第66期 艺术小组:合作的症候(2010)

第66期 艺术小组:合作的症候(2010年)

学术主持:严舒黎  刘凡

主题:西京人 政纯办 没顶公司 阳江组 WAZA小组 双飞艺术中心 Unmask小组

新作:王顷 方璐 黄然 杨永生 陈芃芃

Issue No. 66(2010)

Theme: Art Groups:The Syndrome of Collaboration

Academic Host: Yan Shuli, Liu Fan

A.T: Xijing Men, Polit-Sheer-Form Office (PSFO), Madeln, WAZA, Double Fly Art Center, Unmask

A.N: Wang Qing, Fang Lu, Huang Ran, Yang Yongsheng, Chen Pengpeng

66

艺术小组:合作的症候

学术主持:严舒黎  刘凡

本期主题缘起于年初编辑部的一次讨论,此次讨论引发了关于艺术小组的话题,于是便有了这个主题的构想。艺术小组在中国当代前卫艺术史占有重要的一席之地。从80年代的“池社”、90年代的“新刻度小组”、“大尾象”工作组,到如今异常活跃的各种类型的当代艺术小组……这些艺术小组、团体的形成原因与创作活动多少都与对既有艺术边界进行突破和探索的倾向或意图相关联。正如本期邀请的学术主持、年轻策展人刘凡撰写的主题词中所提到的,艺术小组这种形式首先是对历史中形成的统一的、无歧义的、具有神性的“个体艺术家主体”这一既有观念的解构。这一解构还可延伸至其他方面,包括对历史的艺术生产接受系统的解读,以及这种理解对艺术实践的影响和作用。因而,艺术小组的形成、合作方式、人员变化、兴趣倾向其实都是艺术理论与艺术史值得去研究和解读的细节——很可惜,目前这方面的整体研究不多。当然,全面的研究不是本期目的所在,也不是这7个艺术小组个案所能承担的。我们只是试图从近年来不断在活动中的,或具有某些代表性的艺术小组出发——从中国历史记忆的集体主义形式切入的“政纯办”,到跨国界合作的“西京人”,从抛弃个体艺术家身份的“MadeIn公司”到作品完美统一的“Unmask小组”,从强调艺术与社会关系并认真实践的“WAZA小组”,到无厘头调侃的“双飞艺术中心”以及从书法小组演变成的“阳江组”——我们从这些差异明显的艺术小组出发,讨论艺术组合这种形式的多样性与其所生发的艺术可能性,并引发其他相关有意思的话题。

——严舒黎

 

文艺复兴以来备受推崇的艺术家个体的创造性价值,以1968年罗兰·巴特的文章《作者之死》的发表为标志,开始遭到人们的质疑。一部分西方艺术家开始选择以合作的方式来创作和完成作品,以拓宽观念艺术的边界,打破艺术的限制。以天才而存在的个体艺术家主体从此受到了挑战,艺术家的主体身份在当时的政治语境和激进的艺术展演中被重新定义,复合主体的出现,使得单个主体一统天下的局面从此被打破。而到了90年代,艺术家之间的这种合作还在继续,但更加鼓励将不同的个体视域融入到最后的作品之中。

中国当代艺术在2000年前后也出现了同样的合作症候。不同的艺术组合有着不同的组合目的,有的是为了打破艺术的限制,有的是为了创立新的主体,有的则是为了摆脱主体功能的单一性和固定性……虽然它们的成立时间都很短,但却为我们理解艺术创作主体及其带来的各种可能性提供了新鲜的范本。

