第69期 水墨之眼:错置的空山(2011)

第69期 水墨之眼:错置的空山(2011年)

学术主持:崔灿灿

主题:武艺 徐累 邱志杰 蔡广斌 孙逊 张正民 陈彧凡 张诠 季云飞

新作:唐承华 莫雄 刘洁 界山雪 李佳  仵杰

Issue No. 69(2011)

Theme: The Eye of the Ink Paintiing: The Misplaced Hollow Mountain

Academic Host: Cui Cancan

A.T: Wu Yi, Xu Lei, Qiu Zhijie, Cai Guangbin, Sun Xun, Zhang Zhengmin, Chen Yufan, Zhang Quan, Ji Yunfei

A.N: Tang Chenghua, Mo Xiong, Liu Jie, Jie Shan Xue, Li Jia, Wu Jie

69

 

水墨之眼:错置的空山

学术主持:崔灿灿

 

本世纪第一个十年,当代艺术在合法化、资本化、市场化方面取得的进展离我们而去。然而,与当代艺术曾结为“盟友”而又被视作“伪军”的“实验水墨”仍面临着极其复杂、艰涩的道路,新的样式和思想以及各种挑战令人应接不暇。

新的十年所产生的特殊情境使得“水墨艺术”的生存和境遇本身更为复杂和琐碎,更难以索解和把握。前现代、现代、后现代的交织与共生加剧了“水墨”这一概念或主体的破裂和异化。导致这一问题的成因同样也在于:沉积于上个世纪的水墨问题依然左右着新十年,各种完全相异的文化、价值、形态在政治、经济、社会的衍变之下展开多样的碰撞、交流、汲取和排斥。而各种渗透着启蒙思想、科学实证、艺术自律、政治意识形态、身份之争、学科边界的观念与价值体系像幽灵一般,在“水墨”作品和“水墨”理论中随时登场。错置的“水墨”世界早已超出了上个世纪那些神圣的、单纯的“东-西”“传统-激进”“民族-国际”“自律-开放”等二元对立式的现代命题。

如若说上世纪的“水墨艺术”是一部中国传统水墨艺术的改良史,倒不如将其理解为由“现代化”所主导的一部开放式的“观念史”。在这样一部“观念史”中,改良显然是一种无法自圆其说的、温馨的暧昧回忆。人们不难从中嗅出荡涤了百年的激进情绪,那种带有历史决定论嫌疑的口吻反复强调着“新与旧”“传统与现代”“落后与先进”的对立语式。我们可以从上世纪的一些“水墨艺术”中寻找到这种“现代性”语式和理论之下的作品,这些作品大致可以分为以下几类:1、追求真理的客观性,利用科学实证、普遍性及写实主义的手法;2、追求正义的自律性道德,利用现实主义、自然主义,结合意识形态、道德标准所形成的前卫、批判的反映论;3、追求纯粹审美的自主性艺术,类似于“为艺术而艺术”“艺术自主”这种经典式的现代形式主义。然而,在梳理了这三种发展方向之后,我们可以发现这些貌似异途的节点,却又具有殊途同归之处,即:植根于欧美大陆的现代性所带来的“进步”与“求新”。

即便是最为“温和”的形式主义也难免逃离“艺术自律”背后带有目的论和功利性色彩的现实诉求和政治背景,上世纪80年代初的形式启蒙,也是对社会现实主义所强制打造的形式单一化和语言固定模式的反驳。然而,在形式启蒙的别处,另一张“艺术自主”的温床滋生了90年代的寄生于传统文脉之中的“新文人画”。对于“墨戏”与“趣味”的讨论随之展开,反应最为强烈的依然是飘荡于历史之中的现实主义反映论式的前卫批判,历史的轮回在于,这种所谓的、新的“历史批判论”再次滑入与之批判对象(社会现实主义)所相同的道路。“水墨”领域依然是各种历史、文化、经济、政治在不同时间、空间展开的激进主义思潮和传统势力的角斗场。“依仁游艺”终归走向了“经世致用”。

