olympics. In honor of that privilege, China invested untold sums of capital and expended vast human resources in the service of constructing a hypermodern cityscape to give the nation the ultimate “face” when Beijing became the focal point of the international attention during the Olympic Games in 2008. Buildings such as the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, the Aquatic Cube, came to symbolize the officially championed aspirations of the nation—to be affluent, powerful, impressive and seen as cutting edge by the rest of the world. Wu Chengdian’s photography cleverly deconstructs these symbolic structures by refusing to grant them a totalizing presence that transcends discrete perspective. Instead of the sort of portraits that are used to accentuate and affirm the importance of an iconic structure or edifice, he composes a whole image out of hundreds upon hundreds of fragments. Each photograph that joins the larger tableau represents a finite perspective on the structure. This technique serves to cut these gargantuan structures down to size, by deconstructing their status in contemporary Chinese society. Wu Chengdian does the same with images taken from IKEA, which has come to signify the dream of bourgeois domesticity in China.

In his site-specific installation work for Fade to Black, Wu Chengdian explores the theme of alienation within the city, the commodification of sex and desire, as well as the superficial values of the current era. Using life-sized plastic blow-up dolly sex toys, he stages scenes of estrangement and alienation. The image of a blow-up sex doll curled in a ragged hole in the wall, back facing the world outside, leaves a poignant reminder of the human damage that the city and urban modernity can inflict.

Conclusion

Chinese contemporary art has reached a turning point, bringing this diverse generation of Chinese contemporary art to the international stage and acclaim. As rapid urbanization and globalization propel China into a state of postmodern flux, the experiences of the new era are more fragmented and diverse than ever before and the most relevant and progressive art coming out of China reflects and comments upon the diverse and fragmented conditions of postmodernity in ways that illuminate the human condition for us all.
Jul 18
文/迈涯博士(Maya Kóvskaya, PhD)

理论家大卫•哈维(David Harvey)主张,后现代环境只有根据其在时空关系戏剧化重组和分裂中的表现才能得到充分理解。“时空压缩”指的是距离因为新技术,特别是信息和通讯技术而造成的社会和经济过程在时间上的加速度而被大大缩短了。作为这一状况的结果,我们越发生活在躁动而飞速变化、往往令人眼花缭乱的世界里,旧的生存角色和方式已无法再提供稳定,旧有的一统神话也无法再以可信的方式让我们复杂的现实社会变得简单。在这些支离破碎的时光中,我们现在比以前任何时候都需要一种艺术:它不仅提供了一面镜子,让我们看到令人困惑而多重的现状,而且改变了我们对自身的理解,赋予我们新的方法,去设想我们究竟是谁,可能成为什么。探寻社会与个体、微观与宏观以及全球与地方之间活生生的寻常联系,是今天中国最重要的当代艺术所特有的一种质问。

近年来,围绕时髦拍卖行的宠儿一直忙碌异常,例如1990年代“玩世写实主义”和“政治波普”的大头油画、扭捏作态的少女一类低俗卡通形象以及夸张而程式化的人物等等,促进了画廊以及艺术家们的商业品牌战略。中国的批评家也往往因为给所谓艺术运动或趋势贴上朗朗上口的标签而打出自己的名气,例如“卡通一代”、“艳俗艺术”、“伤害艺术”以及前述的各种趋向。的确,最为西方人所熟知的中国当代艺术形式,其实不过是那种往往有意迎合外国人对所谓“时髦”中国艺术的渴望的风格体裁,它们利用过时的文革形象、漂亮醒目的“东方女郎”以及平庸而程式化人物形象、现成符号和令人作呕的“大头”,从而暗示出某种不满。然而,对于理解人类的现状,充分反映庸俗的当代现实而不是批判和质疑而言,这种造像术无法提供关键的视角。

今天中国最具实质性的、最有趣的艺术作品,为那种随意贴上的标签和空洞的分类提供了一种另类抉择;它们审视当代中国整个国家和人民在经历巨大变革的过程中复杂、支离破碎和多重的本质。本次《黑屏》展中的艺术作品,摒绝了简单的一加一式的视觉口号和信手拈来的公式。选择这些作品,不仅是因为它们的视觉和审美感染力,还因为它们的恢宏视野。在昨天的一时流行已让位给明天的潮流之后,只有那些说出我们时代的支离破碎以及迷境的丰富多样的作品,才具有永久的价值和重要意义。那些作品能够阐明人类现状的方方面面,为我们提供视觉和观念的工具,使我们不仅理解作为一个国家的中国,而且也探寻人类在这个快速而不稳定地变化的世界中所处的地位,这样的作品最终才将是持久而重要的。

