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“潘多拉之咒”马野个人艺术文献展

  • 展览海报
展览时间:
2018-04-07 - 2018-05-07
开幕时间:
2018-04-07 15:00
展览城市:
北京 - 北京
展览机构:
宋庄当代艺术文献馆
展览地址:
北京市通州区宋庄镇小堡艺术东区
策 展 人:
吴鸿
策展助理:李晓婷 肖锋 马建 申振夏 杨青
主办单位:
宋庄当代艺术文献馆
展览备注:
出品人:胡介报
视觉设计:胡峪玮
展出空间:宋庄当代艺术文献馆二、三层展厅
地址:北京市通州区宋庄镇小堡南湖艺术区
展览研讨会:宋庄当代艺术文献馆3层会所 4月7日上午9:00
与会嘉宾:吴鸿 王春辰 高岭 杭春晓 段君 杨卫 胡介报 马野

展览介绍

潘多拉之咒

吴鸿

在社会学的研究中,类型学是一个最基本的方法性工具。但是,在艺术史的研究中,类型学既是行之有效的方法;同时,也是极有可能遮蔽了个体存在价值的陷阱。之于有关中国当代艺术的研究中,我们也往往会依据地域、时代、境遇等等最大公约数,而将个体的、唯一性的艺术家简单划归于某些艺术史的类型学分类中,从而忽视并遗漏了存在于个体艺术家中的一些最为宝贵的信息。至少在在二十一世纪头十年之前,我们关于中国当代艺术的研究与阐述,仍然是停留在类型学的方法论之中。近几年来,在关于中国当代艺术的宏大叙事之外,艺术家的个人经验和个体价值开始成为了艺术史研究中有价值的对象。

正是在这样的一个背景下,我们在“圆明园”和“宋庄”这样一些集体经验之外,类型学的粗暴乌托邦开始松动,我们开始可以去关注一些另一种主流之外的个体的存在经验。这实际是一个“他者的他者”否定之否定过程。也就是说,圆明园也好,宋庄也好,在独立于主流体制之外的过程中,也同时形成了关于它自身的一种主流解释标准,而所谓的“他者的他者”正是基于“边缘的主流化”之后的另一种边缘身份的研究方法。

也正是基于上述的理论前提下,我们在关于艺术家马野的从艺经历研究过程中发现,他既是一个典型的从圆明园到宋庄的这个群体中的一份子,同时,他也有另一种并不完全等同于这个群体类型学表述的个体价值和个人经验。

我们先说马野的经历中与这个群体的集体经验中趋同的一方面。马野和圆明园艺术家中绝大多数人的经历中与“圆明园”这个地理位置发生关联的背景是一致的,他们都是在上个世纪八十年代中国单一化的社会体制出现某种松动之后,同时个体经济也开始萌发的前提下,一些不满足于“单位”体制的刻板和乏味,天真地以为凭借个体的创作可以支撑自己的单纯的艺术理想。于是,他们在并没有做好“前期调研”和最起码的物质准备的情况下,匆忙地使自己成为中国的艺术史上没有艺术市场作为支撑的“职业艺术家”。当然,脱离了刻板而机械的体制的束缚之后,建立在象牙塔之中的“自由”,也给他们带来了只存在于个人主观意识中的欢愉与理想释放。甚至是,这种关于“自由”的理解方式是与青春期的荷尔蒙高涨是结合在一起的。他们并没有做好如何理解并巩固这种“自由”的准备,所以,这种有关艺术自由的理想主义实践最终只能破灭于青春残酷之中。“后圆明园”时代的头几年,是这些盲流艺术家们建立在虚无缥缈的艺术理想破灭之后一次重大艺术生存方式的分野。商业的归于商业,投机的归于投机,投降的归于投降,坚守的归于坚守。这次的分野,甚至可以延续至今天“职业艺术家”们的各种生存方式。而马野在北京的城乡结合部“流窜”几年之后,又重新归于圆明园之后的另一个“乌托邦”--宋庄。当然,此宋庄并非彼圆明园。宋庄的农村小院并不同于圆明园时期的大杂院。艺术家混迹在村民之中反而失去了圆明园时代的集体生活环境,于是,来源于全国不同文化地域的个体们,他们在生活方式上的差异性开始显现出来。“躲进小楼(院)成一统”,任尔玩世与艳俗。相比较于圆明园时期的集体主义经验,宋庄相对分散的生活和居住环境,促使了艺术家开始基于个体的社会阅历和生存经验,相对独立地审视基于社会压力的挑战与应战。当然,在这个过程中,开始萌动的艺术品市场的主流风格的影响,以及长期的农村生活经验的现实,不可避免地反映在艺术家们的创作中。但是,个体价值判断的建立和个人方法的形成,也开始在此前的群体经验之外寻找到一些行动的轨迹。及至在后来的艺术产业化的浪潮中,越来越多的后续艺术家的加入,最终从风格学的意义稀释并消解了“从圆明园到宋庄”的这样一个群体的类型化特征。