虚构的假想——西京人

2007年,来自日本的小泽刚、中国的陈劭雄、韩国的金泓锡共同创造了目前在各自国家都不再使用的“西京”这样一个地理概念,并作为合作小组的名称。他们强调:三国历史上都曾出现过“西京”这样的地理名称,所以将其作为小组的名称。西京人的组合像一个松散的联盟,为了这个共同的地理概念而联合起来。就像人们在谈论“自我”时,认为“自我”没有一个固定的核心含义一样,我们对“西京”这个地域的概念也没有一个统一固定的核心含义。西京人小组通过对虚构的地域概念的阐释,对历史集体记忆的想像,用一种轻松而调侃的方式构建着一个既熟悉又陌生的日常生活。西京人给我们展示了这样一种矛盾:一方面,西京这个概念使人们沉浸在他们所营造的地域、历史以及此种背景下人的生活的想像之中,一方面,又使人无法摆脱在脱离这种想像后的那种失落感。西京人项目中,“身份”的概念并没有被简化为一种生物学的事实,而是被置入一种复杂的社会结构之中。在这种身份中,拼凑着各种社会信息和被操控的欲望,穿越地理、历史和心理的边界,制造出一个个无休止的、运动的和非连续性的幻觉。

乌托邦的暗示——政纯办

2005年成立的政纯办小组由艺术家洪浩、萧昱、宋冬、刘建华以及策展人冷林五位成员组成,政纯办是“政治纯形式办公室”的简称。政纯办的成员各自都有其代表性的作品和艺术风格,他们的组合更像是借用这种形式来表达一种态度,依赖他们察觉到的内部之间密切关联和各自占据的艺术、社会和政治空间的特殊模式,来探讨集体主义与艺术之间的种种复杂而纠结的关系,它所提出的乌托邦式的暗示是一种掩饰,这种掩饰通过其看似极具逻辑性的作品来实现的。从政治性极强的小组名称到文字说明,政纯办最初给人的印象是玩弄政治的噱头以招人眼球却缺乏内在学术性。在他们近期作品中,我们似乎看到它对学术性追求的努力。柔软而脆弱的豆腐成为某种模糊的隐喻,无论是在类似豆腐形状的墙体凿出人形,还是让豆腐自生自灭地融化,政纯办将复杂的空间和社会交互作用简化并使之抽象化,用另一种方式展现了存在和虚无、在场和缺席之间的矛盾纠葛。

艺术生产线——没顶公司

1968年出版的《社会景观》的作者居伊·博德(Guy Debord)提出了资本主义社会的焦点已经从生产转向了消费。这个观点在2000年前后的中国得到了印证,虽然中国是社会主义的市场经济。中国的当代艺术在经历了初级的艺术繁荣和经济危机的萧条之后,许多艺术家对艺术的关注也从艺术生产转向了艺术消费。没顶公司(MadeIn),是由徐震在2009年于上海创立的一个文化有限公司。徐震放弃了艺术家的身份,而以一个公司名义出现于人们的视野之中,打破了人们对艺术主体的传统理解,同时也试图回答一直困惑着中国当代艺术家的“身份”问题,以一种隐匿自我身份的方式来嘲讽艺术家对其身份的执著。没顶公司消费着西方主流当代艺术的外观,将其简化为极度风格化、表面化的形式,并利用公司的名义和商业运作模式,试图涉猎当代艺术的各个领域。

艺术的发展可能会因文化的不同而产生差异,但经济对不同艺术市场的影响有时却惊人地相似。20世纪80年代,西方经济经历了高速增长的时期,商人和收藏家开始作为重要的力量左右艺术市场,艺术品的价格成为公众津津乐道的话题。巴巴拉·克鲁格 (Barbara Kruger)曾经说过:“我希望它们(我的艺术作品)进入市场,因为我开始明白:市场之外什么也没有……”①虽然在方式上,没顶公司进入市场和巴巴拉·克鲁格进入市场有所不同,但他们都是以一种主动参与的态度,进入艺术市场的游戏中,并针对其制度进行了一系列的调侃和讽刺。虽然没顶公司提出他们重点针对的问题不是封闭性的身份、商业、生产等几个方面,而是对事实的态度和方法的强调,但也无法改变由个体身份的转变而带来的从生产到接受等变化的事实。

