第87期 后语境(2014)

第87期 后语境(2014年)

学术主持:蓝庆伟

主题:黄淋 吉磊 吴昊 徐跋骋 李大鹏 董健 黄秋霞 石羆

新作:周颢 沈爱其 欧阳东宁 王爽 沈蕾 刘志画

Issue No. 87(2014)

Theme: The Post-linguistic Context

Academic Host: Lan Qingwei

A.T: Huang Lin, Ji Lei, Wu Hao, Xu Bacheng, Li Dapeng, Dong Jian, Huang Qiu Xia, Shi Pi

A.N: Zhou Hao, Shen Aiqi, OuYang Dongning, Wang Shuang, Shen Lei, Liu Zhihua

87

 

后语境

the post-linguistic context

学术主持:蓝庆伟  ACADEMIC HOST: LAN QINGWEI

 

语境一词常是历史研究中的必要概念,与字面意思不同,这里的“语境”更多地指向一种非语言因素,在文字中我们经常用上下文方式来交代。在中国当代艺术三十年的发展中,从“美术”一词的引入中国到现代主义在20世纪80年代的再次被学习,当代艺术有着一条从文字到语言、从封闭到开放、从不能到可能的转换,这形成了20世纪七八十年代艺术发展脉络的基本语境。

 

经过这三十年的当代艺术发展,再加上21世纪第一个十年市场经济的推动,拍卖神话与偶像不断地产生,曾经反体制的代表人物有意无意地成功塑造了新的“体制”,恰如以色列人不顾摩西《十诫》的劝阻而塑造崇拜物。当我们反观历史,对过去的每个阶段总能给予线条式的概括,20世纪80年代的思想解放与90年代的改革开放更像是一种口号式的硬着陆,吸纳与修正需要更长的时间去规范。而被问及对今天的概括时,所有人都难以给出准确的答案——或者不愿给出。

 

在当下,现实的环境往往是被诟病的,对现实的各种不满与无奈,大有“念天地之悠悠,独怆然而涕下”(陈子昂《登幽州台歌》)的悲愁之情,但物质生活的满足似乎将这些问题迎刃而解,既然不能兼济天下,不如好好独善其身。这样的想法在中国产生并不奇怪,20世纪80年代以后,中国在方方面面都有西方国家作为对比,这种比较自然让人看清楚差距——制度不完善、价值观不同、民众素质差异,于是在“地球村”的全球化背景下,中国与他国的语境似乎和谐统一了。但问题的根本在于地域差异所造成的独特性以及地缘政治的差异化,当回顾历史诸多经典文学或艺术作品时,作者与众不同的独特背景往往是其创作的来源。我们或许在羡慕着别人的制度,而西方的创作者可能正在羡慕你所处的环境。在社会发展的过程中,规范是一种模式,混乱同样是一种模式,盲目评价孰好孰坏没有意义,这里着重要讨论的是可能性的问题,在两种模式下都存在着诸多可能性,只不过显现的形式不同而已。21世纪初,多位远居国外的中国艺术家回国,曾引发艺术界的讨论,在艺术家本人对回国意图进行完整的阐述之前,任何一种解释都无可厚非,但理想主义的问题摆了出来——为什么他们从我们渴望的西方回到东方?这并不存在民族主义的猜忌,对艺术创作来讲,换一个地方可能会更了解自己之前与现在的语境,以免不识庐山真面目后的空欢喜。

 

与其重塑偶像不如坚持上帝已死,在日常生活中,中国电子商务界传奇人物马云对我们生活的改变是巨大的,一根网线连接着两个可以交叉的世界并不足为奇,关键在于将平等权交给个体的一端而非集体,让网友摆脱了千里马无数、伯乐难寻的“世人解听不解赏,长飚风中自来往”(李欣《听安万善出筚篥歌》)境界。试图以网络为媒介寻找真正的平等这种想法在今天不足为奇,因为现在其实就是未来,坚持明天才是未来其实是活在一个被昨天占据着的温水煮的过去之中,同样也是一种没有自我的怪胎。比起找寻千里马与伯乐,真正应该找寻的是自我。