在这个人口、文化和资本跨国流动、本地化全球化以及所谓“现代化”的时代里,《黑屏》展通过何云昌、马永峰、邵逸农与幕辰、吴承典和王庆松的作品,摒弃了简单的标签、恰到好处的解答和华而不实的噱头,崇尚复杂性、丰富性与多样性。

何云昌

我们不幸遭遇的一种主要的支离破碎,就是我们同自然之间关系的割裂。何云昌(阿昌)的行为艺术作品和行为艺术摄影,将那种通过我们融入自然或人造构筑物而对自为所作的思索进行到极致。尽管很多人解释说,他的作品是在运用人类身体的忍耐力,但是他的作品最有力的一面,恰是他在这个世界上快乐的意动。他结合了唐吉诃德式的“对抗一个无法击败的敌人”的奋争,与我们的天性以及我们能力的局限较力,在尝试不可能之事的过程中,表现出生活的乐趣以及拥抱生命的性格来。他的一些重要的行为作品包括:试图移山(实际上是将自己捆在地上,按地球自转方向拉扯一段时间),最著名的预约明天,或者是试图击败站成一排的一百个人。

其中尤为突出的是他的经典之作《天山外》、《与水对话》和《金色阳光》。在《天山外》中,他不切实际地试图推动一座正在爆炸的水泥构筑物。而在《与水对话》中,他从一台吊车上倒吊在云南的一条河上。他的双臂被切开两道口子,一直在留着血。他抓着一只用冰制成的刀,与水交流了二十多分钟,似乎通过“一刀将河水分为两半”而把自己的意志强加给大自然。的确,具有讽刺意味和美感的是,当河水回收了溶化的冰刀时,我们看到了这一尝试的无效,以及大自然在面对我们努力要让它降服于我们的意志时那种不屈不挠的力量。在这件唤起我们自卑感的作品中,其实有着对这一力量的某种敬畏。

在《金色阳光》中,他再一次从吊车上吊起来,浑身涂满了黄色油漆,为一个需要阳光的地方——监狱的墙——带去阳光。在为墙面涂上了阳光的颜色后,他用一面镜子折射光线,沿着太阳的轨迹,将光线投射到狱墙上阳光照不到的地方。这一姿态让我们想到了,我们可以用很多种方式存在于这个世界上,能够从根本上改善了周遭环境,不必暴力盘剥般地利用自然资源。

在最近的一个大型行为艺术作品《石头英国漫游记》中,何云昌手拿一块石头,开始了不同寻常的环英国海岸线之旅。他在这件作品中演绎出的那种耐力,比在那些忍受痛苦或禁闭的作品中更加微妙,而这又回归到与自然的对话中,标志着他的语言和表现形式的一个重要延续。

马永峰

通过质询我们用于向自己表明我们是谁以及我们对大自然的表现和模仿的符号,马永峰的作品着眼于后现代的现状。他探索了代表“自然”世界的人造器物如何能够告诉我们更多关于我们自己而非那一假定的“自然”,审视我们与自然的关系以及有关自然的话语。他驾轻就熟地展示了代表“自然”世界的器物何以能教给我们关乎我们自己——也许多过关乎自然。他用一丝不苟的摄影和录像手法重建种种科学模型——比如细胞、化石、栖息地、暴风雨等等——指出了我们同“大自然”以及“自然”世界之间的关系如何在构建我们对自身及社会的理解中发挥作用。他的录像作品《北京动物园》采用了中国宋代传统宫廷花鸟画的圆形画面,既为那些为人类的娱乐而遭囚禁的动物们所遭受的痛苦赋予美感,同时也提出了批判。由于其中的居住者以及饲养员与其饲养的动物之间权力的极端不平等,动物园成为一个错位的场所。这些令人不安、具有催眠作用的作品,揭示了常规化的、具有美感的暴力和痛苦,对其他生命的随意对象化和肆意滥用,显示出一种疏远隔绝的力量,同时也暗示了在我们当代社会中的抵抗是无效的。

马永峰突出强调了这一困境,甚至是抵御看似主宰我们生活的诸多进程的毫无效用,其录像作品《旋涡》简洁地批判了社会。他审视了将我们和我们的生活推向超出我们自身意志之外的节奏的那种外力或表面上似乎“自主过程”的明显强力,他展现了一个令人不安的场景,以便激发我们思考万物的秩序,以及我们自身的力量在其中的局限。《旋涡》因为动用了六条活金鱼而引起了争议,因为金鱼在中国是丰饶兴旺的象征,却在一个立式洗衣机里受到十五分钟的残忍洗涤。这部作品已引发了有关以艺术的名义无情地滥用动物的道德问题大讨论(主要是在国外)。也许煽动起这样的争议恰恰是艺术家刻意安排的一部分,要求我们重新思索我们与自然世界的关系。