无厘头式的调侃——双飞艺术中心

“双飞艺术中心”组合由一帮来自杭州的年轻人组成。双飞的作品带有非理性的、歇斯底里的伪装,它用无厘头式调侃的方式:装白痴、抢银行、争舞王;尖叫、作怪相、猛撞……通过非主流的表演,运用身体和视觉技术,来瓦解人们对规范的假设和期待。双飞这些极端的处理手法不仅瓦解了过于严肃的屏幕图像,也破坏了贯穿于这些屏幕图像里的那些断断续续的叙述规则。双飞的作品在策略上创造了一种“非中心的”、被分裂的后都市主体,它将表演行为作为其结构的基础,并持续出现,将身体作为演绎某种奇异文化的载体,并在当代的都市空间中被体验和阐释。双飞的作品,会让你想起沃霍尔那句最具先见之明的、最著名的预言:“在未来,人人都将会有15分钟的出名机会”。 ②双飞组合通过利用而不是抑制,通过恶搞而不是粉饰,迅速地从严肃的作品之中脱颖而出,为我们描绘了一幅对意外的异质性理解的新图景。

接受之维的转换——WAZA

WAZA是由来自武汉的胡戈和王焕两位艺术家组成。虽然它的许多作品都形成于武汉这个极具市民气息和码头文化的中部城市,但其活动和展演却主要集中在京沪等艺术活跃地区。WAZA的作品显著的特点就是强调作品、环境和接受者之间的关系。德国学者汉斯·罗伯特·姚斯(Hans Robert Jauss)在他的接受理论中提到:读者/观者并不是被动地接受文本,而是积极地与之“协商”,基于他或者她自己的文化背景和个人经验来阐释。③WAZA正是用一种实验艺术的方式,试图打破艺术与其观者之间的关系,打破那些难以接受的看与被看的结构。正如批评家、理论家阿多诺曾提到:“美术馆是艺术作品的家庭掘墓者。”④WAZA近期的作品选择了废弃的社区卫生服务所、流动人口聚集的城中村出租屋……对这些非抽象的、非乌托邦式的转换空间进行展示,环境作为他者被观众凝视,这时观众将自身的特定文化和集体记忆予以客观化,并使之汇聚于作品之中,WAZA正是用这种方式来创造一种阐释性的反应,甚至创造一种特殊的阐释主体。

符号的转换——阳江组

创立于2002年的阳江组由艺术家郑国谷、陈再炎和孙庆麟组成。阳江组与有些艺术组合最大的不同之处在于,其核心成员郑国谷一边在参加小组的创作,一边又声称他与阳江组是分开的,而且他经常以其个人的名义参加展览。阳江组多次谈到,小组形成的原因是基于书法这种传统符号的特殊情感。事实上,阳江组也是以书法为媒介来进行艺术实践的。他们通过随意地重复书写──一种破坏性的、有活力的“盲目崇拜”,用自己和他人书写的文字组成的图像,营造出虚构和抽象并存的理想空间──一个符号化的多元视觉空间,它似乎展现了后殖民语境中,传统的、“第三世界的”客体与西方理性和进步主体的对立和冲突,但在与西方对立的表象之下,也让人质疑他们呈现的这种对立的真实性。

模块化的时尚——Unmask

成立于2001年Unmask艺术组合,是由刘展、潭天伟、匡峻三位成员组成。Unmask的作品时尚而诡异,它通过回到其熟悉的身体,以流动性的、非常规的方式来反抗身体,来达到一种超越身体的创造性状态。Unmask早期作品中蓄意的自我肢解、身体内部空洞的虚无,似乎让人看到了亨利·摩尔的影子。在其近期的作品中,满是动物毛发的身体被置于模块化的时尚中,符号化的身体和皮毛与指涉物之间的对立关系相互分离,这些奇异的身体与空间的虚无之间采取的是一种离间的策略。通过离间图像,使观者意识到图像是一种意识形态的体现,并在意识形态中建构。

可以看出,上述艺术家之间的合作有的临时而松散,有的则相对持久而固定,甚至还有公司化的运作模式,但其所指向的是某种艺术主体的态度,这种态度驱使人们去考量其思考模式,这种组合的运作使创作主体回到这些更加可塑的结构中,使之深化和发展。艺术组合的话题也将继续成为热门和焦点,并在国际艺术界的大背景下潮起潮落。

——刘凡

2010年8月于南湖畔

 

注:

1 Barbara Kruger, quoted in Carol Squires, “Diversionary (Syn)tactics: Barbara Kruger Has Her Way with Words,” Artnews 86(February 1987):80.

