2018 new year 2019 4716个中国新年 a.pureapparat.us Aaron Krach A Cartography of Fantasia: An Interface for Post-speculation Landscapes Adriana Martínez Adrian Mangel adrien delestre Aita Sulser Alan Warburton Alchemist Alden Copley Alex Compton Alex Heine Alfred Hitchcock algorithm composition algorithmically-neglected content Ambassadors of Faust American Artist Amy Lockhart anamorphic skull Anamorphosis Andrew Sapala animation Annapurna Kumar Anthony TK Yung Aojie Lin architect archive Archiving fun Aria Dean ArtAsiaPacific art handler art historian artist collective artistic treasures art teacher Athena Rigas Austin Swearengin Banyi Huang basement of everyday ephemera Beijing Club beyond the avatar Bing Bin black autodidacticism Blake Hiltunen Blow Job bonfire of time book launch party boost to overcome breakfast in taipei Bruno Latour buddha-like people buddha machine buddhism chantings replay machine bài mã tóu bài mǎ tou 拜碼頭 Cali Kurlan Canton Gallery Cao Shu Cao Zilin carry-on/to-go buddhist practice Cartography Of Fantasia cat cave China economy Chinese Animal Idioms Chinese folk religious site in NYC Chinese ideological adaption of Karl Marx Chinese psychic twin Christine Love Clapback CoBo Social collaborative communal identity conditions of representations contemporary abstraction Cui Shaohan cultural relic curator Damien Zhang dance Daniel Cerrejón Danish Arts Foundation Darshana Javemanne Dentist design diagram of 24 dogs digital formalism digital life digital object dignity distorted projection Divinatory Cards dog-shit don't panic Don Porcaro Dr. Johann Georg Faust Durable Pixels early computing technology eat healthier Edge of Frame education Edwin Rostron elon musk's imagination Elysa Batista empathy erotic et.alia Everything Included exchange experimental education experimental game Feel the Magic: XY/XX feng shui figuring interfaces fixed meaning of objects food football free freedom Funa Ye future resurrects past Gabby Madden gallerist gallery director Game game art gameplay Gao Yuan Geng Jianyi Gently Weeps George Harrison getting rich Giant Sparrow Giovanna Olmos good luck Growing Pebbles Haleigh Nickerson Hans Holbein der Jüngere Hao Ni happy new year Heaven Ender Hebe Tien He Huang Here For The Right Reasons home school HOT SWEET TOFU housing Howie Chen Huang Jingying Huang Jingyuan Hyun Cho Ian Costello Ian Gouldstone Ingrid Burrington innovative education Interface For Post-Speculation Landscapes international lover IN THE SHADE BUT NOT THE SHADOW Jaakko Pallasvuo Jake Goelman Jakob Steensen James Bridle Jefferey D'Alessandro Jeffrey D'Alessandro jerk off Jessica Saldana Jeweler Jing Yu Jiwon Choi Job Creator Jodie Mack Jonathan Gillie Jose Maria Rocha Jouissance Juan Sebastían Pelaez Juchuan Li Juliana Echavarria Juliet Johnstone Justin Xie Kaini Zhou kaleidoscope Katie Fuller Katy Mccarthy keep calm and carry on Kelsey Lynn Ken Goshen Kerim Zapsu Kill Kim Laughton Kitty Shenlin Mai kung hey fat choy Kurt Woerpel labor Ladykiller in a Bind Laika landscape Lan Xu Larry Cuba Legends in Human World Less/Love Lihsin Tsai Lilli Carré Li Ming Linda Frank Lin Shengkai Li Qi Li Ran Lisa McCleary LITTLE SOUND look in the rifts Lorenzo Bueno LOVE Love Conquers All Games Love Yourself Lucia Kempkes LUCK Ludic Homunculus Lunar New Year made on earth by humans Mahayana Temple Buddhist Association mah jong mannerism manuel arturo abreu Margaret Friedman Mariel Rolwing Montes Marina Claire Marina Molarsky-Beck marketplace master of art and teaching meme age MIAMI Practicas Contemporaneas middle class Midnight Sale Milosz Minecraft Miriam Weeks modern china anthem modern Chinese moment of capture moment of identification Mountain River Jump! Mount Tai Temple Muscle Relaxant mutual support Natalia Stuyk Natasha Le Sourd net-worth Newspaper Rock Newsstand nimbus No Love Lost nonhierarchical pedagogy Notes on Blaccelerationism Not Your Swimming Guide NSFW NSFWare O2O Observation Society Olufunmilayo Aderiyike Bright online to offline ontologies of disappearance Open Call open work station original handicraft painting Pandemic PARALLAX: FATA MORGANA PARALLAX: MORGANA parallel Parsons Fine Art PAST Pastiche Lumumba Peace pebbles pedagogy personal validation Pierre Corbinais piggy Pill pity party platform Plays a rusted trombone pool party Pornhub post-death-of-painting psychic Publication Publishing question of emancipation question of representation Rafia Santana Randian Reality Check REALITY CHECK  鬥法 Rebecca Ou rediscover reified images remember thou shalt die remote site of meditation representation of natural process researcher retro-handicraft ritual Robert Yang roll the dice roulette Rui Lin Russian Cosmism Ryota Sato Sabrina Ratté Sailor Moon Sam Gurry Sam Lavigne Sarah Schulman Sareh Imani Luma Jasim SCNewsstand screening sculptor sculpture Secret Little Haven self-conscious painting mannerism self-worth services Shan Huang Shar Pei Shih-Yu Hsu Shunran Xue Shuyi Cao sidony o’neal Sigmund Freud significance of novelty Siqiao Lu Site After Sight SLEEPCENTER Newsstand SLEEPCENTER Venue Hire Sleep Exchange Slumber Party Sofia Quirno Southern Spain Soviet Union space SpaceX spontaneous education program Standard Practice stones stray dog in space Sujung Chang Summer Sessions sunday school Sunny Side Up Sun Wenhao tall foul man Tang Chao Tarot Cards by Mountain River Jump! Tega Brain & Surya Mattu Temple of Mount Tai Tesla Roadster The Ambassadors The Ambassadors of Faust The Bachelor The Ball Is Round The Black Critique the dragon's 9 sons The First Chinese Baptist Church the pure and empty form of death The Tearoom the vernacular digital Thief Tianyu Qiu time collapse Tim Wulff to be a female artist tofu transdisciplinary trendy martyr True Buddha Temple Chinatown Trump Trump Tower unbag Under the Stones value of painting vernacular digital Vertigo Victoria Dominowski video hall virtual fireworks virtual world visual illusion visual logics Wanton Boys WarioWare Wavejumper Wei Xiaoguang Weiyi Li Wenxin Zhang Weston Frazor We‘re Hir We’re Queer What Remains of Edith Finch William Lee wishe you all happy Wojciech Bąkowski Wong Tai Sin Temple of New York World Buddhist Center Wuhan Wuhan Club Wu Xing Xin Wang Xinyi Ren Xuan Ye Yang Beichen Yang Zi year 4716 year of the dog young girl dragon dance Yue Sun Zheng Guogu Zhou Yi Zhu Changquan Zoe Meng Jiang Ánima Correa ❣️ 中国现代社会 主旋律 二郎神 佛系 俄罗斯宇宙主义 初一 初七 初三 初九 初五 初八 初六 初十 初四 卡牌占卜 叶甫纳 叶轩 吉祥 周易 和平 和谐 哮天犬 唐潮 四个春天 国际爱人 地球产,人类造 塔罗牌 太空 孙文浩 宾冰 少女龙舞 山河跳! 崔绍翰 己亥猪年团拜 廿四犬图 张文心 录像厅 徐蓝 念佛机 惨淡 感觉化倾向 戊戌狗年 拌面 拜码头 新中国赞美曲 新年快乐 方仁念 时下中国 时间篝火 曹子林 曹澍 未来对过去的复活 朱昶全 李巨川 李明 李琦 李维伊 杨北辰 林声凯 林奥劼 武汉会馆 武汉,每天不一样! 沙皮 泰山宫 洞穴说 派对 消费大国 特斯拉 狗屎运 狗年 狗狗 猪年 猪猪 猴子捞月 王辛 琴瑟和鸣 田馥甄 白天黑夜 策展人 算法作曲 繁荣富强 纽约世界佛教中心 纽约大乘寺 纽约黄大仙庙 缪子衿 翁子健 耿建翌 艺术世界 苏联太空计划 蔡荔馨 虞菁 袁佳维 请勿惊慌 谢俊 贺新年 过去对未来的介入 运势 邓天媛 除夕 风流轮流转 马克思 马斯克 高源 鬥法 魏晓光 鲁明军 鸭子 麻将 黄晶莹 龙生九子 龚济民 🆓 🍆 🎆 🎉 🎮 🎲 🐟 🐱 🐶 🐷 👨‍❤️‍👨 👨‍❤️‍💋‍👨 👩‍❤️‍💋‍👩 💃 💊 💏 💗 💘 📃 📷 🔫 🖼 🥰