在马永峰的摄影系列作品《物种起源》中,他拍摄了公园里为鸟类、猴子以及其他动物营造的假“自然栖息地”。这些略显凄凉的空间要么是空的,要么仅仅收藏着先前居住者的骨架。画在水泥上的瀑布(我们也许会问,除了动物园里的游客,这又是画给谁的呢)以及充当树杈以便鸟儿栖息的枯枝,艺术家清除了动物的一切痕迹。他腾空了笼子,将建造这些低劣空间、这些自然栖息地的拙劣仿制品的那双看不见的手摆在突出的位置上——其实那是我们自己的双手。这些空间其实是为我们自己而造,是我们告诉自己究竟是谁以及我们在这世界上占据何种地位的集体叙事的组成部分。将动物彻底清除出去,我们自己真正的动机便被毫不婉转地昭示出来。没有动物以自己欢快的色彩和充满生机的活动为这些空间赋予活力,我们自己对大自然的表现和拙劣模仿是多么苍白无力,猴子的骨架在一棵树上摇摆,给我们留下了一种可怖的感觉。它们可能多半就是我们。


邵逸农和慕晨

随着后现代环境带来了令人困惑的变化,一种生活方式无可挽回地成为了过去。早在人们有机会对这些变化作出反应,迎头赶上,弄懂周遭形成的新世界的本质之前,这个世界已再一次改变了。所以,集体的记忆、旧的生活方式、种种角色以及由社会所构建的身份,一一开始消失。职业、身份和社会角色的稳固根基被撼动了。社会和地理意义上的流动性,连同不断变化的经济命运,打破了传统家庭生活的结构,侵蚀了旧式的社会交往和集体从属关系。

利用广泛挑选的家庭照,无论新旧,例如家庭快照和典型的影室肖像,邵逸农和慕晨创造出一种在经历了巨大社会变革的中国社会里当代家庭变迁的差别细微、具有互文性的视觉叙事。在《红色童年》中,他们展示了学生们生动的肖像,他们的面孔和服装都被渲染了一层过分鲜亮的色彩。在《童年留影》(2001年)中,赤裸而天真的儿童用软件处理到象征中国历史上不同时期的标志性建筑物背景上。

在《家族图谱》(2000年)中,我们看到后现代的多样性和支离破碎,以及时空压缩对于日常生活和普通家庭成员生活的个性特征造成的影响。作品采用了传统卷轴形式,再现了邵氏家族图谱,记录了一百多位邵氏家族成员,将其置于中国社会历史大变革的背景之下,从文化大革命到改革开放,进而到新千年破晓。同时这些影像还通过为一个家庭过去的物品赋予浓缩沉淀的含义这一做法,从而有效地探讨了记忆是如何组成的。影像成为进入复杂生活和关系的浓缩了的视觉起点,而且这些影像既为我们勾勒了某些叙事,又带我们远离了他人,也就是说,同时充当了揭示和掩盖的职能。在这些以及他们的其他许多影像中,新与旧、传统与现代并置在一起,作用在于指出时光的流逝如何在普通人的生活中留下印记。与那种将时间的某一瞬间凝固下来,将这一影像提高到表现人类生活某些方面的高度上来的静态影像不同,现实生活总是不断变化的,始终不断地变化。

他们的《大礼堂》系列则从一个不同的侧面,记录了一系列类似的变化:这些过去的核心空间现在已经失去其原有的力量和意义,成了时间流逝的牺牲品。通过拍摄这些具有标志性的会议场所——毕竟重大历史事件曾在这里发生过——从周围满是各个时代、不同运动的宣传标语的壮怀激烈的空间,到野蛮而令人羞辱的批斗会现场——事实上,我们全然轻松地看到这些空间和其中的活动现在看起来与我们时代的潮流已无法同步,使它们成为标志这一后现代时代的历史混乱和支离破碎的标志。