2 Andy Warhol, Kasper König, Ponyus Hulten, and Olle Granath, eds., Andy Warhol(Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1968), 14

3 Hans Robert Jauss, 1967 lecture at the University of Constance, Germany, published as Toward An Aesthetic of Reception (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982)

4 Theodor W. Adorno, “Valery Proust Museum, ” in Prisms, trans. Samuel and Shierry Weber(Cambridge, Mss.: MIT Press, 1997), 175

 

Art GroupsThe Syndrome of Collaboration

Academic Hosts: YAN Shuli    LIU Fan

 

 

The theme about Chinese art groups of the issue arose from a discussion by the editorial department at the beginning of the year which led to the topic about them. Thus there comes the theme. Art groups actually played extremely important role in the art history of the Avant-Gardes, from the Pool Society established in 1980s, the New Analysts Group and the big Tail Elephant Group in 1990s to a great number of currently active art groups. All their establishments and creation activities are more or less relative to the motive of breaking the old edge of art and doing new exploration. As Ms. LIU Fan, a young curator and our invited academic host of the theme, mentioned in her article below, the collaboration form of art groups firstly deconstructs the past concept of a unitary, unambiguous and divine individual subject of artist which established in the history. The deconstruction can be extended to other fields, for example as the understandings of art production and reception’s system and the influences or effects on art practices by the understandings. Therefore, the establishment, the way of collaboration between members, the change of members and the trends and interests of the art groups are actually all good details worthy of study and interpretation for the art history. Unfortunately, we have little research on them untill now. Obviously, the goal of the theme is not to do comprehensive research about the art groups which actually cannot be covered only by the following seven cases of art groups, but to take these currently active and somehow representative art groups as good examples, from Polit-Sheer Form Office who made an entrance from collectivism in Chinese history memory to Xijing Men who made cross-centennial cooperation between group members, from MadeIn Company who established a company to abandon the identify of an individual artist to Unmask whose works had a highly unitary and beautiful appearance, from Waza who emphasized the relationship between art and life and practiced seriously in their works to Double Fly Art Center with ironic and loony tone in their works and Yangjiang Group developed from a Chinese handwriting group. We hope to discuss the various forms of art groups and the possibilities provided by them through these seven art groups with great differences and to bring some other interesting topics about the art groups in Chinese contemporary art.

 

By YAN Shuli

 

The highly-venerated creative value of the individual artist since the Renaissance has come under question, with Roland Barthes’s 1968 essay of Death of the Author as the symbol. Some western artists opt to create and finish their works in the form of collaboration in order to broaden the boundaries of conceptual art and break the confines of art. The individual artist subject existed in the form of genius has been since challenged, the artist’s identity as the subject redefined under the political context and radical artistic exhibitions back then, and the dominance by the individual subject broken by the emergence of the compound subject. This collaboration among artists carried on into the 90s, but with more focus on encouraging the integration of diversified individual perspectives into the final works.

The similar collaboration syndrome also emerged in Chinese contemporary art around 2000. Different artistic combinations consist of different purposes,   some for the breaking of the confines of art, some the creation of new subjects, and some breaking away from the simplicity and rigidity of the function of the subject… Young as they are, they provide us with fresh sample for understanding the artistic creation subject and all the possibilities brought about by it.

