边界闪烁 @MadeIn Gallery

边界是一种地域性表述,它不仅表明内容的范围,也暗示不可逾越的限制性。它是人们认知世界的基本方式,而其属性也在不同的语境之间显现。“闪烁”一词对边界提出质疑,也预示着不确定性。它来自信号灯的意象,不仅起着引导与规训的作用,使隐性的边界显像;也意味着被期望与惦念的彼岸,在令人张皇无措的幽暗中指明方向。

在这个展览中,边界成为恰到好处的隐喻,一种曾经被信奉的界定,转变为临时性的对象,被艺术家作为发话的工具与参照物。在杨君与徐震®的作品中,画布与大理石的功能性转化,使熟悉的材料被反常的调用,这是艺术家对媒材边界的重估;朱昱的绘画始于具象,却在最终的画面中使轮廓涣散边界消失;艾略特•多德借用消费文化的广告美学,在虚拟与真实的隐喻之间穿梭,对固化的社会意识提出质疑 。在两位80年代艺术家的创作中,边界意识隐匿在更为敏感纤细的内部:张联的绘画显示出一种在不同时空中游走的状态,看起来失衡的画面来自对界域划分的不信任;而郑源对两起新闻事件的记录,则探讨了现实与再现的模糊界线以及从中作祟的媒介话语建构。

在他们的艺术实践中,曾经煞有介事的界定都被转换为富有实验性的松动状态,随着闪烁忽而坚实、忽而缥缈。闪烁的边界是作品所呈现的共同状态,它意味着似是而非:在“是”的情况下,一切界定的对象才得以发展;而在“非”的预设中,所有根深蒂固的性状才能够被思考。“边界闪烁”为的是搅乱被定义的边界,针对人们设定边界的行为与二元论失效的当下,督促观者跳脱非此即彼的传统逻辑,在对边界的是非指认中准备好迎接后当代的闪烁现状。

 

 

成长的烦恼 HOME ALONe

 

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成长的烦恼是一个潜意识编造的灰色成人童话,由当代生活与自身造梦互相凝视而导致的个体意志校准与对位。艺术家在挖掘内心情感的过程中,借用迪士尼式的叙事,在展厅构建了一个自我的场景。展览名“成长的烦恼”来自90年代初期在中国风靡一时的同名美剧,作为那时期美国收视率最高的情景喜剧,它成功展现了美国式幸福生活的典范。从这个代表着中产阶级渴望的虚妄幻象出发,艺术家由此链接了一系列流行文化中的程式化形象与情节,将其改造或是夸张化,并通过蓄意的编排,使俄罗斯套娃式的层层叙事成为展览的丰富脚本。

从字面看来,“成长的烦恼”也透露出展览的自传性质,这使得展览暗藏了许多个体经验的蛛丝马迹。恰巧的是,在《玩具总动员》二十周年之际,陆平原将这部对其有着特殊意味的动画片与不同的文化基因进行整合与编码,复刻了一个模式化的样板。这些曾对其造成影响的角色与设定,以精心伪装的面貌出现,将自我及其代表的时代身份投射在虚假却触手可及的造景中。

对戏剧性叙事与现实情境的两相混淆,试图缝合二者的巨大差异,这恰恰成为当代人性扭曲与变异的真实写照。然而,展览的意图不在于褪去爆米花电影的面纱,让美好幻灭,将真实裸露;而是利用艺术家身份的特殊性去调和虚拟世界与现实生活的矛盾,并在此过程中,利用符号的反复出场与戏剧性演绎,将自我的内心独白包装成极具诱惑性的梦幻世界,邀请观众前来解读。

 

文明迭代 | Civilization Iteration @Perrotin Paris

迭代是通过重复反馈以到达所需结果的方法。徐震此次展出的作品系列,也将为我们呈现在艺术全球化与网络化日益加剧的当下,何以利用他的方程式接近艺术的未来。

早在2001年,徐震就曾作为当时最年轻的中国艺术家在第49届威尼斯双年展展出过作品。20岁就已经崭露头角的他,以个体艺术家的身份在之后的12年中创作了大量建立于个体意识之上的作品。随着新旧世纪交替带来的社会变迁,经济发展带来的文化变化从深处影响着这位触觉敏锐的艺术家。这最终导致了他于2009年在上海创立了没顶公司,在此分水岭之后,徐震的作品都由公司的模式产出,其“艺术家”的身份则被抛掷在了争议的漩涡中心,创作的关注点也开始转向艺术与商业。

今年的卡塞尔文献展策展人之一 Monika Szewczyk 曾这样写到:

“诚然,徐震并不是第一个从个人转型为公司的艺术家,更多的艺术家选择不动声色的做这些事以使操作性与利益最大化。但没顶公司至少在一方面是特殊的:公司的生产越发地被理解为对“天国”概念的思索状态——它不提供给你关于天国的清晰图景(像宗教可能会做的那样),而是将其抽象化为一个问题。”

“天下”系列的名字与天国比喻可谓不谋而合。这一系列的画作曾作为2014年军械库艺博会的整体视觉呈现,为艺博会的商业功能服务。极富景观意味的绚烂色彩被油画颜料一层层地堆叠成型,奶油裱花袋替代了传统画笔,在巧妙经营的图层和形态中造就了一派让人口舌生津的视觉盛宴。“天下”成功架空了艺术与商业的矛盾性——这也透露出徐震的策略,相较于针对看似坚不可摧的景观魔障,不如借由这样的力量,达成自身的自治。

这样的创作逻辑也促使徐震十分擅长于提取大众文化中的视觉符号。在“金属的语言”系列中,政治漫画的对话以一种聒噪密集的图式呈现在镜面玻璃板上,极具涂鸦感的排列方式看似在与政治语言的激进姿态统一立场,却被散发着奢靡气息的金属光泽出卖。作品内部的矛盾使其自身乃至生产它的主体都处于意义悬置的状态。

金属和奶油式的景观,曾错使人们将徐震的作品归结为波普艺术;然而,这显然只能概括他的部分作品。事实上,徐震在创作的思辨与对文化的挪用上已经走的比波普更远。“没顶曲项瓶”、“永生”和“进化”系列的作品指涉已经不再停留于消费世界,而是面向了一个更加浩瀚不朽的文明世界。远古时代遗留下的万世之作、丝路繁盛时代创作的敦煌壁画、西方现代主义经典雕塑——当我们看到这些物件以反复的样式变形或重新组合在眼前时,文明积蓄的精神力量以一种主动姿态引发了意义的内爆(implosion)。

此种精神力量不仅来自被引用的文明象征物自身,更来自于全球化互联网所带来的文化剧变。我们对于希腊雕塑的认知,总停留在灰白石膏表面,却忘记它们原先是富有颜色的神像浮雕。 文明遗物的真实面貌被悬置在每位远道而来、在博物馆探索古代文明的观光客心里。人们甚至寄希望于网络,通过搜索引擎以想象文化发源地的图景。语境的缺失横亘在希腊神像原先的彩色表面和白色石膏之间,更横亘在雅典卫城与电子屏幕上的雕像照之间。正是因为我们对于这样的文化现实过于习以为常,才使得看似分庭对抗的“永生”与“进化”系列显得异常和谐和瑰丽。

徐震从“艺术家时期”关注个体身份意识转向一个品牌对当下文化脉络的反复推演恰恰反映了人类在过去几十年间的巨大转变。互联网带来的意识延伸从智识深处打破了时间与空间的差异。文化的传统认知被信息与符号的泛滥瓦解,并让位于不断显像的文明停滞与标准失效。个体时时刻刻都面临着信息超快速传播所带来的不真实感,意义、价值和真实的界限逐渐消融。面对这样“后真相”时代的文明,我们不难理解为何徐震将“迭代”推举为一种面对后现代进程的有效方式——了无疆界的反复重组势必在无数次摧毁与重建中为当下开创新的文明范式。

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Iteration refers to the way of achieving a desired result through repeated feedback. The exhibited series shows how an artist, amidst increasing globalization and networking of art, can approach the future of art with his own formula.

As early as 2001, Xu participated in the 49th Venice Biennale, then the youngest Chinese artist to exhibit works at this international art event. Having made a name at 20 as an artist, he has since created a large number of works based on his own consciousness. The passage from one century to the next brought with it not only socio-economic but also cultural changes, the latter deeply influencing Xu as an artist. The great divide of his career came in 2009 when he established the art creation enterprise MadeIn Company in Shanghai. Since then his works have been produced in a corporate fashion and his “artist” identity has been plunged into the center of controversy. Meanwhile, Xu’s creative focus has begun to shift to the relationship between art and business.

Monika Szewczyk, a curator of this year’s Kassel Documenta, once said,

“To be sure, Xu Zhen is not the first artist to transform himself into a company, and countless others incorporate more quietly to maximize their income and maneuverability. But MadeIn may be special in at least one respect: The company’s production could be understood increasingly to contemplate the notion of heaven –not offering up a clear picture the way religious authorities might, yet keeping this abstraction in focus as a question.”