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Press

  • 2020/04 Peiyue Wu

    Chinese art community’s response to the pandemic in New York

    CAFA.com 2020/04 Peiyue Wu CAFA.com

    Press Link (EN) http://www.cafa.com.cn/en/news/details/8328830

    Press Link (CN) http://www.cafa.com.cn/cn/news/details/8328830

     

    CAFA.com, April, 2nd, 2020

    Text by Peiyue Wu

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    Just as China has managed to bring the COVID-19 under control, the western world has gradually become the hardest hit area from the outbreak. At this critical moment when news about the closure of museums and galleries has surfaced, there is a petition signed by art students for the refund of tuition fees and the financial crisis faced by several art schools begin to flood influential news outlets. When most of the media focuses on the reporting of mainstream western institutions, the COVID-19’s impact on overseas Chinese art groups in the pandemic was neither covered by the western media nor by the domestic media. Therefore, CAFA ART INFO specially interviewed four Chinese art practitioners based in New York to learn about the COVID-19’s impact on the small and medium-sized galleries, non-profit art spaces and online organizations led by them. Besides, the interviewees also shared how they are going to adjust the original operating model and develop long-term plans during the outbreak and how the pandemic inspires them to reflect on their roles and practices.

    How exhibitions and programs were affected regardless of the prevention of the pandemic.

    As the COVID-19 outbreak started in China at the beginning of this year, Chinese communities in New York realized the severity of the epidemic ahead of other ethnic groups. Knowing that the “disaster” would soon strike New York, they started to work on pandemic prevention relatively early on.

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    “A Room of One’s Own” installation view. Photograph by Huang Jingyao. Courtesy of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art.

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    “The Null Set ∅ ” installation view. Photograph by Huang Jingyao. ©Feng Mingqiu, courtesy of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art.

    Fu Qiumeng, the founder of Fu Qiumeng Fine Art (a New York-based gallery that primarily represents Chinese contemporary ink art), revealed in an interview with CAFA ART INFO that the COVID-19 outbreak in China had allowed her to foresee the upcoming pandemic in New York and plan ahead of time: there was no opening scheduled for the group exhibition on the Chinese contemporary ink art in March, and the show can only be viewed by appointment. “The group exhibition was in line with the schedule of Asian Art Week in New York (March 12-19),” Qiumeng explained why she did not include any public events accompanying the exhibition during the early preparation stages. “Consideration has been given to our customers who all have a deep relationship with China, we believe that many people must have returned from a recent business trip to China.”

    Qiumeng originally planned to have the artists interact with spectators in the form of an “elegant gathering”, replacing a crowded art opening with several small-scale sharing sessions, with two or three people entering each time. “This type of viewing experience would align with our interest in exploring the relationship between the present and the past,” Qiumeng said. “While contemporary audiences view artworks in public spaces, Chinese literati viewed art privately.”

    Even though this cautious and thoughtful appointment-based exhibition viewing had taken into account the need to minimize crowding, it was not implemented. After the World Health Organization (WHO) officially announced the COVID-19 outbreak a worldwide pandemic on March 11, the Metropolitan Museum of Art together with other major art institutions and galleries shut down one by one. “Our entire art community has stopped working,” Qiumeng explained why she decided to cancel the appointment-based exhibition viewing. “Also, I don’t want to expose artists to risks.”

    Financial dilemma caused by the pandemic

    Qiumeng admitted the sales volume of the primary market gallery that she runs will be affected more directly by COVID-19 pandemic than those dealing with the secondary market. “We do not represent artists such as KAWS, who has been already very well-known in the secondary market led by big auction houses. We have to educate museum curators and collectors about the historical significance of our artists through face-to-face communication, and thus help them to land high-profile positions in the industry.” Qiumeng considers collectors’ behaviors in the primary market as experience consumption, “Now there is no way to have such direct interaction with people. ”

    Echo He, who has worked for Pace Gallery in New York for ten years and founded Fou Gallery in 2013, also accepted an interview with CAFA ART INFO. When being asked to talk about the capital turnover, Echo’s attitude was relatively optimistic: “Fou Gallery has always been operating in a low-key fashion and does not follow a large-scale commercial operation. Things would be fine if we tightened our budget a little bit and adapted flexibly to changes. ”

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    SLEEPCENTER’s new space in Brooklyn. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

    Except for the decline in sales that galleries are facing, many non-profit art spaces have also cancelled or postponed projects that could have generated revenue to support space operations. Lin Rui, who has run SLEEPCENTER a non-profit art space in New York for five years, revealed to CAFA ART INFO that a series of social enterprise projects planned to be launched in 2020 with the support of SLEEPCENTER has been affected severely by the COVID, including a project of place-making (activation of abandoned space) in Beijing, and several Asian galleries’ landing projects in New York. The consultation fee earned from these projects could have funded SLEEPCENTER to transform its operational model. “We realize that in this era, it is impossible for a non-profit organization to rely solely on grants and patrons as the main source of income,” explained Lin Rui. “We want to go beyond this unsustainable model.” However, as the space can only be funded after the completion of those projects, the COVID-19 has greatly slowed down this transition. “We have started planning to postpone many projects since the end of 2019,” Lin Rui said. “Taking into account the current situation, this impact may last until May and June.”

    As revenue drops, how to cover the high rents in New York becomes the biggest challenge for those who run art spaces. Faced with this problem, Lin Rui joined an online petition asking for rent suspension initiated by the Senate Deputy Leader while actively negotiating acceptable rents with his landlord.

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    SLEEPCENTER’s space in Chinatown. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

    As a particular type of small business, galleries seem to have another solution which cannot be adopted by non-profit space, namely to apply for subsidy grants and emergency funding for small business. However, Echo explained to CAFA ART INFO that it is difficult for the art industry to meet the application requirements of government subsidies for small businesses. The New Art Dealers Alliance, which Echo joined earlier, calls on the government of New York to adjust the funding scheme to the needs of art practitioners, including rent reduction and direct funding. “The art industry is very different from the catering and retail industries. If examined under a one-size-fits-all standard, few galleries can get these funds,” Echo said. “Notwithstanding, the art industry is one of those most severely affected.”