讨论并不局限于“水墨艺术”内部的清理与界定,它源自于上世纪那根救亡传统的稻草“现代性”,以及将变革本身作为“强国”首要价值的心理期待。当我们将视线触及“水墨艺术”现代转型的脉络,从“美术革命”、“中国画改良”到“改造中国画”至“85新潮中国画穷途末路”、“架上结构”,这不断上演的激进主义热潮,都显露出中国传统人文主义的溃败,现代工具理性的胜出。然而,这场胜出并不意味着那些隐含着历史决定论的前进所祈求的美好图景已然展现。“水墨”现代转型所带来的弊病,依然具有和欧美同位的普遍性:“专业化 ”和“世俗化”在“水墨艺术”中的尖锐冲突;“进步”和“创新”带来的新事物使得“水墨艺术”始终处于一种倍受煎熬的纠葛与选择之中;“水墨艺术”物质属性与精神观念的深度对立和异化;传统信仰、人文价值、语言系统的全面崩塌;“水墨”技艺的丧失和其所带来的“本体”恐慌与“媒介”身份等。这一系列的问题,不仅取决于中国的特殊情境和非理性的社会变革所带来白热化与极端化,它也在“水墨艺术”中演练了“现代性”自身的悲剧(同样它也构成了“现代性”的一部分)。“养虎为患”的“现代性”不断地自己反对自己的传统,自己超越自己的旧习,永不停歇地追逐,没有终极的未来。

棘手的问题总是需要解决,“现代性”内部因素的积累与生长所引起的自主变革总是不及外部理论刺激来的那么痛快。后现代主义的大船停泊于这场仍未完结现代化改造现场的码头,一种全新的理论模式被引进,似乎它成为那些阵痛的麻醉剂。“身份问题”成为“水墨艺术”重新入主“现代性”、“国际化”的机遇,“实验水墨”也在这个时候被应急式地提出。在问题提出的基础语境之中,理论家们罗列了诸多“水墨”现代转型的现状与危机,并试图以此解决“水墨艺术”在成为世界语言的进程中,在牺牲传统特征和语言系统的同时,又区别于其它艺术语言、特征的独立性。在这样的前提之下,对独特感觉、独特的观照世界方式的强调,加之“当下性”“可能性”的提出 ,“水墨艺术”因具有特殊的“身份问题”和作为“本土性的自然反应”成为一种抵御中心的边缘文明。但,对某种“实验”状态的“抽象式”鼓励,并不能从本质解决作祟于“传统”“民族”之下的人文价值和工具理性的错置与交叉, 并超越“东-西”、“中心-他者”、“本体-形态”的二元对立式的冲突问题,反而会成为被批判者的“镜像”,从而使得二元对立的结构关系更为完善、牢固。

“经世致用”的时代需求,衍生了“水墨艺术”的“媒介实验”与“语言实验”的交替性震荡,世俗的社会关怀、逻辑严密的知识验证、纷繁多样的形式翻新都是基于政治紧迫性和社会紧迫性的“专业化”推动。诚然,这是“水墨艺术”现代转型的阶段性成果,也是必然需要经历的过程,它和“坐井观天”有着本质性的区别。但如前文中所言:植根于欧美大陆的现代性所带来的“进步”与“求新”成为“水墨”延伸与攻守的初动力,而力求角逐于国际语言之中的开放又何尝不是另一种“激进主义”,一种急需“自尊自强”的功利之路。永无止境的追逐和对新事物的焦虑性选择与吸纳,是否具有终极的形而上学追问价值?“水墨艺术”在经历了如此众多的改造与转向之后依然是被“当下性”绑架的工具,“再现论”的牢笼始终禁锢着其内省的深度文明建构。

观看并不仅仅依靠纯粹之眼,而是始终在衡量物与主体之间的关系,“主体性”依然是“水墨艺术”所面临的核心问题。“启蒙思想、科学实证、艺术自律、政治意识形态、身份之争、学科边界的观念与价值体系”都构成了观看之眼,都可以被理解为某种理论的主体性价值和形态对物的判断与描述,近百年的“水墨”现代转型都是在这双“现代”之眼所触及到的理想中开始与完成的。在这双“眼睛”之下,即时性、实用性、道德性成为“水墨”结构性张力中最为重要的一环。即便是假借“民族”之眼,脱离文化与形态的横向分类,使得“水墨”变为策略性识别的文化牌和自我认可的新衣。