 

21世纪以来,在重新构建公共秩序与社会规则的中国,新一代的年轻人的人生被不断地拉长以致很容易对未来迷茫、失去信心。在现有体制不变的前提下,新的社会细胞在增多,在艺术领域不论新型美术馆、基金会、国际艺术展览都在克服种种困难,以新规则彰显自己的价值和主张。“后语境”这个词看似深奥,其实不过是一种更强调主体内在线索发展的成长方式,或者说是主体对环境有一定自由度的选择空间,社会群体不再因统一的社会语境形成相似人格。这个概念并非针对整体提出,而是更多地表现于个体及一定范围内的集体。今天的后语境社会有多元的形态,同时又拥有着国际文化背景,在现代与后现代的交织下,再加之自身的文化传统,使得文化语境形成了新的变化。中国的今天或许正是无数外围创作者所羡慕的社会生态,无论是体制、略有症状的后殖民还是后现代,最为特殊的是还同样拥有着古典文化与现代语境以及1949年以来及1978年以来所形成的新制度与当代艺术传统。在这种种语境交织下,后语境实际是一种新语境,它仅仅是一种强调非一元中心的文化表征,而这种新语境的关键在于放弃神话、相信回归自我,在于将今天的自我——非以昨日标准生活的——当作未来来调整。

 

后语境:拓展的边界与风化的故土

 

很多人不免会问:“后语境是什么?”如果用一句简单的话来概括,我更倾向于用“后语境,仅仅是一种提醒”来描述。伴随着改革开放发展而来的中国当代艺术直到今天都面临着“当代艺术是什么?”、“什么样的艺术是当代艺术?”等诸多概念性或本质问题。这样的问题看似无聊却经不起深问。这些问题的出现恰恰代表着新一代艺术从业者对规则的期待以及对学术的负责。作为中国当代艺术的开创者,不论他们承认与否,他们都是充满着伟大的理想主义跟伟大的英雄主义情怀的一批人,用“驭世”的心态大步前进。但以今天创造明天来发展的艺术家,除却要有持久强烈的理想主义之外,需要怀揣的是“经世”的心态与行动。其实我们都或多或少能描述一些“当代艺术”的表征,这正如我们在面对今天的时候总希望有一种简单的规则去沟通——当然这个规则是建立在普世价值观基础上,这样的语境其实才是国际化的当下,尤其是年轻一代艺术家应该面对的一个语境。
“后语境”同样也有着它的表征,根据当下艺术家作品所呈现出来的面貌,设置“城市意识”、“本土生成”、“自我营造”、“性别品格”四个单元,这本身也是对国际语境城市化建设与自我本体的思考所展现出来的。

 

城市意识

 

无论是20年前还是今天,城市化始终是大家共同的记忆——记忆形式当然各有不同——就像“知青”一代对农村的记忆一样,这种记忆伴随着工业化大生产和城市重建形成。在这个单元中,艺术家对城市化中的脉络、风景、老房子、工业化、时间痕迹展开不同的探讨,这些恰恰是他们眼中关于城市与自我的展现方式。

 

本土生成

 

无论是怎样迅速、彻底的城市化进程,也无法抹掉人们对记忆的追溯。城市化所对应的一个问题便是在地性,城市给了我们新的生活形式,而我们却在这鲜活的城市中追求着曾经的痕迹。这个单元的艺术家们没有将眼光放在城市这一大概念中,而是用一些细节来展示城市与本土痕迹的元素。

 

自我营造

 

扩展的边界给予人生新的可能性,风化的故土则会引起淡淡的忧伤,而无论是边界的拓展还是传统的固守,最后的呈现都会取决于个体的自我。在这个单元中,艺术家有着自己鲜明的营造方式,而在他们的艺术作品中,存在着语境交织和个体感受,而这个语境恰恰也是中国当下的语境。

 

性别品格

 

女性主义在艺术史中有着重要的地位,性别问题也同样是诸多研究中不可忽视的一环。但在21世纪的当代艺术发展中,女性主义越来越摆脱简单粗暴的性别标签,也越来越不具备特殊性,这不是女权主义或男权主义的发展,而是艺术边界开放的必然。或者我们称之为第三性会更为妥帖?