The title of the Under Heaven series echoes heaven as a metaphor. The paintings appeared in the 2014 Armory Show in New York to serve the commercial campaign for the fair itself. Layers and layers of oil paint form an ornate “landscape”, and with the skillful depiction and figuration of a cream piping bag (not a paint brush!), they make up an enticing visual banquet.

The series manages to transcend the opposition between art and business, which exemplifies Xu’s creative strategy: rather than addressing the big spectacle issue head on, one might as well turn it into a positive account by creating a new approach of one’s own. This way of thinking explains why Xu is so fluent in using visual symbols from popular culture. In the Metal Language series, phrases from political cartoons are presented in an intensive manner on a mirror- finished metal surface. The graffiti-like composition seemingly agrees with the radical stance of the political language but is in fact betrayed by the extravagance of the metallic gloss. This inner contradiction throws the works (and even their producer) into a suspended state of meaningfulness.

Because of their metallic and creamy landscapes, Xu’s works have been classified as pop art, even though the label apparently can apply only to some of his works. In terms of creative logic and cultural appropriation, Xu has no doubt gone beyond pop art. For instance, his series Eternity and Evolution all reference a far more expansive, long lasting civilized world than the consumer society. Ancient art pieces, Dunhuang frescoes from the Silk Road’s heyday, representative modernist sculptures of the West…when we see these cultural symbols repeatedly change shape or re-combined in new ways, we cannot help but feel an implosion of meaning set off by the accumulated spiritual force of culture.

This force comes not only from the cultural symbols being used; it is in a way more the cultural changes induced by the globalizing Internet. In a modern context, we tend to identify Greek sculptures solely by their greyish white plaster, forgetting that they were originally divine statues with colors. The truth behind cultural relics is ever elusive to the museum visitor. People even turn to the Net, using search engines to make up their own pictures of the origins of civilization. Between the colorful Greek statues and the modern white plaster versions, and the Acropolis in Athens and sculpture photos on electronic screens, is the loss of a common context.

And it is because we are so accustomed to this cultural reality that the two contrasting series Eternity and Evolution appear all the more harmonious and splendid to us.

From the “individual artist period” when he concerned himself with the consciousness of identity, to “Xu Zhen brand”, Xu has moved on to repeatedly examine the current culture. The transition is nothing less than a reflection of the tremendous changes in human history over the past decades. Admittedly, the extension of consciousness unleashed by the Internet has eliminated temporal and spatial disparity. Yet, in the process, cultural learning in the traditional sense has been destroyed by information overload, giving way to recurrent cultural stagnation and dysfunctional standards. The information highway makes one feel unreal, so much so that the boundaries between meaning, values and reality gradually blur. Living in this “post-truth” age, one begins to see why Xu should uphold “iteration” as an effective way of responding to a postmodern society.

For in the course of time, after endless destruction and reconstruction, the boundless reformulations are sure to open up a new paradigm for civilization in the present.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

像素公园 | Pixel Park @Jingan Sculpture Park

cocurated with Lu Pingyuan

“像素公园”将是一个像素的模拟大观园,与周遭的雕塑公园形成内容上的虚实对照。像素作为电子图像的最小单位,在数码世界中与个体的角色类似。它们聚合在一起形成图像创造者的世界,有如意识的像素雕塑,在平面荧幕上堆叠出思想的动态形体。在展览呈现的众多作品中,艺术家都不一而同的表现出自我雕塑化的愿望。 在他们或身体或意识的参演中,缪斯症候作为日常神话,在影像中成为个体极欲纳入自身叙事的深层动机。

 

而公园,作为人类搁置社会性的半自然地带,其附带的集散和景观功能,成为人们实施白日梦想的完美场所。在像素风景取代自然景观之后,移步换景的游园模式变成了精神性行为。雕塑公园里的游人在长椅上观看雕塑的同时,自我也在静止中形成了雕塑。这样的静止状态同样也在“像素公园“里成为观看的线索。它所牵连出的,是像素在改变了人们衡量像的尺度之后,个体依存空间发生坍缩的变化趋势。“像素公园”正是我们针对这种预见而诞生的未来公园蓝图。

 

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Pixel Park is a simulated grand view garden of pixels. It forms a contrast between virtuality and reality with Sculpture Park. As the smallest unit of digital images, pixel plays a similar role to that of an individual in real world. Through the aggregation of these entities a world is created, like pixelated sculptures of consciousness, stacking themselves as dynamic figures on a flat screen. Within the works shown in Pixel Park, the artists all coincidentally present their desire of self-sculpting. In the participation of their body or consciousness, symptoms of the Muse, as a daily myth, become in the images the deep motivation of things individuals want to incorporate into their narratives.