从“现代之眼”开始,“水墨艺术”成为寄于“现代性”理论之下的可造之物,成为二元对立式紧张性结构关系中的一元。“后现代之眼”的出现给“水墨艺术”带来了空前的身份解放,同时也使得“水墨艺术”获得超越固有本质和绘画媒介论的陷阱。这个时候,更为广阔,甚至漫无边际的历史视野如何在横向的“民族”“边缘”等身份问题及纵向的“传统”“本质”等艺术问题上展开“实验”则是摆在理论及实践面前的核心。正是基于“实验”的可能性,我们不仅要在现有的体系之中展开工作,同样,理论的自觉意识也需要我们从理论的建构和追问做起。笔者提出一种观看方法的假想,即“水墨之眼”。它的提出,并非是将“水墨”放置于同“现代”、“后现代”相同的理论境遇和方法系统之中。“水墨”作为被后两种理论悬置或绑架的“主体”,需要获得一种“主体的解放”,即:在一定程度上“去现代”、“去后现代”,逃脱“再现论”、“二元论”的阴影,获得“主体”的自在。或者说,“水墨之眼”是在面对同一物的时候区别于“现代之眼”、“后现代之眼”的另类观看。这种观看的标准不再建立于“新与旧”、“进步与落后”、“科学与人文”、“激进与保守”、“国际与民族”等现代及后现代所解决的问题之上。它是一种观察、认识世界的独特方式。

“实验”仍然作为这一观看的重要实践,它不仅是理论的自觉实验,也是实践的自觉实验。它强调一种“错置”,艺术与世界的错置,现象与现象之间的错置,它没有整一的逻辑体系,也很难被实证所推导。同时这种“错置”的也是对“试错”精神的强调,即:通过实验,哪怕是一种无用的、带有错误可能性的工作仍然持之以恒地展开。不预设步骤严密的走向终点,没有“历史决定论”的意识呼唤,也没有“进化论式”的心理期待。或者说,它更像是一种和“既时性”“实用性”“道德性”无关的工作方式。

“实验”的对象是什么,它是现象与世界之中的“空山”,是关于“什么是世界”“什么是艺术”的一种同构与错置。“空山”是援引自王维的诗句,它是一种传统自然观和宇宙观的形而上学,然而在这种形而上学遭遇今天的现实语境之时,是错置的,而不是矛盾的,没有时间与空间的概念,更像是一种念头或冥想。“错置的空山”是更为复杂和破碎的现象及体验,也是“水墨艺术”在遭遇了现代、后现代之后所显现出来的,或者说是从未离开的一种深层冲动所绵延的纯粹性与超越性价值。

 

 

The Eye of the Ink Painting: the Misplaced Hollow Mountain

Academic Host:CUI Cancan

Waving goodbye to the first decade of this century, the contemporary art has gained considerable progress in lega200013lization, capitalization and marketization. However, the “experimental ink painting”, which was once an ally with the contemporary art but was later condemned to be the “puppet army”, is still confronted with an extremely complicated, arduous and obscure road, new mode and thoughts and overwhelmingly assorted challenges.

 

The new decade creates a special circumstance that further complicates and trivializes the survival and condition of the “ink painting art”, rendering it to be more incomprehensible. The intertwining and symbiosis of the pre-modern, modern and post-modern aggravates the rupture and alienation of this concept or subject of “ink painting”. The contributing factor also lies with the fact that the sedimentary problem of last century’s ink painting still dominates the new decade, and the collision, exchange, absorption and repulsion among diversified cultures, values and forms under the evolution of politics, economy and society. The conceptions and values systems drenched with varied enlightenment thoughts, scientific demonstrations, artistic self-discipline, political ideologies, fight over identities and frontiers of disciplines always pop up at any time in the “ink painting” works and theories, just like a ghost. The misplaced “ink painting” world has long surpassed the sacred and pure modern propositions of binary opposition, like “east – west”, “traditional – radical”, “national – international”, “self discipline – open”, etc.

 

We’d better interpret the “ink painting art” of the last century to be an open “history of ideas” led by the “modernization”, instead of a history of amelioration of Chinese traditional art. Evidently amelioration is a heart-warming and obscure memory that fails to self-justify in a history of ideas as this. It’s not hard to detect the radical emotions that have raged for a century, a tone with historicism repeatedly emphasizing the opposition between “the new and the old”, “the traditional and the modern” and “the backward and the advanced”. We can find among some “ink painting art” from last century works created under this “modern” linguistic mode and theory, which can be briefly divided into the following kinds: 1. the pursuit of the objectivity of truth, employing the means of scientific demonstration, universality and realism; 2. the pursuit of the righteous self-disciplinary ethics through the avant-garde and critical theory of reflection produced by the combination of realism, naturalism, ideologies and ethic standards; 3. the pursuit of pure aesthetic art of autonomy, in resemblance to the classical modern formalism, such as “art for the sake of art” and “art autonomy”. Nevertheless, combing through the 3 directions of development, the seemingly different cut points wind up in the same destination, namely, the “progress” and “seeking for something new” brought by the modernity that is rooted in the west.