Fictitious Hypothesis –Xijing Men

In the year of 2007, Tsuyoshi Ozawa from Japan, CHEN Xunxiong from China and KIM Hongsoku from Korea created together a geographic concept “Xijing (the West Capital) ”, which was no longer in use in all three countries, and used it as the title for their collaborative group. They emphasized that this geographic name “Xijing” had been a part of the histories of all three countries, hence the title for their group. This combination of Xijing Men was a rather loose alliance based on this common geographic concept. While “ego” is considered to be void of a fixed core meaning, we also didn’t assign a unified and fixed core meaning to the geographic concept of “Xijing”. Through the illustration of the fictitious geographic concept and imagination of the collective historic memories, Xijing Men constructed a familiar yet strange daily life in a relaxed and humorous manner. Xijing Men laid out before us a kind of paradox: on one hand, the concept of “Xijing” immersed people into the terrain and history they constructed and the imagination of people living under such background; on the other hand, people could not break free from the lost feeling once they got separated from this imagination. In the project of Xijing Men, the concept of “identity” was placed in a complicated social structure instead of being simplified into a biological fact. All sorts of social information and manipulated desires collaged in this identity created one after another ceaseless, dynamic and discontinuous illusions beyond the boundaries of geography, history and psychology.

Utopian Implication – Polit- Sheer – Form  Office (PSFO)

The PSFO Group created in 2005, which stands for “Polit-Sheer-Form Office”, consist of artists HONG Hao, XIAO Yu, SONG Dong, LIU Jiandong and curator LENG Lin. With each member’s respective representative works and artistic styles, their combination was more like an expression of an attitude through this form, discussing all sorts of complicated and intertwined relationships between collectivism and art depending on the particular pattern of the close yet separate artistic, social and political space that they had perceived. The utopian implication it brought up was a cover-up, which was achieved through the seemingly logical works. From the extremely political title of the group to the explanation in text, the first impression of PSFO was an attention-seeker through political gimmicks, failing to cover its lack of academic quality. It seemed that we could discover its pursuit of academic quality in their recent works. The soft and fragile tofu became some obscure metaphor, be it the carving of human figure out of the quasi-tofu wall or the melting down of tofu on its own course. PSFO simplified and abstracted the interaction between complicated space and society, exhibiting the paradoxes between existence and void as well as presence and absence in another manner.

Artistic Assembly Line – MadeIn

Guy Debord, the author of The Society of Spectacle in 1968, put forward that the focus of the capitalist society had shifted from production to consumption, which was verified in China around 2000, though being a socialist market economy. While the Chinese contemporary art had gone through the initial artistic boom and the depression of economic crisis, a lot of artists also shifted their attention from the production to the consumption of art. MadeIn is a limited company of culture established in Shanghai by XU Zhen in 2009. The fact that XU Zhen had given up his identity as an artist and emerged in the name of a company shattered the traditional understanding of artistic subject while trying to answer the question of “identity”, which had been baffling Chinese contemporary artists, mocking the artists’ persistence of their identities in a self-concealing way. The MadeIn Company consumed the appearance of western mainstream contemporary art, simplifying it into an extremely stylized and superficial form, while attempting to dabble in all fields of contemporary art in the name of the company and the mode of commercial operation.

The development of art may vary due to the differences in cultures, but the impacts of economy on different art markets are sometimes astonishingly alike. The West had experienced an economic boom in the 1980s, during which time businessmen and collectors began to assume the positions of influential powers on the art markets and the price of art works became the hot topic in public. Barbara Kruger once said: “I hope for them (my art works) to enter the market, for I begin to realize: there is nothing outside the market …”1 Though different in the manner of entry into the market, both Barbara Kruger and the Madein Company adopted an attitude of active participation to enter the game of art market while carrying out a series of mocking and sarcasm aiming at its system. The MadeIn Company pointed out that what they aimed at were the attitude towards facts and the emphasis on methods instead of aspects of closed identities, commerce and production, still it could alter the fact that the changes in production to reception were brought about by the shift in individual identities.