    Time to build online platform and digital archives

    Although the contemporary art world has been enthusiastic about online exhibitions in recent years, the huge amount of time and effort required by physical exhibitions and programs has prevented galleries, museums, and art fairs from incubating a better platform for digital presentation. This pandemic has obviously propelled the entire art industry to look for a more diverse and effective way for art to be felt in the virtual world, rather than treating online exhibitions as a vague concept.

    In terms of online selling, Fou Gallery has responded in a timely manner. According to Echo, although many previous transactions were conducted online, the method was rather traditional and mechanical: collectors usually made their decisions according to the catalogs that gallery staff sent out through WeChat or email. Two of Wendy Letven’s works on display were sold this way. After the gallery space closed, Fou Gallery’s partner and art director Lynn Hai designed and released an online gallery providing an immersive experience.

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    “Wendy Letven: Lines Falling Together in Time” installation view. Photograph by Lynn Hai.©Wendy Letven, courtesy Fou Gallery.

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    “Wendy Letven: Lines Falling Together in Time” installation view. Photograph by Lynn Hai.©Wendy Letven, courtesy Fou Gallery.

    Lin Rui said in the interview that the content placed by art institutions and galleries on their websites had not been effective enough in terms of enhancing the general public’s understanding about art. Considering archiving and researching projects that non-profit art organizations often deal with, Lin Rui believes that the public will have a better learning experience when more information is available online. “Now there is an opening, I don’t want to see it close after the pandemic passes,” Lin Rui said. “The online presentation reflects the actual strength of institutions and galleries, and it takes time to optimize.”

    For Qiumeng, who temporarily stopped all gallery activities, she finally gets the time to organize academic archives and begin a long-planned project: Integrate the domestic media’s coverage of artists represented by the gallery into its own newsletter, and help collectors to understand the art ecology of China. Qiumeng believes that this type of work that involves writing and documenting can increase the value of artwork in the long run.

    After interviewing the three art practitioners who run physical art spaces in New York, CAFA ART INFO also learned that a non-profit academic community named “Trigger” has been conducting online panel discussions between Chinese artists and American artists. As an important part of the Chinese art community in New York, “Trigger” was initiated by art students, artists, and a halo of interested parties with similar educational backgrounds in the United States. Cai Xingyang, the founder of “Trigger”, told CAFA ART INFO during the interview that online tools had already been used at times when Chinese contemporary artists were invited to join the conversation who cannot pay a visit to NY.

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    Ni Youyu’s artist talk at School of Visual Art. Courtesy of Trigger.

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    Ni Youyu’s artist talk at School of Visual Art. Courtesy of Trigger.

    Xingyang suggested that the participation experience improved after the events switched from being semi-offline and semi-online to being completely online. “I feel that we have now drawn closer,” Xingyang said, “it is no longer that divisive, like the guests are staged while audiences are sitting at the back.” Xingyang expressed his optimism about the future of such online art events. He explained: “Online events do not have the rigid form that live events always keep. Instead, it creates a form of communication which is light and handy, and thus helps participants to stay sober.”

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    Screenshot of Trigger’s artist panel held on Zoom. Courtesy of Trigger.

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    Screenshot of Trigger’s artist panel held on Zoom. Courtesy of Trigger.

    Breaking through the cultural strata through cooperation and dialogue: the world has never been so connected

    While the COVID-19 pandemic has created a human crisis, it also provides an opportunity for the Chinese art community in New York to break through its original cultural strata and truly participate in local social and public discussions happening here.

    Echo told CAFA ART INFO about N95 FOR NYC, a mutual aid group initiated by several Chinese art practitioners based in New York. This group collected funds from collectors of major galleries, as well as other art practitioners in New York, purchased personal protective equipment (PPE) from trusted suppliers in China and distributed them to various hospitals in New York. Echo revealed that the first batch of PPE that had been purchased included 10,000 N95 respirator masks, 20,000 general surgical masks and 350 medical protective overalls and they would arrive in New York in early April. “In the past few days, I have cleared away a lot of blind spots in medical knowledge,” said Echo, who has been actively learning about each implementation section of the donation. “There are questions such as what kind of documents we need to sign when donating to hospitals, which supplier is the best option, and how to ensure that the supplies can be delivered to the hands of frontline healthcare professionals without too many bureaucratic layers.” Echo also suggested that in the future, it is better to send small-scale donations directly to small clinics, which often cannot compete with large hospitals in terms of seeking resources.

    As China has been at the center of Western mainstream media coverage since the COVID-19 outbreak started, the Chinese art community in New York has never been so enthusiastic about tracking the US media coverage of one particular event from beginning to end and therefore has a deeper understanding of strategies behind the US media operation, as well as the drawbacks of the public opinion environment and the medical social security system of the United States. In this regard, Lin Rui said in the interview that he hopes that through this incident, the mid-career Chinese artists, as well as the younger generation, could have a “parallel perspective” to look at the world, understand the differences between countries and have more equal communication with American peers. “I hope that we no longer look up to (everything in the United States) with strangeness and distance,” Lin Rui said. “If we approach culture here with a more open and peaceful mentality, we may get more.”

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    “Juchuan Li: Wuhan Club” installation view. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

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    “Juchuan Li: Wuhan Club” installation view. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

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    “Juchuan Li: Wuhan Club” installation view. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

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    “Juchuan Li: Wuhan Club” installation view. Courtesy of SLEEPCENTER.

    As the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of major exhibitions around the world, Lin Yan, an artist represented by Fou Gallery, recently brought a large installation  to “Clouds Gathering and Unfolding”, an exhibition held by Lakeside Art Museum in Japan. According to Echo, the planning of the exhibition started in January, but the outbreak prevented the curatorial teams in China and New York from traveling. Under quarantine, they used WeChat groups to communicate about the modification of layout sketches, the shipping arrangement, the design of the catalog, and so on. In the end, the Japanese team purchased material and installed the work according to the proposal given to them which had been translated into Japanese.

    The global series “Regeneration of Hope” had already landed in Wanying Art Museum (Shijiangzhuang) earlier, where Lin Yan constructed a maze with hundreds of rice paper hanging from the ceiling. Echo read out the artist statement written by Lin Yan at that time to express her recent feelings: “The path is very narrow. As you walk forward, the sound of the paper will follow. Look up, you can see a line of sky. Isolated, we still share the same sky and water. ”

    The rest of interviewees also mentioned the decrease in global carbon emissions, believing that the pandemic may be a form of self-protection for the planet. At the end of the interview, Echo said that the pandemic made her and her partners more determined about the 15-year plan for the gallery: “We will continue to explore a more decentralized state of being, build an art space far from the hustle and bustle, and integrate art with nature.”