 

Even the most “mild” formalism cannot escape from the teleological and utilitarian appeal in reality and political background behind the “artistic self-discipline”. The enlightenment of forms in the beginning of 1980s was also based on the retort against the simplification of forms and fixed modes of languages imposed by the social realism. However, elsewhere in the enlightenment of forms, the hotbed of another “art autonomy” gave birth to the “new scholar painting”, an heir to the traditional literary lineage, after which rose the discussion of “ink play” and “interest”. The strongest reaction was still the avant-garde criticism of realistic theory of reflection floating around in the history, and the reincarnation of history was rooted in the relapse of the so-called new “historical criticism” slipping into the same path of its object of criticism (social realism). The “ink” remains to be the arena for the fight between radical thoughts and traditional powers in different time and space under diversified histories, cultures, economies and politics, “cultivation with benevolence at the heart” eventually leading to “learning for the sake of politics”.

 

The discussion was not limited to the internal clearing and definition of the “ink painting art”, instead it was still rooted in the “modernity” of salvation tradition of the last century and the psychological expectation of treating revolution itself as the prime value of a “great power”. Following the trail of the modern transformation of the “ink painting art”, from the “revolution of fine arts”, the “amelioration of Chinese painting” through the “reform of Chinese painting” to “the dead end of Chinese Painting in the 85 New Wave” and the “structure on the easel”, these endless waves of radicalism reveal the collapse of traditional Chinese humanism and the triumph of rationality of modern tools. Nevertheless, this triumph does not mean the realization of the wonderful vision prayed by the progress with hidden historicism. The drawbacks brought by the modern transformation of “ink painting” are not free from the universality of their Western counterparts: the fierce conflict between “professionalization” and “secularization” in the “ink painting art”; the new things brought by the “progress” and “renovation” putting the “ink painting art” in a constant excruciating entanglement and choices; the deep opposition and alienation of the physical quality and mental conceptions of the “ink painting art”; the total collapse of traditional beliefs, humanistic values and linguistic systems; the loss of “ink painting” techniques and the “noumenon” panic and “media” identity brought by it. The string of problems is not only rooted in the heatedness and extremity brought by the particular situation in China and the irrational society changes, but it also exercises the tragedy of “modernity” itself (as well as constituting a part of it) in the “ink painting art”. Like a snake warmed in the bosom, the “modernity” just keeps on opposing its own traditions and exceeding its own old habits in a ceaseless pursuit to a future with no destination.

 

Eventually those thorny problems still need to be dealt with, the autonomous revolution caused by the accumulation and growth of the internal “modernity” factor is not so fast and smooth as the stimulation from external theories. The big ship of post-modernism berthing on the dock of this unfinished scene of the reform of modernization and the introduction a brand new theoretic mode seem to serve as the anesthetic to these throes. The “identity problem” becomes an opportunity for the “ink painting art” to re-enter the “modernization” and “internationalization”, while the “experimental ink painting” urgently raised. In the basic context in which the problem is raised, theoreticians have listed numerous status quo and crises of the modern transformation of “ink painting”, through which they strive to solve the independence of the “ink painting art” that distinguishes it from other art languages and features in its process of becoming a world language while sacrificing the traditional features and linguistic systems. Under such premise, in addition to the emphasis on the unique feelings and unique way of witnessing the world and the raising of “presentist” and “probability”, the “ink painting art” becomes a border civilization to resist the core due to its special “identity problem” as an “indigenous natural response”. However, the “abstract” encouragement for some “experimental” status cannot solve in essence the misplacement and crossover of the humanistic values and the rationality of tools under the influence of the “traditional” and the “national”, nor can it transcend the conflict of binary opposition, like “east – west”, “core – other” and “noumenon – form”, instead it will be the mirror of the criticized, thus perfecting and consolidating the structural relationship of binary opposition.