The Looney-Tune Sarcasm – Double Fly Art Center

“Double Fly Art Center” is a group of youths from Hangzhou. Their works were masqueraded in irrationality and hysteria, adopting a looney-tune sarcastic approach: acting as idiots, robbing banks, scrambling for the title of dancing king; shrieking, making faces, crashing … breaking down people’s assumption and expectation of norms through the non-mainstream performance utilizing body and visual techniques. Not only did the extreme approaches disintegrate the too serious screen images, but they also wrecked the rules of intermittent narration through those screen images. Strategically speaking, the works of “Double Fly Art Center” created an “un-centered” and split post-urban subject, adopting the performance as its foundation of structure with continuous appearance, and body as the carrier of performing some bizarre culture while being experienced and illustrated in the contemporary urban space. Their works would remind you of the most famous and prophetic saying of Warhol: “in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minute..” 2  “Double Fly Art Center” swiftly stood out from the crowd through utilization instead of restraining and mocking instead of whitewashing to paint a new image of heterogeneous understanding of accidents.

The Conversion of the Dimension of Reception – WAZA

WAZA consists of two artists from Wuhan – HU Ge and WANG Huan. While a lot of its works were formed in Wuhan, a central city immersed in civilian touch and dock culture, its actions and exhibitions were mainly placed in the artistically active areas, like Beijing and Shanghai. The striking feature of WAZA’s works is the emphasis on the relationship among works, the environment and receivers. The German scholar Hans Robert Jauss once mentioned in his reception theory: Reader/viewer does not passively receive a text, but actively “negotiates” with it to reach an interpretation based on his or her cultural background and personal experiences. 3 WAZA adopted an approach of experimental art, striving to break the relationship between art, as well as its viewers and the unacceptable structure of the viewing and the viewed. As the critic and theoretician Adorno once mentioned: “Museum are the family sepulchers of works of art.” 4 The recent works of WAZA chose the abandoned community health services, rent houses of the village inside the city where the floating population converges … While the un-abstract un-utopian space of conversion was exhibited, and the environment under the gaze of viewers as the other, the viewers objectified their own particular culture and collective memories and integrated them into the works. It was through this approach that WAZA created an interpretative reaction and even a special interpretative subject.

The Change of Symbols – Yangjiang Group

Established in 2002, Yangjiang Group is made up of artists ZHENG Guogu, CHEN Zaiyan and SUN Qinglin. The biggest difference between Yangjiang Group and some art groups is the fact that while its core member ZHENG Guogu participated in the group creation, he also maintained that he was separated from Yangjiang Group and participated individually in exhibitions. Yangjiang Group has mentioned repeatedly that the reason for forming this group is a special affection for the traditional symbol calligraphy. In fact, Yangjiang Group also used calligraphy as the medium of artistic practice. Through random and repeated writing – a destructive and lively “blind worship”, they used the written words of their own and others to form images, creating an ideal space where fiction and abstraction coexist – a symbolized multi-visual space, which seemed to exhibit the confrontation and conflict between the traditional “third-world” object and the western rational and progressive subject under the post-colonial context, but unable to conceal its active flattery towards the western aesthetic taste under its superficial confrontation against the west.

Modularized Fashion – Unmask

LIU Zhan, TAN Tianwei and KUANG Jun were the three members that constitute the art group Unmask, which was established 2001. Their works are fashionable and bizarre, fighting the body in a fluid and unconventional approach through going back to its familiar body, in order to achieve a creative status that transcends the body. In the earlier works of Unmask, the deliberate self dismemberment and the hollow void inside the body seemed to remind people of Henry Moore. In their recent works, the body covered in animal hair was placed in the modularized fashion, the confrontational relationship between the symbolized body, skin and hair and the referent was mutually separated, and between the weird body and the void of space was adopted an alienative strategy. Through alienating the images, the viewers realize that images are the representation of an ideology constructed in the ideology.

While some of the above-mentioned collaborations were temporary and loose, some more lasting and stable, and some even operated in the corporate mode, what they pointed towards was the kind of attitudes of the subject – attitudes impel people to consider their thinking pattern and the operation of the collaboration brings the creative subjects back into these more moldable structures, deepening and developing it. The topic of art collaboration will continue to be the hot topic and focus, rising up and down against the grand background of international art world.

 

By LIU Fan

Written in Aug 2010 by the South Lake

 

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