  • 2019/11 邓天媛

    今日功绩社会的历史溯源——人间指南和武汉会馆的九十年代

    LEAP 艺术界 2019/11 邓天媛 LEAP 艺术界

    Press link: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/usN9OTPzSd48kCqVdxDvxg

    LEAP 观点,2019年11月11日

    文|邓天媛

     

    人间指南(上、下)

    时间:2019.5.18-8.18(上) 

    2019.8.31-11.24(下)

    地点:UCCA尤伦斯当代艺术中心,北京

    武汉会馆——李巨川

    时间:2019.9.13-10.20

    地点:SLEEPCENTER,纽约华埠空间

    如果说理想与启蒙并进的八十年代是一个“大”时代,那么它的遗产在被市场经济荡涤数十载的今日却难以指认。倒是融入全球经济和迎接互联网的“小”时代九十年代,更是今日功绩社会的精神原点。个人从集体的剥离和阶级话语的消弭伊始于这个十年,仿佛在人文热情被清算之后,改革开放所蕴含的全部潜力才被释放。从这个意义上说,被广为歌颂的八十年代也许才是一个前承革命乌托邦、后启发展硬道理的“过渡”年代。而九十年代,既是八十年代的精神遗产的试金石与炼金石,也是对千禧时代全面世俗化的历史溯源。近来艺术界不乏对于这十年的梳理。大致上,这些梳理基于个人的能动性。譬如,2001年巫鸿在首届“广州当代艺术三年展”中提出“实验艺术”这种说法以统摄九十年代的艺术发生,并认为实验性的来源正是“人的主体性”2。以九十年代作为开端的“想象主流价值”展览(中间美术馆,2018)也以个案为入手点。对于个体的强调,除了有李佳所言的九十年代再无易于被整体叙述的先锋派的原因 ,笔者还发现另外一个常被提起的动机:以艺术家本身作为叙述出发点,可以防范理论假设的硬掰风险,规避西方舶来叙述的窠臼。这不失为一种脚踏实地。

    UCCA的九十年代回顾展《人间指南》(上、下)在延续关注个人能动性的基础上,格外着力于还原彼时彼地的社会情境。不管是(上)的重现九十年代信息环境的档案室、九三大消费,还是(下)中将双飞的九室一厅生活场景的还原,《人间指南》花了极大努力营造九十年代那股扑面而来的“年代感”。这不是普通的“还原语境”,因为社会语境已经被作为作品的审视对象。它不仅是补充作品的辅助信息,而是内构于作品的意义。对于社会语境的着力,可谓是《指南》在前人基础上的更进一步。

    此次展览标题取自九十年代初的室内喜剧《编辑部的故事》里的一份杂志《人间指南》,这个选择显然不仅是巧合。在这十年中,休闲和购物代替了运动和集会成为了社会的重要组织和调动方式,而陡然兴起的大众媒体也正在代替八十年代的精英知识分子成为引导人民的主力军,或曰“指南人”。“指南型”小报,譬如《精品购物指南》和《购物导报》,层出不穷地教化着人们如何包装自己去合乎一个体面的“中产”身份(而与其说这是一种已有的阶层趣味,不如说正是媒体在喂养或“指南”着一种中产阶级身份认同)。这种自我审视(向内)与自我符号化(向外)的齐驱并进,是九十年代始有的,也可谓是(上)展览中艺术家们共同体察到、做出回应的。(下)则将这种审视所携带而来的自觉在空间自觉、生产方式自觉等各个维度上延展,为二十世纪的最后十年留下了一阕蕴含各种可能性的尾音。

    以陈劭雄、王晋、任戬和新历史小组的实践为线索的人间指南(上)对于流行文化、大众消费、城市景观等时代面貌的回应已有不少评论者着墨,而“审视” (gaze)和围绕着审视的概念——“他者”、“景观”、“符号”——确乎成为了(上)中作品和评论都难以回避的关键词。这指向了一个并未浮出地表的可能性:如果说八十年代人们共同沉浸在对于现代化的渴望中,那么九十年代对于“审视”的锁定表明“现代性”可能已经开始渗透进了生活的肌理。“审视”与“现代性”的联系在现代性沉淀更久的西方更加明显,譬如巴黎在十九世纪后半叶的现代化直接催生了以审视路人和街景为创作推动的印象派。就连陈劭雄自己对于《街景》的描述都和德加和马奈如出一辙:“城市的确很像一个舞台,自家的窗口就是一个观众席…工作就是为了获得这张城市戏剧的门票。” 而不同于西方的是,中国现代性的有效艺术表达多在影像领域。陈劭雄的《视力矫正器-7》中,市井生活的两段录像被投射在一个白盒子式的小空间中,但因为投影仪在360度地打转,你无法同时看到两端录像,却可以听到它们的吵闹。如果说城市生活的信息过载与信息断层在这件作品中被翻译成了感观语言,那么毗邻的天河城商业街景则让观者察觉到了另外一层含义:《矫正器》中的菜场和小店等市井场景并没有被“指南”成风景,虽然它们才是“沉默的大多数”的真实生活。陈也在展览中对资本构筑出的“风景”们给出了自己的回应,他用它们自己的生产语言去指认它们的生产运作:这条街上,路人、公交车、广告牌和楼宇之间的区别全部被溶解,都如架上货物一样一色排开,可供携带也可供摆布。直至今天笔者依然以为,陈的这种手法是颇得波普精髓的:波普的要点在于借力打力,以商业之道还商业之身,却不控诉,让樯橹灰飞烟灭须在“谈笑间”

    如果说(上)中王晋的“美元”叩门、新历史小组的“九三大消费”和展末阅览室对于文化研究热的场景再现都以不同切面回应了世俗生活的发轫,那么(下)穿透了表面可触的发轫现象,反刍了它的正反两面。戴锦华在反思九十年代的《隐形书写》中指出了一个资本风景所遮蔽掉的现象:贫富差距。虽说在下海潮和下岗潮并行的背景下,一个新富阶层的崛起和大批下岗职工的无所适从几乎可以说是必然,但是这种必然被指南人间的传媒和消费所遮蔽。徐坦的综合媒介作品《回忆与制造》(1996-2019),看似只是平实地将东莞工人等平常百姓的图片或者琐碎回忆打在A4纸上,然后放置放在布口袋中任人抽取和阅读。但是在“万元户”愈发吸睛的年代,对于这些实际上构成大多数的所谓“弱势群体”的关注已然成了一种温情的再现。同样地,徐勇的《到胡同去》(1989-2017)呈现了北京胡同的景点化,并置了盖茨夫妇等名人游览胡同的纪实相片和胡同原住民的肖像。这些因为被覆盖而本将流逝于时代长河的人和记忆,以个人经历的证词(testimonial)的形式重新浮出地表。有趣的是,似乎正是“当代艺术”这个标识为这些脆弱的个人记忆提供了避难之处。这个标识所自带的反抗主流气质让“边缘”、“弱势”或者仅仅是无法兼容于商业等特征取得了别处难以获得的正当性。

         这份正当性之所以珍贵,也是因由“当代艺术”可以容纳公民们关于城市空间的时空边界(包括公民对于空间的拥有权利)的讨论。(下)中,建筑师李巨川的作品里多数都围绕着他通过一块砖块与城市互动,不管是每早十点在轮渡上向江心抛掷砖块(《武汉长江大桥》)、还是放置一块砖块在公交车上、等待它回站的时候取回(《43路公共汽车》)。虽然砖块在不同的影像和行为中意义各不相同,但是它可以被理解为贯穿这些行为的一种丈量时空的工具。不管是公交还是轮渡,李往往选择在空间里移动、并且遵循时间表的物体作为丈量对象,可见城市的“时空”是被处理的真正对象。此外,李巨川的另外一项九十年代艺术行为《东湖计划》亦同时期在纽约SLEEPCENTER的《武汉会馆》展览中展出。在武汉的东湖面临房地产开发改造之际,李邀请公民围绕东湖展开开放式艺术行为,以回应这种不透明的对公共资源的商业开发。李的作品中对于时空的自觉在《东湖》里凝聚为一种集体自觉,将针对城市空间的思辨最终转化为对于空间所属的诘问。触及“权”字,自然是举步维艰。但是我看着年轻人们在东湖边沿着搭起的栈道骑着自行车,一头扎进湖水,不亦快哉,不禁感叹:这不就是雅克·拉康对于“享受”(Jouissance) 的解释么:以冲破藩篱为乐,却达到了一种超越了单纯快感的亦苦亦乐的境界。