从这个群体的迁徙流转过程的意义上来说,马野是其中一个具有典型性的组成因子。但是,马野在上述的集体经验之外,体现在他的创作中的个人化特征也是非常明显的。所以,我们也可以把他视为一个典型的非典型意义上的圆明园艺术家和宋庄艺术家。

马野在成为圆明园艺术家群体一份子之前,是在老家陕北的一所农村中学任教。在此之前的于西安美术学院美教系的学习经历中,发生在全国各地的所谓八五新潮甚至对他并没有太大的影响。我们可以设身处地想象,一个在贫瘠的农村环境中,背负着“不务正业”的误解与指责的压力,好不容易考上专业艺术院校,而且在当地还是第一个“大学生”,这样的生存背景下,能在一个安静的专业环境中,按照专业院校的规范教学大纲去画画,可能已经是当时的马野的最大人生乐趣。大学毕业之后,命运和他开起了第一个玩笑,使他又重新回到了闭塞的农村环境中。这段人生经历有点像小说《人生》中高加林的命运。我注意到在马野后来写的一些片段式的回忆文字中,他对于“画家”这个身份的认同是极为敏感的并反复提及的。这并不同于其他人的“艺术家”这样一个区别于“画”家的身份认同。那么我们可以想象,一个正在做着“画家”梦的年轻人,被命运抛到一个甚至连体育和音乐课都要兼起来的环境中,其内心的受挫感是多么的强烈。我强调这一点,是为了将马野区别于同时期那些已经在各个“地方”环境中接受过现代、后现代思潮的熏陶,准备把圆明园当成蒙马特或纽约的那些人之不同,马野是把圆明园视为浪漫的巴比松。当然,这中间也有同时间的浪漫的“私奔”爱情给他带来的心理因素。总之,对于马野而言,物质的贫瘠并没有影响到他对于生活的憧憬:每一天在没有油水的青菜汤中都能看到诗意,圆明园残垣断壁的树林中的鸟鸣都代表着自由的歌唱,北方凛冽的空气中都散发着自由的清新。正是这样的一种内心经历,所以我们在马野的圆明园时期的创作中并没有看到一些“典型”的圆明园艺术家的风格样式。那些对于形而上哲学的苦思冥想,对于社会学意义上的观念表达,对于同时期的欧美正在发生的后现代艺术潮流的模仿,这些都似乎与马野没有关系。这个时期马野的作品中更多地体现出来的是带着黄河文化古老的生命原始冲动和对于自由的自然勃发。