 

While parks, with their attached features of distribution and scenery – as semi-natural areas in which human temporarily set society aside – become the perfect place for people to implement their daydreams. Now that pixel sceneries replaced natural landscapes, park wandering and exploration have been turned into a spiritual action. When visitors inside the Sculpture Park watch those sculptures, sitting on a bench, they turn into sculptures themselves. Such state of stillness becomes the viewing angle in the Pixel Park. What is implicated, is the changing tendency of the collapsed of individual spaces, after pixels modify the scale of image measurement. Pixel Park precisely is the blueprints of these generated future parks we refer to.

信息雕塑公路 | Information Sculpture Superhighway @MadeIn Gallery

“信息雕塑公路”是一个涵盖了数位艺术家不同形态作品的展览。它意在表现整个处在信息高速公路上的人类社会,是何以进行自我的整体性塑造的。“雕塑”在此并非指一种狭义的造型艺术,而是折回到博伊斯提出的“社会雕塑”语境,所有人都被认为是具有创造力产能的人,通过艺术得以重塑未来社会。

 

“媒介即讯息”作为上世纪的回响,在此展览中已经渐渐消耗原有的能量,成为被破除的公式。我们在此看到的是“讯息即媒介”,电子媒介所引发的尺度变化和模式变化在此都被退居后位,媒介所释放出的信息成为冲击社会现状的真正力量。信息已然是所有媒介的最终状态,而各个媒介也因为其物质属性的损耗不再区别于他者。这也是参展作品中媒介使用错乱的原因,这种错乱不单单体现为胡乱搭配或是随意拼贴的形式,更深层的是对媒介偶像破坏的姿态。图像不讲究精度与尺寸,雕塑不在乎形式美感和材料的稳固性;因为这些在它们意在传达的信息面前已经不再重要。媒介在创作中受到的粗暴对待,都促使信息成为了所有表达的核心主题。

 

这些信息,正是在公路上驰骋的洪水猛兽。就像所有高速公路都有最低时速一样,信息在一定程度上也塑造了它的速度。物质—平面—像素—信息——成为公路上掐指间的变化。这种高速生成的信息导致的是一种社会症候,不能低于最低时速产能的强迫症。它不仅在速度上压制着我们,更在其形式和内容上渗透着整个社会。而公路,这个本来意味着去中心化的意象,在平权的假象中带给信息最强大的话语权。“信息雕塑公路”中,艺术家作为拥有进化和革新力量身份的人,都为这种症候下的社会塑造提供了自己的方案。

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Information Sculpture Superhighway presents works of artists achieved using a variety of forms. It is intended to show how the whole human society on the information superhighway is sculpturing its self-integrity. “Sculpture” here does not refer to a narrow definition of plastic art, but alludes to Joseph Beuys’ definition of “social sculpture”, in which everyone is considered to be an equally creative individual, and has the potential to reshape the future of society through art.

 

In this exhibition, the strength of the notion “the medium is the message” – as an echo from the last century – has gradually been consumed and turned into a disused formula. In fact, what we see here is: “the message is the medium”, and modifications in scales and models caused by digital media are relegated to the back. The information released by the medium becomes a real force that impacts social status. Information already is the final state of all media. However, with the loss of its physical characteristics, media of various kinds can no longer distinguish one from another. It is also the source of such disordered use of media among most of the exhibited works. This confusion is not only reflected in the form of chaotic combinations or random collages, but also in the destructive attitude towards the medium as an icon. Image resolution and dimensions are no longer primordial, similarly, beauty of forms and material stability in sculpture lost their importance; these aspects became insignificant compare to the information they intend to convey. During the process of creation, medium has been considerably mistreated, and information became the core of expression.

 

Information is a scourge rampaging on the highway. As all superhighways have a bottom speed, information also shapes its speed to a certain extent. Substance – two-dimensional surface – pixel – information – alternate with one another on the highway within the snap of a finger. The information generated by such high speed leads to a social symptom, a compulsive obsession with always being above the bottom speed. Not only does it pressure us in terms of speed, but also it permeates the whole society in the form and content. “Highway”, whose imagery in the first place evokes decentralization, confers information with the most powerful right of expression, within the illusion of rights to equality. In Information Sculpture Superhighway, artists – as human beings who possess the identities of evolution and innovative vitality – offer their own proposals to social sculpturing, within such symptomatic context.