    在城市空间的思考上,(下)基于(上)的另外一个重要延展是对于艺术生产空间的自觉。九十年代是商业和美术馆机制都并未成熟的十年,也是各类商业尝试鹊起、双年展三年展模式逐渐全球化的十年。虽然对于展览模式的自觉在这样的背景下仿佛很自然,也并不是第一次被提出(譬如巫鸿著的90年代实验艺术的《关于展览的展览》),但是之前主要是在艺术史学科语汇里被提出的。(下)中,虽然展览也作为一种知识生产范式被审视,但是态度就不那么拘谨了。双飞艺术中心的《九室一厅》里一台客厅电视机里这么唱着:“出卖我的爱/逼着我当代/最后知道不展览我鸡鸡软下来/终于被当代/你背了良心债/就算付出再多材料费也不会来…”在这里,“当代”是一个动词,并且这个动词的展开形式颇像情色交易。这种戏谑的态度是断然有别于八十年代的迫不及待想要学会“当代”的热忱的。九十年代的“当代”走下神龛,被双飞唱成了一桩打打闹闹的事。不过对于亦正亦邪的双飞来说,情色交易未必全然是坏。九室一厅的生活居室里有大量的黄色涂鸦和有色无色的碟片,不禁让人想起九十年代另一大特色:夜总会、录像厅、盗版碟片等等非官方的娱乐传播途径的兴起(方才提到的《武汉会馆》里也实体还原了当时的一个录像厅)。如果说携带启蒙功效的开放化和自由化于八十年代末在官方体制内被收紧,它的剩余能量可以说在这种地下空间得到了一种延续。

    站在今天看九十年代的展览范式,笔者颇为唏嘘。八十年代的张力,很大程度上是“江湖”和“精英”的对立所产生的。九十年代,先锋和学院的区别在“新生代”等年代初展览中已经呈现失效,邱志杰、王功新等海归或学院“精英”在(下)里的“野生计划”中的非官方、半地下空间里”野生”着;尚未成熟的学生们像双飞一样拥抱“民间”身份,在城乡结合部、超市、家具城、酒吧、马路等公共空间举行展览,展糙态度不糙。2000年,依然出现了对抗第三届上海双年展的名为“不合作”的展览。经过又几载洗礼的今天,当代艺术似乎已经被年复一年的双年展合法化了,只要一些指标符合了,谁也不需要去解释在展厅里做一些奇怪行为为什么就值得投入那么大的财力物力。但是似乎有一种乏力感在想认真对待当代艺术的人当中蔓延。可供指认的原因当然很多,但是不论为何九十年代那股会自娱却依然认真的劲儿,也许依然可以作为我们的精神资源。

    注释:

    1. 策展人卞卡在《北京裸奔》里引用了功绩社会这个概念。此概念由哲学家韩炳哲在《倦怠社会》一书中提出,指向我们的竞争性的、效绩主导的社会正在产生着从抑郁症到注意力分散等普遍蔓延的社会症候。卞卡在《北京裸奔》中将现下艺术机构的“流量指标化”等现象与功绩社会联系起来。而功绩社会的逻辑始于九十年代。
    2. 苏伟,“实验艺术:全球视野与主体性,对话巫鸿,”澎湃新闻,2019年10月29日
    3. 李佳,“人间指南(上)展评,”艺术论坛, 2019年6月21日

     

  • 2018/06 杨紫

    Pity Party 干扰惨淡的派对

    艺术世界 Art World 2018/06 杨紫 艺术世界 Art World
    艺术世界第330期,2018年6月

    Art World, issue 330, June 2018

    pp. 98-104.

    文|杨紫

     

    去年10月,我在深圳偶遇SLEEPCENTER的创始人林锐,并听他大致描述此地展场的环境,萌生了策划展览“Pity Party”的念头。SLEEPCENTER坐落于曼哈顿下东区唐人街一条不算繁华小巷的地下室,前身是“北京公馆”。20世纪初,中国北方移民曾在这片福建人的地界租下这座逼仄、潮湿的洞穴。他们往往生活困窘,从事报酬微薄的体力劳动,或许为了排解内心的郁闷,在此处结识同乡,谈话、赌博、嫖娼、取乐,有时候也居住于此。几年前,刚刚在纽约结束学业的林锐对这个无人问津的、价格低廉的空间进行大幅改造,隔出储物空间和展示空间,试图将它营造成艺术家工作室和展厅。尽管改造颇为成功,水房漫出的刺鼻味道,以及挥之不去的苍蝇,还是提示着它的过往。在空间正上方盘旋的西禅寺,占用了楼房的一层,将门脸改头换面,居然也颇具中式风格。念经僧人的袅袅佛音,在下午布展期间出来透气的时候,能听得一清二楚。

    从构思阶段开始,展览的背景就与对纽约的想象有关。美国的流行文化——公告牌排行榜音乐、肥皂剧——给80年代成长起来的中国人留下了广泛的记忆烙印。这不仅仅是因为其中输出的幸福生活,更是因为丰富物质生活背后运行的自由市场经济,作为一种获得人生自由的解决方案所摆出的诱人姿态。在某些社会制度理想破灭之后的1990年代直至21世纪之初,中国知识分子以及更广泛的社会群体一道沉醉于这种幻想。

    在2018年寒冷的初春,简陋的纽约地下展场和富足的美国梦幻同时纠缠在我脑海。我来到纽约,坐上SLEEPCENTER的另一位合伙人李沛原的汽车,径直奔向布鲁克林区的“Party City”派对百货商店。我惊讶于这里琳琅满目、应有尽有的派对用品,以及收银台前排起的长队。我了解在《老友记》等等美国电视剧中频繁出现的家庭派对是美国文化的重要部分,但未曾料到它形成了如此规模的产业化。超过860家“Party City”零售商店将40,000种派对商品(我从美国股票投资类的网站得到这些数据)流通到千家万户,让人们在熟悉不过的环境里,从日常的反复和疲惫中抽离出来。

    拿着战利品——鲜艳、喜庆的彩旗、气球和塑料门帘——回到SLEEPCENTER,我们开始装饰 “洞穴”。我希望将国人对美国的向往勾画成具有如第二段所述的时代氛围困境,反衬出参展的艺术家对此有意无意的反应。在我看来,他们戳破不切实际的幻想肥皂泡的办法,并非是消耗所有精力对社会或艺术系统进行表演性抵抗,而是在有原则地吸纳和处理生存现实基础上,自觉地给自己提供一个警惕、孤独和隔绝的思考和创作环境。这些作品的气质和呈现它们的场域几乎形成了对峙的局面。

    外在的世界被暂时隔离之后,自我的感受和意识状态浮现出来——“PITY PARTY”表面看起来像一场对“自我”概念考察的展览。李维伊邀请一对恋人蒙上印着自己脸部画皮的围巾,然后亲吻,以观察自己出窍。作为展览的开场白,艺术家直接将客观化的自省视角摆在观众面前。李琦、曹澍、高源等人的作品均体现出了自传性质。李琦、高源和宾冰展现了意识流淌时记忆、现实、想象的切换状态;而李然影射了自己工作方法——探寻湖底般的潜意识抓取信息,再跃出水面让它们见得天日。在展场最深处,几位中国美院的校友(曹子林、崔绍翰、黄晶莹、李明、唐潮、朱昶全)将共同的经历和表演积累成一个海量的视频资源库,他们从中各取所需,按照各自视角编排出面貌各异的片段,留给观众广袤的完形空隙。展览的尾声是曾对国美观念艺术深远影响的已故艺术家耿建翌在1990年代创作的第一件录像作品《视觉的方式》。三频录像中,濒死鸭子的眼睛忽闪,时而分泌出泡沫,是在极度虚弱时能表现出最大气力的悲恸。深邃的眼睛似乎能反射出屏幕之外世界的倒影,倾其残留的片刻,尽力与永恒运转的世界融为一体。