我之所以强调这一点,并将之视为我理解马野创作轨迹的一个起点,一方面是想说明马野的艺术创作和社会思考更多的是基于他的一种亲身的直观体验,它是直接而切身有感而发的,并不是来自于一种随大流的群体经验或概念推演。另一方面,也正因为马野的创作经验的基础,是用自己亲身所体验到的对于社会环境变化的感受,并将之直接地表达在自己的艺术创作中,所以,通过马野在不同时代中所创作的作品,我们甚至可以感受到自上个世纪八十年代以来中国社会现实的变化过程中一段最为真实的心路历程。这就是,基于原始的生命原力的冲动,在经受了重大的社会性挫折之后,随后的重商主义社会实践又将这种生命原力转化为对于物质化的赤裸裸的追求。与此同时,由于旧有的价值标准的坍塌,以及新的适合于商品经济和市场经济的社会伦理关系因为有悖于主流意识形态要求而无法进入社会主流文化诉求之中。这样,片面而跛足的市场经济所导致的重商主义和拜金主义的盛行,必然极大地触发了人性的欲望。在没有相应的社会伦理和文化传统的制约下,原始欲望的泛滥必然会导致汇流成为一种强大的普遍性的社会心理。这种普遍性的社会心理一旦表现为一种隐性的社会主流价值观之后,虽然它相对于主流的意识形态宣传而言,仍然是一种隐性的社会亚文化,但是正因为它的普遍性和缺乏约束性,其相对于社会主流文化所造成的毁灭性,以及对于生活于那个时代中的普通个体内心所形成的伤害程度也是前所未有的。基于此,这也是我将这篇关于马野的艺术创作历程的研究文章的标题称之为“潘多拉之咒”的原因。人性原力的勃然爆发,就像潘多拉在不经意中打开了那个充满了诸神诅咒的魔盒,而在盒盖合上之前,那个喻示着“解决”的蝴蝶确并没有来得及飞将出来,所以,我们正在面临着一场前所未有的剧烈的“金涛骇浪”……

再回过头来看马野在不同时期中的创作特征。前述的在圆明园时期中,马野的个人特征是基于一种生命在脱离了束缚之后的一种莫名的欣悦与冲动。虽然在他自己的文字表述中,会把来自于他故乡的民间文化传统中的视觉图式因素过于放大,但是我更倾向于将之视为一种生命原力的自然勃发。它更多的是对于那个时代精神的一种本能的回应。后圆明园时期的头几年,马野惶惶奔波于北京东郊的城乡结合部中,生活的压力和身份的迷茫在圆明园时期的理想破灭之后开始显现。这些生活和社会不同体验也都直观地反映在他的同时期的创作中。圆明园时期本能的生命原力的自然勃发让位于社会和生活的双重压力。这个时期的创作虽然是以抽象的语言方式表达出来,但是一个个体在都市文化的辗轧下,其内心无助、惊恐、迷茫、愤懑的心理情绪,我们是可以直观地感受到的。这个阶段在马野的个人创作经历中也是一个过渡,它代表着马野在对于自由的理想在受到现实的挫折之后,开始直面社会现实,直接将自身对于社会现实的体验和思考转化为自己的创作源泉。

这之后,马野最终也结束了自己在城乡结合部的动荡生活,落户于宋庄小院中。较之于此前的压力和紧张,相对轻松的生活节奏,使他能够开始思考一些生活表象之后深层次的社会原因。这个时期的创作中,体现在他的作品中的那些色情的隐喻,实际上是他开始思考人性的潘多拉魔盒打开之后的乱象的肇始。这个时候的作品画面中,那些卖弄风骚的女性形象,撩拨着人的欲望,并堂而皇之地并置于一些主流的社会化场景之中,所以,它是一种观念的隐喻,喻示着那个时代中,普遍存在于人的内心的一种欲望的悸动,以及唯恐这种欲望得不到实现的恐惧与慌乱。

由着这条将普遍性的社会心理作为自己的创作主线的线索,马野最终将这种关于人性欲望的象征符号定位于最为彻底的表达--金钱。将钱币符号纳入到自己的作品符号系统,既是一个正确的决定,也是一次冒险的选择。因为在世界范围的艺术家创作中,关于钱币符号的作品多不胜数,必然也很难出新意!这个时候,马野身上的西北人的那种拙劲和韧性成为了他成功的一个决定因素。首先,这样的画面一定要大,大到在视觉体验上一定要足以对观众形成一种排山倒海的压迫之势。同时,细节又要面面俱到,不能有所虚化的概括性处理,唯如此,才能对观众形成一种密不透风、无处逃遁的心理暗示。从这点而言,作为一种形式语言的选择与观念传达的准确性的统一,马野的创作尝试是成功的。