Context is a necessary concept in historical research. Different from its literal meaning, the “context” here refers to a non-linguistic element, which, in the written language, is often created through the related texts. During the thirty-year development of the contemporary art in China, from the introduction of the word “art” to China to the review of modernism in the 1980s, the contemporary art has transformed from text to language, from enclosed to open, from impossible to possible, which formed the basic context for the development vein of the art during the 1970s and 1980s.

 

Through the development of the contemporary art in the late 30 years with the promotion of the first ten-year market economy in this century, there has been the continual advent of auction myths and idols. The anti-system representatives successfully fostered a new “system” accidentally, which is just like the idol fostered by the Israelites regardless of the dissuasion by Moses in the Ten Commandments. Reviewing the history, we can always sketch a conclusion for each past stage. The ideological emancipation in the 1980s and the reform and opening up in the 1990s were rather a slogan-like hard landing, which needed a longer time to set what they absorbed and rectified in order. And when asked about the conclusion of the present circumstance, no one can make an accurate answer – or unwilling to make.

 

At present, the actual environment is usually castigated. All the dissatisfaction and helplessness about the real life are quite similar with the heavy-heartedness in the lines “The sky and earth forever last; here and now I alone shed tears” (Ode of Climbing the Youzhou Tower by Chen Zi’ ang). However, the satisfaction brought by the material life seems to have solved these problems that since taking care of the world is impossible, we may just manage ourselves alone. It is not odd for this thought to generate in China. Since the 1980s, China has been compared with the western countries in various aspects, which naturally revealed our drawbacks – the defects in the system, the different values and the gap of the people’ s quality. Therefore, in the age of globalization in the “global village”, the contexts of China and other countries seem to have been integrated. However, the root of the problem lies in the uniqueness caused by regional discrepancy and the differentiation of geopolitics. Reviewed from various classic literature or artistic works in the history, the unique background of the authors is usually the origin of their works. We may be admiring others’  system while the western authors may be just admiring our circumstances. In the process of social development, order is one mode, so as chaos. The blind evaluation of their good or bad makes no sense. What is focused now is the issue of possibility, which the two modes may both have plenty of but show out through different forms. At the beginning of this century, that several Chinese artists who resided abroad before came back to China triggered a discussion in the art sector. Before the complete expounding of their homing intention by the artists themselves, no explanation was to be blamed. However, there appeared the problem of idealism – why did they come back from the desired west to the east? There was no suspicion of nationalism. For artistic creation, location change may enable one to further his understanding about his previous and present contexts lest he should rejoice too soon because of failing to see the truth.

 

Rather than remodeling idols, it would be better to insist the decease of the God. In daily life, the change brought by Ma Yun, the legend in China’ s e-commerce sector, is huge. It is not unusual for a cable to link between two crossable worlds, but the key lies in its subjecting the right of equality to the individual end rather the collective one, ridding the netizens off the predicament of no scout to discover the talents depicted in the lines “the common people listen to but cannot appreciate the music; the player may as well commutes through the wind playing the delicate music alone” (Listen to the Bi Li (an ancient wind instrument) Music Played by An Wanshan by Li Xin). The thought which tries to seek the real equality through network is not strange any more at present; because the present is the future and those who insist tomorrow to be the future are also the freaks without self-consciousness who are living in the past boiled by the yesterday-occupied warm water. Rather than seeking Bo Le (a famous person good at telling the quality of horses in ancient China, which means the talent scout) and the swift horses (which means talents), what should be sought is the self.