    展览中所有的作品都是录像。展览给人的基本印象,是狭长、深邃的地下展厅之中播放着晃动的幻影,让人联想起柏拉图著名的洞穴隐喻。在洞穴说中,囚徒们生活在不自由的、被灌输虚假信息的环境。过分用力的布展方式五彩斑斓、夺人眼球,让人联想起当代文化批判对“洞穴说”的套用方式,即消费至上的物质生活有益无害,像是口味诱人、满足快感却营养贫乏的垃圾食品。有些“浪漫主义反讽(romantic irony)”意味的是,以“猴子捞月”为题的录像也组成了这些“囚徒幻影”的一部分。“囚徒们”一不小心欣赏到了自己未曾反思的牢狱生活。或许,这也是艺术家们在剪辑《灌肠III:猴子捞月》时的心情。他们从事着艺术工作,不懈挖掘着自觉处理着的幻象。创作者之一李明在一次微信聊天中这样开玩笑说:“猴子是愚蠢的,这是人类的看法,他们捞月亮可能在做点白南准(式)的水波碎片效果吧。”我并无挑衅经典文本的意图,但在艺术的领域中,我不相信真实和虚妄是不可动摇的铁板一块。我着迷于在艺术作品中观看到永无止尽的颠倒和反转,以及滞留在思辨灰色地带的勇气。我同样认为,绝对正确的真实是随着时空转换不断变化的价值判断,在跨文化、地域的条件下展示我所熟悉的艺术家的作品时,这种清晰的混沌、微妙、狡猾和晦涩,是中国当代艺术短暂脉络中逐渐萌芽出的价值导向。

    2001年,皮力博士在《关于“感觉化倾向”的笔记》一文中曾指出,“感觉化倾向是中国当代艺术在90年代发生的最深刻的一次创作观念的转向……感觉化倾向在取消了观念性和意义性之后,将艺术的目光投向了感觉身体和想象,感觉化倾向强调的是表现精神和肉体,‘二者之间的中间地带及其统一性’。”据文章发表二十年过去,时至今日,录像艺术媒介的创作环境发生了一系列的改变。首先,录影设备普及化,变得唾手可得,在生活中随处可见。这让艺术家适应影像的存在,也为积累上手经验提供了条件。此外,艺术家们能接触到丰富的影像视觉经验资源(例如,欧洲电影以及在美国兴起的流行音乐录影带的语言脉络),同时,密集的网络信息快速传达之快,使艺术家个体必须设定原则,规定自己对这些无尽的信息(尤其是图像和影像信息)敞开和关闭的限度。“感觉化倾向”产生了新的面貌。它从早期录像艺术的“枯燥传统”中发展出较为复杂的形态。错落、跳跃乃至异质的时间感和冗杂、海量的视觉资源拼凑取代了漫长的沉浸体验,“自我”的边界感及肉身经验在一代人感受力日渐麻木的反作用力下变得更为迫切。但同时,由于信息交流的高速,消费社会(以及艺术系统)残酷的运转节奏,让个人化的经验变得越来越难以“个人”。艺术家周遭的充斥着的林林总总的干扰难以连根剔除,就像SLEEPCENTER墙上悬挂的塑料彩旗和缓慢旋转的无线蓝牙彩灯。精神肉体的统一、观众和作品的统一、创作者和作品的统一过程,即便从未停止过,也难以再以哲学化的、纯净的、理想的面貌示人。

  • 2018/06 Banyi Huang

    Ian Gouldstone: Exploring The Lifecycle Of Digital Objects

    CoBo Social 2018/06 Banyi Huang CoBo Social

    May 18th – June 17th, 2018

    When we play computer games, the goal is to be hyper-engaged and defeat the opponent. When we meditate, we let our minds wander to achieve a calm and spiritual state. Though the two cannot be further apart from one other, Ian Gouldstone manages to use the mechanisms of the former to come close to the latter, allowing chance operations to prolong repetitive movement into an imponderable infinity. Inside SLEEPCENTER’s dimly-lit gallery space, the artist has created a somewhat self-contained universe using elemental shapes and luminous colors, ruminating on the philosophical implications of motion, order, and chaos through code.

    Needless to say, artists have long explored the poetic aspect of technology and programming, but to do it well requires not only a level of technical expertise, but also an awareness of established modes in which new media objects are often exhibited and understood. Many, including theorists and practitioners, approach new media as if it could only be accessed through a rectangular screen, whether a projection, monitor, or computer screen, often linking such a framing mechanism to historical lineages of cinema and photography. Gouldstone, however, takes active measures to break out from the screen, setting up environments that attempt to collapse the perceived distance between the observer and the observed, the alive and the inanimate, human and other.

    Occupying the entrance area, Instrument (2018) consists of software-generated structures projected onto three yoga balls, which are each affixed to wooden stools. The viewer is invited to sit on the floor, coming at eye-level with moving elements in the piece: a dot tumbles inside a circle composed of dots, at times rebounding from the momentum generated from hitting another dot, at times escaping quietly through the spaces in between. While initial parameters are determined by code, the dot’s trajectory is a product of chance. Whenever it bounces against a border, it makes a crisp, resonating sound, as if a gong is being struck. Combined with the installation’s simple geometry, its spectral shadows, and repetitive movement, the intimate soundscape pulls the sitter into a meditative trance. Drop Process (2018) employs a similar strategy of toying with randomness and expectations. Unlike Jenga, which is a manual tower-building game designed to test the player’s coordination and dexterity, the work simulates a scenario where rectangular blocks are dropped to form stacks, either reaching a precarious balance, or destroying the stack to form a new one.

    Like artist Ian Cheng, Gouldstone uses gaming simulation and procedural generation to stage a state of uncertainty and instability. It is worth pointing out that simulation is normally understood in terms of representation, of replicating a system in real life through mathematical models, whether for purposes of recreation or functional prediction. But what happens when simulation takes on a life of its own, and generates its own rules of thought and behaviour? As illustrated by the fear provoked by Facebook’s AI algorithm inventing its own language, humans are regularly threatened when machines acquire a sense of vitality, thereby infringing on anthropocentrically territory. As such, Wanton Boys (2017) is an abstract exercise in exploring the ambiguous lifecycle of software-generated digital objects. Varying in size and dispersed in groups, x-shaped forms are projected onto wooden blocks distributed throughout the space. Algorithmically-controlled, they fluctuate between a state of inactivity and frenzied scissoring movement, not unlike a sophisticated version of the Tamagotchi—a handheld digital pet popular in the late 90s. While it is unclear to what degree of independence these forms are operating on, the work is undoubtedly a simulation of the imaginary realm of digital life, and, as the title suggests, it gestures at the liminal moment when the spinning ‘x’ shapes burst out of the imprisonment of two-dimensional space.

    In his treatise De Anima, Aristotle outlines a conceptual foundation of Western thinking: movement constitutes one of the fundamental feature of the soul, that which distinguishes life from inanimate matter. The exhibition asks, is it then possible apply the same level of inclusive understanding when movement crosses over to the realm of software and digital objects? In these works, the unpredictability of the result frustrates, while the repetition reassures, and it is the space in between feelings of frustration and reassurance that opens up a new understanding of our own positionally.