最后,作为这次马野个人艺术文献展的整体设计,我们把作为展览作品主体的“金涛骇浪”系列,与作为一种文献化方式而出现的圆明园时期、大山子时期马野的工作室环境的概念式呈现,两者相并置之后所呈现出来的策展理念设计,也正是为了强化出从理想到现实的转换之后,那个高悬在每个人头顶上犹如达摩克利斯之剑的“潘多拉之咒”,其之于我们每个人内心理性的幻灭与现实的残酷。

备注:文中所提及的关于“后圆明园”概念,是笔者所提出的一个时间性表述,具体所指的是在圆明园画家村被取缔之后,后续的几个仍然保持了圆明园时期的某些群体特征的小规模艺术家集群。它们包括清华北门集群、大山子-东坝河集群、通州滨河集群、在基层政府艺术产业化介入之前的宋庄小堡集群等。因为各自的具体情况不一,它们所存续的起止时间也稍有不同。

2018年1月30日

(吴鸿:批评家、策展人,艺术国际总编,宋庄当代艺术文献馆执行馆长)

Pandora's Curse

Wu Hong

Typology is the most basic methodological tool in sociological research. However, in the study of art history, typology is an effective practical method, but it also very likely blots out individual existential value. In the study of Chinese contemporary art, we often rely on largest common divisors such as region, time, and circumstances, and simply incorporate unique individual artists into the typological classifications of art history, thereby ignoring and omitting the most precious information about those individual artists. At least prior to the first decade of the twenty-first century, our studies and explanations of Chinese contemporary art were mired in the typological methodology., In addition to the grand narratives of Chinese contemporary art, artists' personal experiences and individual values have become worthwhile subjects in the study of art history in recent years.

With this as background, outside of the collective experiences of Yuanmingyuan and Songzhuang, our rough utopia of typology began to relax. We began to focus on individual experiences apart from the mainstream. We were actually negating the negation of "the Other's Other." For both Yuanmingyuan and Songzhuang, this process was independent of the mainstream system, but it also constituted its own mainstream interpretive standard. "The Other's Other" is another research method for marginal identities after "the marginal was made mainstream."

Based on this theoretical premise, we discover that, in studying Ma Ye's artistic experience, he was a typical member of the group that moved from Yuanmingyuan to Songzhuang, but he has an individual value and personal experience that is not entirely identical to the typological formulation of the group.

We should first talk about the ways in which Ma Ye's experience and the collective experience of the group are similar. Ma Ye and the vast majority of the Yuanmingyuan artists formed a relationship with the geographic location of Yuanmingyuan under the same circumstances. In the 1980s, after China's monolithic social system relaxed somewhat and the individual-level economy began to grow, people who were dissatisfied with the inflexible and dull work unit system innocently believed that they could rely on their own artwork to support their pure artistic ideals. Without any prior research or basic material preparation, they hastily turned themselves into a generation of "professional artists" without the support of an art market. Of course, after shaking off the restrictions of an unbending and mechanical system, they found "freedom" in the ivory tower, and they achieved a delightful, idealistic release that only existed in their own subjective consciousnesses. One might even say that this way of understanding "freedom" was bound up in the surging hormones of youth. They were not prepared to understand and consolidate this "freedom," so this idealistic practice of artistic freedom could only be destroyed in the brutality of youth. In the first few years of the post-Yuanmingyuan era, after those illusory artistic ideals were destroyed, the artistic existences of these wandering artists diverged. The commercial artists became commercial, the speculative artists became speculative, the surrendering artists surrendered, and the steadfast artists became more steadfast. These dividing lines could even be extended into the various lifestyles of professional artists today. After moving from one place to another on the outskirts of Beijing, Ma Ye came to another post-Yuanmingyuan utopia: Songzhuang. Of course, Songzhuang was not Yuanmingyuan. The small rural courtyards of Songzhuang were different from the large shared courtyards of the Yuanmingyuan era. Artists tried to blend in with the villagers, leaving behind the collective living environment of the Yuanmingyuan period; as a result, the differences in the lifestyles of these individuals from regions and cultures all over China became obvious. Whether working in the cynical or vulgar style, they were "unified by hiding in small homes." Compared to the collective experience of the Yuanmingyuan period, Songzhuang's relatively scattered life and living environments compelled artists to embark upon experiences with society and life as individuals, meaning that they had to independently examine the challenges of and responses to social pressures. Of course, the influence of mainstream styles in the newly-rising art market and the experiences and realities of long-term rural living were naturally reflected in the artists' works. However, the establishment of individual value judgments and the formation of personal methods also began to find a few sources of action within this previous collective experience. The later tide of art industrialization and the arrival of more artists stylistically diluted and eventually eliminated the collective typological traits of the group that moved from Yuanmingyuan to Songzhuang.