王庆松

王庆松以其对重大文化现象进行戏剧化重演的手法以及慢速拍摄的城市化进程的录像作品,审视着后现代的环境。王庆松作品的观念体系,显然来自他最初朴实的探索,运用简单的Photoshop技巧来围绕不同人物,从而把玩资本主义消费文化的符号标志。在他的早期作品里,可口可乐罐构成了监狱的栅墙,在他冥想的时候,麦当劳标志成为他胸前的烙印。这一切都始终一贯地扎根于中国当地现实的视觉话语,而这些话语有时经历了怪诞的重新改造,遍布在他至今为止的作品中。他在一棵中国圆白菜上冥想,而西方的产品——万宝路香烟、CD、手提电话、柯达胶卷——被牢牢抓在他众多的手掌中,就像是参加全球化购物狂欢一位菩萨消费者,人民币旁边有美元,上面飘扬着中国的旗帜。

不仅仅是为西方文化帝国主义而不满,王庆松还从视觉上解构了中国在构建其外表上的“新面孔”过程中的共谋关系。在去年打破苏富比拍卖记录的《跟我学》(2003年)中,王庆松扮演了一位具有代表性的英语老师,将黑板上的短语所体现出来的那种民族主义式的中式英语灌输给学生:“让中国走向世界!让世界了解中国”。他披上种种流行的社会角色的外衣——消费者、乞丐、新闻专员、搭载一位胖白人的三轮车夫、一位匍匐穿越铁丝网并试图进入到处满是巨大麦当劳标志的山坡的伤兵——他揭示了中国人消化外来文化的能力,而不是将中国视为一个被动的牺牲品。

他的最新作品——简洁而精心制作的摆拍作品——是在当代文化现实中呈现出来的一片黑暗,错综复杂,扑朔迷离。在《盲流梦》(2005年)中,王庆松的面孔隐藏在照相机后,单是当地演员富庶的穿着却表现了他眼中中国千百万盲流们苦不堪言的生活。在《希望之光》(2007年)中,他思考了中国整个国家的“面孔”,在其承办2008年奥运会上具体体现出来,并非要求我们去看艺术家的面孔:我们从背后看他,倚着家人蹒跚而行,深陷在泥沼中试图看见地平线上的一缕阳光(很难分辨出太阳究竟是升起还是落下)。前景中,奥运五环在泥沼中被侵蚀,浸泡在阴冷的水里。

目前,王庆松又开始涉足录像艺术,在《摩天大楼》(2008年)中,捕捉到中国一夜之间变化的精髓所在。在中国的一个城乡结合部,天色刚刚开始破晓,我们看到蓝色的天空中渐渐被低矮破旧的平房的烟囱里喷涌而出浓烟污损了。汇聚在天空中的大朵白云成为中国即将发生的变化的拙劣先兆。接下来的五分钟时间里,我们看到随着摩天大楼的脚手架在地上树起,耸入云端,这片风景开始变化了——在这一过程中示范了后现代时空压缩的逻辑。一座气势宏伟的建筑物仿佛一夜之间出现在我们眼前,紧接着是喜庆的焰火,伴随着用甜美的普通话演唱的《平安夜》的旋律,照亮了黑暗。在这部作品中,王庆松将这座建筑当作是城市建设进程的标志,而焰火则象征了国家建设的喜庆表演,以都市生活为表现的现代性的主导范式不再有任何疑问,用一首短曲来表示致敬,这成为一个意味深长的符号,标志着中国时代已经到来了。

吴承典

自改革开放开始以来,中国构建切实可行的现代性的努力一直与工业化和城市化这个双重进程息息相关。城市是一个充满欲望的场域,是一个其范围之大提供了无名舞台的空间,人们在这里可以重新改造其身份。与此同时,后现代城市也是一个混乱和疏离的所在。同样的状况使得它能够消失在巨大的网格中并采取灵活的自为策略,也使得它很难辨明方向,知道一个人在不断变化的世界里究竟出于什么位置,而整个世界不断地在经历着深层次的冲击和变革。旧的惯例、角色和规则都受到质疑,而这对某些人来说是一种解放,同时也是极为可怕的,充满了失败的危险。就像城市一样,一种观念被赋予了其居住者给它带来的欲望的语义负担,也是一个不受任何个体摆布的坚硬而不可妥协的庞然大物。因此,城市及其所指便充满了多重的意义。在城市现代性最盛行的所指当中,巨大的“现代”建筑在城市的意义当中扮演着非比寻常的作用,而城市也成为其代表。

吴承典最新的摄影作品,以种种手法揭示了后现代的现状。他的作品以最为突出的手法触及到这一话语,而这一话语也同样为他的创造性语言赋予了活力,这种手法就是在跨越不同媒介的作品当中运用了城市的整体结构。