     

    Ian Gouldstone - IN THE SHADE BUT NOT THE SHADOW curated by William Lee

    Source: https://www.cobosocial.com/dossiers/ian-gouldstone-digital-objects/

  • 2018/05

    New Media Art Map (Manhattan)

    OUTPUT 2018/05 OUTPUT

    Press Link https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/4DgY1L7wabQtcOI2MyueQg

    “ 接地气的实践空间 ”

     Sleepcenter 

    Sleepcenter是由来自中国的年轻艺术家林锐建立的一个实验项目空间,位于热闹的唐人街。有趣的展览定期在这里发生,近200平米的半地下室,后面用做工作室,前面的则用来展览,目前,Sleepcenter已经策划25个展览。

    🌎:http://www.sleepcenterny.org/

    📍:9 Monroe St, Basement, New York, NY10002

    📧:info@sleepcenterny.org

  • 2017/11 顾虔凡

    魏晓光谈“持久像素”

    Artforum.cn 艺术论坛中文版 2017/11 顾虔凡 Artforum.cn 艺术论坛中文版

    2017.11.05

    艺术家魏晓光正在纽约SLEEPCENTER举办个展“持久像素”(Durable Pixels),展览中的一系列画作以极其逼真的手法描绘虚构的场景、荒谬的物件拼贴、甚至对电脑拟像进行写实,他通过绘画对抽象与叙事、心理层面的内外观照、绘画的历史与当下的新媒介等议题进行探讨。展览期间,魏晓光还与艺术家Jeffrey D’Alessandro持续进行一项在绘画与雕塑间跨越媒介的合作。在采访中,魏晓光谈及对自己作品“数码样式主义”的定义,他在绘画中想要呈现的不合理现实,以及他对绘画媒介本身的思考。

    “像素”除了指我们通常理解的影像在屏幕显示的基本单位之外,它原本的词义是“图像的元素”。图像是通过笔触、尺幅、版本、屏幕、风格等各种元素而被人感知的,它们都是图像的载体。这次展览的概念以图像的元素为基本出发点,我想关注这些元素本身的局限,而不是预先假定其发展的无限性。

    在艺术史上,欧洲绘画的样式主义(Mannerism)侧重于对文艺复兴大师风格的模仿,因为本身没有提供更新迭代的内容而受到批判。反观中国艺术,如果后来者没有首先师承前人,甚至都无法被审美语系所接受。书法、国画、京剧等中国传统的艺术形式,其内容涵义和风格在创作时已经锁定在表达系统的框架中,比如每个人写出的字意思是相同的,京剧脸谱的图案是程式化的;但是像《肚痛帖》这种文本含义没有太多艺术性的便笺反而突出了张旭的草书,使表现元素本身成为经典。对我来说,“样式主义”的意义,就是带着对表达系统的局限性的意识进行创作。实质上,中国书法的核心概念同波普艺术中贾斯珀·琼斯(Jasper Johns)画国旗、标靶,安迪·沃霍尔(Andy Warhol)画梦露的意义相通,二者都是本体论艺术。当图像的元素高于内容的时候,就会形成“样式”。它并不是一件坏事,它有可能让创作者打破范式跳脱出来,去回顾样式的起承,然后进行重新发明。对图像元素局限性的理解,在当下数码媒介的演化中也有反映,比如早期电子游戏的制作力求场景的逼真,但是当整个行业可以轻易呈现相当程度的现实感时,以往开发者试图抹去的方块像素反而被审美化,成为了新的样式,像是2012年左右开始流行的《我的世界》(Minecraft)等。

    我常把自己近期的绘画作品界定为“数码样式主义”。这次展览中,《无题(山洞)》(2017)可以作为这一概念的入口,这件作品通过将两种历史性绘画风格并置而制造冲突的同时,建构出新的现实感。其他几件作品中出现的“EDUCATION”和“忍”字,都是代表极端确切概念的词,由于司空见惯,反而让人难以审视它们的涵义。数码建模的文字被置于不同的虚拟情境,凸显了字面意义微弱的转换。《监狱》(2015)也直白地表现了由不同绘画技法构建出的叙事,以此询问图像元素与现实的关系:现实感是否只是我们乐意接受的某一个“版本(version)”。

    在媒介更替极速加剧的当下,同样的叙事内容通过媒介更新而呈现出不同的版本;而版本演化本身,是否已经开始替代艺术家的设计,成为新的艺术演化动力?在 “绘画已死”的艺术史时期,我认为绘画当然仍有可能带给人新的视觉经验,而对图像元素有限性的意识,总是把我带回绘画最原初的问题:画什么、怎么画。

    — 文/ 采访/顾虔凡

    https://artforum.com.cn/words/10961

  • 2017/07 Siqiao Lu

    Twenty-First-Century Oracles: Interview With Mountain River Jump!

    ArtAsiaPacific 2017/07 Siqiao Lu ArtAsiaPacific

    2017. 7. 17

    The identical twin sisters who make up the artist-duo Mountain River Jump! debuted in New York City. Their solo show “Reality Check 鬥法” transformed a Chinatown basement into a ritual space, where they played the roles of astrologer and shaman. Amid the installations of personalized tarot cards, a ceremonial fire GIF, and a video of star charts at Monroe Street’s art lab Sleepcenter, I met up with Guangzhou-based Huang Shan (Yellow Mountain) and Huang He (Yellow River), whose names uncannily allude to the grandeur of the Chinese nation. The artists offered a birth chart reading, and I had the chance to ask them about the trajectory of their practices.

    In this interview with ArtAsiaPacific, Mountain River Jump! discuss how their common interests and unique knowledge system prompted them to form an artist duo, how they connect the culture of divination with collective psychology, politics and visual culture, how ancient methods of image making and ritual practice have influenced their understanding of art, and finally, what they struggle with in their material and spiritual lives as young professionals in China.

    Your works in this show tell me that each of you has a distinctive path shaped by different conceptual questions and practical approaches. Before 2016, you mostly worked separately and only collaborated a few times. What prompted the decision to officially form an artist duo?  

    River: Mountain River Jump! started in January 2016 at Guangzhou’s 5art Space. Our shared interests—spirituality, divination and the supernatural—are outside of the dominant culture, and uncommon in contemporary art practices. The duo creates a zone for us to explore questions that I previously considered inappropriate to discuss in my work because they are personal and sometimes bizarre. Our current direction with this platform is cultural psychology and collective unconscious.

    Which of your earlier ideas have continued to draw your attention?

    River: My works focus on the gradual evolution from my personal psychology to collective psychology. I made drawings about collective memory—Point at. . . (2016), for example, depicts the situation in which several people point at one individual, calling him a dog, and he somehow becomes a dog. I’m influenced by Carl Jung’s idea of collective unconscious, and believe that this is what the so-called “subcultural” phenomenon of divination is fundamentally about. Although we observe the common need for divination—astrology as the most popular form—it is still a hidden stream of thoughts running underneath the intellectual discourse.

    I think Roland Barthes is quite right to criticize the way astrology has become “the literature of the petit bourgeois world,” but I still want to explore the connection between Wu Xing (Five Elements) and contemporary politics. Focusing on “the Star Chart” – Cultural Psychoanalysis (2017), the video installation in the show, demonstrates my theory that the star arrangement on the Chinese national flag relates to the feudal idea of the divine right of kings.

    Mountain: I work with ancient imageries. Modeled after pre-modern divination cards, Chinese Immortal Cards of the 21st Century (2016–17) associates the professions of ancient immortals with contemporary occupations, indicating that a certain professional identity corresponds to a specific worldview or personality.

    Unlike the images surrounding us nowadays that function primarily as decoration, ancient ones embody sacred beliefs and manifest the people’s attachment to the spiritual realm—as seen in archeological sites from Mawangdui to the Shang tomb of Fu Hao. Previously, I’ve made GIF amulets, downloadable from computers and cellphones, to respond to contemporary fears and needs, such as the fear of random computer crashes, and demands on the progress of the feminist movement. Behind the GIF amulet is shamanic thinking, a suggested positive approach to conceptualize one’s desires and requests. Ancient paintings with spiritual functions were sometimes painted by shamans. Thus, our methodology may bring us closer to the original purpose of art-making.