Ma Ye was typical of this group's movements, but beyond the collective experience I have just described, the personal traits of Ma's work are obvious. We could see him as a typical yet atypical Yuanmingyuan artist and Songzhuang artist.

Before he became a member of the Yuanmingyuan group, Ma Ye was teaching in a rural middle school in his home province of Shaanxi. Prior to this, he studied in the art education department at the Xi'an Academy of Fine Arts, but the national '85 New Wave movement did not have much of an impact on him. We can imagine how it must have been for him; living in a poor rural place, he worked hard to get into a specialized art academy despite the pressure of misunderstanding and criticism for not "engaging in honest work." He was the village's first university student. With this as his background, painting in a quiet, professional environment based on a standardized educational model at a specialized institution may have been the greatest pleasure in Ma's life at that time. After he graduated from university, fate played its first trick on him, and returned him to a closed rural environment. His life during this period was a bit like Gao Jialin's in the novel Life. I noticed that, in Ma Ye's later fragmented recollections, he was extremely sensitive to and repeatedly mentioned his connection with the identity of the "painter," in a way that was different from the distinction other people make between artists and painters. We can imagine how frustrated a young person with a dream of being a painter must have felt, thrown by fate into an environment where even physical education and music classes had to be combined. I want to emphasize this point in order to show that Ma Ye was different from others who were influenced by modern and post-modern thought in various rural environments and who were prepared to see Yuanmingyuan as Montmartre or New York. Instead, Ma saw Yuanmingyuan as the romantic Barbizon. Of course, this may have been an idea sparked by his elopement at the time. For Ma Ye, material poverty did not influence his longing for a specific kind of life. He saw poetry in the thin vegetable soup he ate every day; the songs of the birds in the trees around Yuanmingyuan's broken walls were songs of freedom, and the piercing northern cold carried the freshness of freedom. It is precisely because of this emotional experience that work from Ma's Yuanmingyuan period does not have some of the stylistic traits of the "typical" Yuanmingyuan artist. Ma Ye had nothing to do with deep thoughts about metaphysical philosophy, conceptual expressions of sociological significance, or imitations of postmodern art trends that were happening in Europe and America at that time. His work from this period often presented the primeval, lived impulse of ancient Yellow River culture and the natural vitality of freedom.

I emphasize this point because I see it as a starting point for my understanding of Ma Ye's creative career. His artwork and social thinking are based more on direct, personal experience or emotion, and not on larger trends of collective experience or conceptual implications. However, Ma Ye's creative experiences were founded on his feelings about changes in the social environment that he personally experienced and directly expressed in his artwork, so the works that Ma created in different periods present a very authentic, continuous contemplation of the changes in Chinese social reality from the 1980s onward. This impulse of primitive living force, after being largely thwarted by society, was transformed by later mercantilist social practice into the naked pursuit of materialism. At the same time, due to the collapse of existing values and standards, new social and ethical relationships suited to the commodity and market economy could not engage with mainstream culture because they ran counter to mainstream ideological demands. In this way, the mercantilism and mammonism, which rose due to a one-sided, crippled market economy, stoked human desires. When the restrictions of social ethics and cultural traditions no longer exist, overflowing primitive desires inevitably converge into a society's grand, universal psychology. Once this universal psychology of a society is expressed as a hidden mainstream value, even if it is still a hidden social sub-culture compared to the rest of mainstream ideology, it creates unprecedented devastation in opposition to mainstream culture, and unprecedented injury to the ordinary individual living at that time, precisely because of its universality and lack of restriction. This is why I have chosen to call this essay on Ma Ye's artistic career "Pandora's Curse." This vigorous eruption of human force is similar to Pandora carelessly opening the box filled with the scourges of the earth. Before the box was closed, the butterfly representing hope or resolution did not have the chance to flutter out, so we are confronted with the intensity of Billowing Golden Waves…