在最近的一个系列当中,吴承典选择了北京大量的标志性建筑,这些建筑代表了新北京的概念。新北京的概念在中国能够流行起来,归功于2008年奥运会的承办权。为了向这一特殊待遇表示敬意,中国投入了无数资金,花费了巨大的人力资源,用以建设高度现代化的城市景观,在2008年奥运会举办期间,当北京成为国际关注的焦点时,为这个国家最终赢得在国际上的“面子”。鸟巢、水立方等建筑,象征了官方所拥护的一种国家愿望——那就是变得富强、给人印象深刻,被其它国家视为高度发达。吴承典的摄影作品巧妙地解构了这些象征性的建筑物,拒绝赋予它们超越不连续视角的完整外观。他组成一幅完整影像的并不是那种过去用于强调和肯定一座标志性建筑的重要意义的肖像,而是用数百张片断的影像。每张照片连接着更大的舞台,代表了这个建筑物上一个有限的视角。这种技巧用于对这些高大建筑物进行切割,解构它们在中国当代社会中的地位。吴承典用同样的手法处理在宜家家居拍摄的影像,这里代表着中国资产阶级家庭生活的梦想。

在为《黑屏》制作的特定场地装置作品中,吴承典探索了城市中疏远的主题,性与欲望的商品化,以及当下时代肤浅的价值观。他运用真人大小的塑料吹气玩具娃娃,演绎出疏远和疏离的场景。一只充气玩具的影像蜷缩在墙上一个凹凸不平的空洞中,回望着外面的世界,令人心酸地想到城市和都市现代化可能强加给人类的伤害。

结论

中国当代艺术已经达到了一个转折点,将这一代全然不同的中国当代艺术带入到国际舞台上,并广为人们所赞誉。随着飞速的城市化和全球化推动中国进入到一种后现代的不稳定状态,新时代的体验更加支离破碎,也比以往更成多样化,来自中国的最重要的、不断进步的艺术作品,以种种为我们所有人阐释了人类现状的手法反映并注解了后现代多样化的、支离破碎的状况。
Jul 14
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参展艺术家:何云昌、马永峰、邵译农&慕辰、王庆松、吴承典
策展人:赵欢
学术主持:迈涯
酒会时间:7月18日下午14:00
研讨会:7月18日下午16:00
展览时间:7月18日—8月28日
主办机构:成都廊桥当代艺术空间
展出地点:成都市草堂路48号,成都廊桥当代艺术空间


Artists: He Yunchang、Ma Yongfeng、Shao Yinong & Mu Chen、Wang Qingsong、Wu Chengdian
Curator: Zhao Huan
Academic Chair: Maya Kóvskaya
Opening Cocktail: July 18th 14:00
Proseminar: July 18th 16:00
Duration: July 18th —August 28th
Organizer: re-C art space
Address: No.48 Caotang Road, Chengdu, re-C art space


黑屏

赵欢

黑屏:电脑出厂,最原始的状态,当病毒侵蚀,系统崩溃,结果也是黑屏,是因果也是循环.。

屏幕内的另一个世界,飞速发展,五光十色,甚至超越现实的边界,当大家越发习惯于认为那个五光十色的世界才是正常的,也渐渐忘记最初世界就是黑与白。一切的发展都不会单独存在,病毒也成为了另一种必然。

病毒:一些为了反对而反对的生产成果。不管是虚拟的还是现实的世界,总存在着反对。不管为着什么,反对自己反对别人,为了反对而反对。他们就成了病毒.虽然因为有漏洞才有病毒,但漏洞是体制造成的,可这些病毒的存在虽然反对了体制的漏洞,同时也损害了更多本来就是漏洞的受害者。病毒本能的发现这些漏洞,攻击这些漏洞,然而漏洞的存在本来就是必然的.攻击了漏洞的最终结果,是漏洞消失了,但存在漏洞的系统本身也崩溃了.

系统崩溃的最终结果,就是黑屏,一切都消失了。

一切的存在都是必然,就好像我们生活的社会一样。系统就是体系,漏洞是必然,黑客是反对,受害的用户就是那绝大多数无辜的人。没有哪个社会体系是没有漏洞的,既然有了漏洞就自然有反对的声音。没有反对的声音,漏洞就不会被改变,社会就不会进步。但进步的代价就是黑屏,在绝大多数人感受到威胁的时候,才会改变,体系本身才会发生变化。所以存在、反对、破坏、利益冲突、改变,就变成了一个周而复始的循环。而在这一切里,所有都源于黑屏,也最终会终结于此。
开始既是结束……
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