    Divining the future using Chinese Immortal Cards of 21st Century and other sets of animal cards is not your first time fusing artistic gesture with spiritual practice. In the light of your collaboration with Cao Fei in A Three Day Treatment: Feng Shui Cleansing (2011), how have you evolved since? 

    Mountain: I find the 30-minute cleansing ritual quite naïve now. We gathered objects with cleansing functions, such as spice, mineral salt and water, and placed them within the space according to the five elements. The audience watched attentively and followed us while we were moving around.

    River: Similar to the performance, which is a personalized ritual based on the classic model, our current approach to divination cards have predecessors in the ancient times. The texts and images on these cards function as oracles, the subject of which is specific to a cultural episode—for instance, the Oracle of Kuan Yin (also called lottery poetry) often quotes plots from popular novels, such as the classics Romance of the Three Kingdoms and Dream of the Red Chamber. Ancient intellectuals, who share the same beliefs with the commoners, sometimes invent a set of lottery poetry for the enjoyment of literary elegance. We originally wanted to investigate the cultural history of language through Cards of Chinese Animal Idioms: Legends in Human World (2017), but ended up using it in divination in order to have some kind of interaction with our audience.

    In conjunction with this exhibition, you led a small cultural anthropology field investigation group to visit and pray at a dozen temples in Manhattan’s Chinatown. The locality and itinerary of this exhibition and its programs contribute to the integration of the artistic practice into the larger social realm. Can you tell us more?

    River: Rui Lin, the curator, designed the course of this investigation. I find that co-existing temples of different styles and distinctive characters testify to the complexity of communities in Chinatown. We know that the temple previously on the ground floor of Sleepcenter preserves the original images and statues from one of the three boats that came from a temple in Fuzhou; the other two boats sank. People constructed these sites out of the desire for security and cultural identity, and they manage to maintain prosperous fronts for these temples despite the heavy history of immigration. The story is quite touching.

    What are the challenges of creating works that treat spirituality as the primary subject in China? Who are the artists that inspired you? Do you think the so-called “religious revival” in China will benefit your practice?

    Mountain: There are many challenges. Despite our persistent efforts in presenting our work as a specimen of comparative cultural studies, our audience insists that it is only about fortune telling. And we began to understand the severity of cultural discontinuity in China—most people don’t know the ancient immortals’ names, let alone their professions. I find Lu Yang’s audacious use of images encouraging. She is also a follower of Tibetan Buddhism.

    River: The religious revival in China is a managed and controlled revival, which provides little room for new discoveries. It is more about tourism and psychological comfort. I’m inspired by Yin-Ju Chen, an artist from Taiwan, and Chinese artist Zheng Guogu.

    Are there any new exhibitions or projects coming up? Can you give us a preview of something that you’re working on now?

    Mountain: Recently, I showed Inanimate Sattva (2017) at Canton Gallery. This work incorporates stickers of animated characters that I put a lot of effort into making when I was a video game designer. Inspired by the idea of animism, I wanted to develop a dialogue between animate and inanimate matter through these cartoon characters endowed with my life. The autobiographical video installation also reflects the harsh living conditions of young professionals in China.

    River: Contrary to the usual portrayal of the youth as consumers, Mountain presents them as producers. I’m researching the connection between the myth of the dragon and a sea creature.

    Source: http://artasiapacific.com/Blog/TwentyFirst…
  • 2017/06 Howie Chen

    Mountain River Jump!

    Artforum 2017/06 Howie Chen Artforum

    by Howie Chan

    2017.06.30

    We are in a struggle of competing realities. The Guangzhou-based collective Mountain River Jump!—comprising identical twin sisters Huang Shan and Huang He—locates this conflict in a dimension where transcendent forces govern complex relations in our world. “REALITY CHECK 鬥法” is an exhibition bearing two names (the Chinese portion can mean “battle of magical powers”), embodying the strange agonism at play. A series of sculptural and diagrammatic works presents a syncretic cosmology that analyzes the mythical, political, and technological realms we experience.

    In Chinese Immortal Cards of the 21st Century, 2016–17, a circular cosmogram made of divination cards maps the crossroads of traditional beliefs and secular modernity. Each card connects a modern cultural icon with an esoteric Chinese god. High-profile figures such as movie actors, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals represent various themes, including death, power, and justice. In this new mythical universe, the ascendance of technology is undeniable. On one card, the image of the world in ancient Chinese cosmology is replaced by Instagram’s logo. This syncretic system becomes a tool for Mountain River Jump! to interpret the meshing of traditional, Communist, and Western life. Each scenario in the exhibition demonstrates how this divinatory practice is a form of cultural psychoanalysis—as both spiritual cartomancy and Western psychology have long sought access to a collective unconscious. The father/mother and Son of psychoanalysis, 2017, is a kind of Buddhist altar to this project, in which a lenticular image of Sigmund Freud and an image of the Greek urn containing his ashes face off under breast-like shrine lights.

    This exhibition can be seen as an addendum to Bruno Latour’s concept of secular modernity, defined not only by the radical separation of natural and social phenomena but also by the exclusion of the supernatural. By combining these elements, including ghosts, their new worldview may be the true parliament of all things.

    https://www.artforum.com/picks/id=69302

  • 2016/06 Xin Wang

    Of Gentrifiers And Rice

    Randian.com 2016/06 Xin Wang Randian.com

    By Xin Wang

     

    2016.04.29

    “CLAPBACK 2.Gently Weeps”

    The familiar story of gallery-led gentrification in New York took a fetishistic turn with its latest expansion to Chinatown. Look no further than i-D’s romanticizationof “garbage-laden streets” in a profile of the area’s new comers for your daily dose of hipster-doom. While most galleries and art spaces saw nothing more than cheap rent (and just about everything else) and a fusion oriental backdrop, the neighborhood has a way of interfering with what’s on show in the art spaces. Prototypes of joss-paper funerary offerings have been placed in pristine wall niches at James Cohen Gallery, where The Propeller Group’s vertiginous video of distinctly Vietnamese burial rituals is currently on view, in a funeral shop two storefronts down. Even for those sporadic initiatives that do intend to convene a critical commitment, the contrast between the place’s social and aesthetic density and the dearth of imagination in engaging with them is often astounding.

    These annoyances set me up for a pleasant surprise at SLEEP CENTER, a project space founded by young artists Rui Lin and Kerim Zapsu at the southern edge of Chinatown (Monroe Street), ensconced among robustly local worship/community/ therapeutic centers. Its recent two-man show featured Hao Ni and Blake Hiltunen, and managed to congeal nicely the disparate sculptural practices of the two in their shared teasing of the sensual (if not the fetishistic) in disparate mediums. During the exhibition’s two-week run, Ni’s “Hickies”—a constellation of found images printed and transferred onto the wall—would remain fresh as Hiltunen’s wax-based “Double Self Portrait” underwent a grotesque metamorphosis induced by a hovering heat lamp. Sometimes one sensed a nod to Chinatown as an unlikely imaginary, which comes in a good range, too. Hiltunen’s readymade of a Styrofoam container lid delivers a deadpan and slightly sinister message: “Destroy Yourself.” Ni’s faux-rice sculptures—kneaded together with embroidered/patterned fabrics or forming a fabulous arch atop two bowls—assert an uncanny claim to monumentality. Another manifestation of this almost non-cynical sense of wonder is “Tiger”, also by Hao Ni; installed deep in the adjacent boiler room, a hologram image of the big cat is at once obscured and accentuated by a translucent floral scarf. It is gorgeous and unapologetic—not to mention extremely comfortable in its own skin.

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