 

Since the beginning of the 21st Century, the life of the youth in the new generation has been stretched constantly in China where the public order and social rules has been reconstructed, which may lead to their confusion and loss of confidence about the future. On the premise that the present system does not change, new social cells are increasing, with the new-style art galleries, foundations and international art exhibitions in the field of art overcoming various difficulties to deliver their own values and propositions through the new rules. The word “the post-linguistic context” seems to be abstruse in its literary meaning, but in fact it is just a kind of developing pattern which stressed more on the development of the internal clues of the subject or that the subject can choose the environment freely to a certain degree so that the social groups will not form the similar character due to a unified social context. The concept is not proposed aiming at the entirety but rather shows in the individuals or a group within certain limits. The post-linguistic context society at present enjoys various forms and the international cultural background. With the joint of the modern and the post-modern features as well as its own cultural tradition, the cultural context has made new changes. Today’ s China may just be the social ecological system admired by countless peripheral composers, in the aspects of the system, the inkling of the post-colonialism or post-modernism, and more specially the coexistence of the classical culture and modern context, the new system and modern artistic tradition formed since 1949 and 1978. Due to the intertexture of various contexts, the post-linguistic context is in fact a new context, which is just a cultural representation that emphasizes the non-unitary-centric view. And the key of the new context lies in the abandonment of myths, the belief in restoring the self and the adjustment of the self at present – instead of the one according to the past standard – as the future one.

 

The post-linguistic context: Extended Territory and Weathered Homeland

 

Many people would ask that “what is the post-linguistic context?” To conclude it in a brief word, I prefer to describe it with the sentence “the post-linguistic context is just a suggestion”. Along with development since the reform and opening up till today, China’ s contemporary art has been facing with various conceptual or substantial questions such as “what is contemporary art?”, “what kind of art is contemporary art?”. Questions like these seem to be boring but cannot stand being probed into. The appearance of these questions just represented the expectation for rules and the academic responsibility of the new art practitioners. Admit it or not, as the pathfinder of China’ s contemporary art, they are a batch of people full of great idealistic and heroic passions, striding forward with the mind to “dominate the world”. However, for the artists who progress by forging the future at present, apart from the consistent and keen idealism, they need to carry forward the “pragmatic” attitude and action. In fact, we can more or less describe some representation of the “contemporary art”. Just like when facing the present time, we always hope to communicate through a simple rule – which, of course, is based on the universal values. Context like this is actually what the younger generation of artists in particular should face under the present globalizing circumstance.

“The post-linguistic context” also has its representation. According to the features presented from the works of the present artists, the four units including “urban consciousness”, “local generation”, “self-creation” and “gender character” are set, which are also presented from the reflection on the urbanization construction of the international context and the noumenon of ourselves.

 

Urban consciousness

 

No matter the time of 20 years ago or today, urbanization has always been the common memory – and of course memory has different forms – just like the memory of the rural areas for the generation of “educated youths”, which is accompanied by the industrialized production and urban reconstruction. In this unit, the artists make different probe into the vein, scenery, old houses, industrialization and time traces in urbanization, which are just the presentation mode of the city and the self in their eye.

 

Local Generation

 

The process of urbanization, no matter how fast or complete, cannot wipe away people’ s reflection of their memory. Corresponded to urbanization, the question of localization appears. The city delivers us a new life style while we are pursuing the past traces in the vivacious city. In this unit, the artists do not cast their eye to the grand conception of city, but instead present the element of the urban and local traces with some details.

 

Self-creation

 

The extended territory brings life with new possibilities while the weathered homeland may arouse a tinge of sorrow. No matter the extension of territory or the defense of tradition, their final presentation depends on the individual self. In this unit, the artists have their own distinctive creating ways, in whose works there exist the intertexture of context as well as individual feelings and this context is just the present context in China.

 

Gender Character

 

Feminism plays an important role in the history of art and the gender issue is also a significant link in various researches. However, in the development of the contemporary art in the 21st Century, feminism has continually shed off the simple and crude gender tag and its specialty. It is not the development of feminism or male chauvinism but the necessary result of disparking the artistic boundary. Or is it more proper for us to call it the third gender?

 

 

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