As the request of the age, “learning for the sake of politics” has given birth to the alternating shock of “media experiment” and “linguistic experiment” of the “ink painting art”, and the secular societal care, logical intellectual validation, assorted update of forms are all propelled by the “professionalization” of the political and social urgency. Indeed, this is a periodic result of the modern transformation of “ink painting art” as well as a necessary process to go through, distinguishing itself from the “narrow-mindedness” in essence. But as aforementioned: the “progress” and “seeking for something new” brought by the modernity that is rooted in the west becoming the initial force of the extension and defense and offense of the “ink painting”, why shouldn’t the openness that strives to compete in the international language be another kind of “radicalism”, a path of material gains that is in urgent need of “self-respect and self-improvement”. Do endless pursuit and anxious choice and absorption of new things possess the ultimate metaphysical value for pressing for questions? After experiencing so many reforms and conversions, the “ink painting art” still remains a tool abducted by the “presentist”, its introspective deep cultural construction forever caged inside by the “reassertion”.

 

The viewing does not only depend on the pure eye, instead it always weighs the relationship between the object and the subject, with the “subjectivity” still remaining the core problem confronting the “ink painting art”. Whatever constitutes the eye of viewing, be it the conceptions and values systems of “enlightenment thought, scientific demonstration, artistic self-discipline, political ideologies, fight over identities or frontiers of disciplines”, it can be interpreted to be the judgment and description of the object by the subjective value and form some theory, while a century’s modern transformation of the “ink painting” being carried out in the ideals covered by the pair of “modern” eyes, under which the instantaneity, practicability and morality have become the most significant link in the structural tensity of the “ink painting”. In the guise of the “national” eye, the horizontal classification detached from cultures and forms has converted the “ink painting” into a cultural card of strategic identification and a piece of new clothes of self-approval.

 

Since the start of the “modern eye”, the “ink painting art” has become a moldable object attached to the “modernity” theory, a link in the intense structural relationship of binary opposition. The appearance of the “post-modern eye” brought to the “ink painting art” an unprecedented liberation of identity as well as a trap that transcends the intrinsic nature and painting media theory. Now the core confronting the theory and practice is how the wider or even unrestrained historical view would carry out “experiments” on the horizontal identity issues like “the national” and “the border”, and the vertical artistic issues like “the tradition” and “the essence”. It is exactly based on the probability of “experiment” that we not only carry out our work in the current system, but also start from the construction and pursuit of theories to build theoretical self-consciousness. The author puts forward a hypothesis for the way of viewing, namely “the eye of the ink painting”, the proposition of which shouldn’t be considered as putting the “ink painting” into the same theoretical circumstance and methodic systems as the “modern” and the “post-modern”. As a “subject” suspended or abducted by the aforementioned two theories, the “ink painting” is in need of a kind of “liberation of the subject” – “de-modern” and “de-post-modern” to some extent, escaping from the shadow of “reassertion” and “dualism” in order to obtain the freedom of the “subject”. Or, “the eye of the ink painting” is an alternative viewing that distinguishes itself from “the eye of the modern” and “the eye of the post-modern” when confronted with the same object. The standards of viewing are no longer built on the issues solved by the modern and the post-modern, like “the new and the old”, “the progressive and the backward”, “science and humanism”, “the radical and the conservative”, “the international and the international”, etc. it’s a unique way to observe and understand the world.

 

As an important practice of the viewing, the “experiment” is not only a self-conscious experiment of the theory, but also of the practice. It puts emphasis on the “misplacement” – misplacement between the art and the world, and between phenomenon and phenomenon; it has no unified logic system and can hardly be deduced by demonstration. Meanwhile, this “misplacement” also puts focus on the spirit of “trial and error”, namely the implementation through constant experiments, even if it’s work of futility and with potential for errors. It marches towards the destination without the preset rigorous procedure, echo of consciousness of “historicism”, nor “evolutionary-style” psychological expectation. To put it in another way, it’s more like an operation mode that has nothing to do with “instantaneity”, “practicability” and “morality”.

What is the object of “experiment” – it’s a “hollow mountain” between phenomenen and the world, it’s an isomorph and misplacement about “what is the world” and “what is the art”. As a quotation from WANG Wei’s poem, the “hollow mountain” is a kind of metaphysics of traditional views of nature and universe. But when confronted with the current real context , this kind of metaphysics is misplaced rather than paradoxical, without the concept of time and space, more like a thought or meditation. The “misplaced hollow mountain” is a more complicated and broken phenomenon and experience as well as purity and transcendental values extended from a deep impulse that is revealed after the “ink painting art’s” encounter with the modern and the post-modern or that has never left.

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