We should also reflect on the traits of Ma Ye's work from different periods. During his Yuanmingyuan period, Ma's personality was rooted in an indescribable joy and impulsiveness that resulted from shaking off life's restrictions. Although he magnified visual elements from the folk cultural traditions of his village in his textual descriptions, I tend to see this as a natural explosion of lived force; it's more an instinctual response to the spirit of that era. In the first few years of the post-Yuanmingyuan period, Ma Ye wandered anxiously on the eastern outskirts of Beijing; the pressures of life and questions of identity became more obvious after the ideals of the Yuanmingyuan era died. These different experiences of life and society were directly reflected in his works from that period. The natural vigor of the instinctual, living force of his Yuanmingyuan period gave way to the dual pressures of society and life. His work during this time utilized abstract linguistic methods, but we can immediately sense his helplessness, terror, confusion, and depression as an individual tossed around within urban culture. This was a transitional period in Ma Ye's personal creative experience, showing that he began to directly confront social reality after his dreams of freedom were thwarted by reality; he directly transformed his experiences of and thoughts about social reality into a source for his artwork.

Ma Ye eventually stopped wandering on the outskirts of Beijing and settled in a little courtyard in Songzhuang. After his previous tensions and anxieties, the more relaxed pace of life allowed him to begin considering the deeper social issues underpinning the surface appearances of life. His work from this period contains sexual metaphors, which actually reflect his beginning to consider the chaos that occurred after the Pandora's box of human nature was opened. In his works from this period, female figures paraded coquettishly, stirring human desire. They were strikingly juxtaposed with normal social situations, so they are conceptual metaphors, suggesting the palpitations of desire that existed in people's hearts at that time, and the fear and alarm that this desire may be left unrealized.

Taking the universal psychology of society as a creative motif, Ma Ye finally distilled these symbols of human desire into their most essential expression-money. Incorporating monetary symbols into the symbolic system of his work was the correct decision and a risky choice; it's very difficult to create something new with this theme because so many artists around the world have made works using monetary symbols. Here, Ma Ye's northwestern strength and resilience was a determining factor in his success. First, these pictures had to be large, so that they constituted an overwhelming, oppressive visual experience. At the same time, the details have to do everything-the works could not be given some empty, general treatment-only then do the works create an airtight, inescapable psychological environment for the audience. This experiment was successful as the unification of his chosen formal language and his certainty of conceptual communication.

Finally, the overall design of Ma Ye's personal art archive juxtaposes Billowing Golden Waves series, the primary series in this exhibition, with a conceptual, documentary presentation of Ma Ye's studio environment during his Yuanmingyuan and Dashanzi periods. As a curatorial concept, this juxtaposition is intended to highlight his transition from idealism to reality-the "Pandora's Curse" hanging over every individual like the sword of Damocles-conveying his disillusionment and the cruelty of reality.

Note: The concept of "post-Yuanmingyuan" raised in this article is the author's formulation. After the Yuanmingyuan Painters Village was disbanded, small artist groups that maintained some of the collective traits of the Yuanmingyuan era were formed, including the groups at the Tsinghua North Gate, Dashanzi-Dongbahe, and Binhe in Tongzhou, as well as the Xiaopu group in Songzhuang before the intervention of local government art industries. Due to slight differences in circumstances, these groups began and ended at slightly different times.

January 30, 2018

(Wu Hong: Critic, curator, editor-in-chief of Artintern.net, managing director of Songzhuang Contemporary Art Archive)

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