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修饰、拼接与叠加——读傅文俊的数绘摄影

原标题: 修饰、拼接与叠加——读傅文俊的数绘摄影

作者:彭锋

自从摄影技术发明以来,它就一直在为自己的艺术地位而奋斗。摄影不被当作艺术,原因在于它是机械复制的结果,主要由光学和化学等因素决定,人的心灵无法渗透其中。尽管摄影师也有手艺高低之分,但手艺所起的作用也是相当有限。美学家们津津乐道于绘画与摄影的区别:摄影与绘画存在本体论上的不同。摄影可以在法庭上作证据,哪怕它有点模糊;绘画则不能,哪怕它描绘得更加清晰。由此可见,摄影与对象有关,用来记录对象;绘画与主体有关,用来表情达意。记录对象的是技术,表达情意的是艺术。摄影与绘画的区别,由此可见一斑。

但是,美学家们在摄影与绘画之间划下的这条界线,遭到了技术和艺术的双重挑战。从技术角度来说,数码成像技术的出现,完全摧毁了摄影与对象之间的因果关系。摄影家可以像画家一样,采集各种图像元素来表情达意。观众可以像欣赏绘画作品一样,读解摄影作品的情绪和寓意。今天摄影要在法庭上作证,首先得弄清楚它是否是数码合成的产物。换句话说,摄影要在法庭上作证,首先需要证据来给自己作证。从艺术的角度来看,自从现成品成为艺术以来,已经没有人再执着于心灵的渗透和技巧的高明。拾得的现成品和实际发生的事件,无需艺术家的加工改造,也可以成为艺术作品。由此,艺术与非艺术之间的边界彻底模糊了。在当代艺术的语境下,我们无法否认摄影是艺术,就像我们无法接受绘画是艺术一样。今天有许多摄影被认为是艺术杰作,也有无数绘画被关在艺术的门槛之外。判断艺术与非艺术的标准发生了变化。绘画无法凭借自身就必然是艺术,摄影也不会因为自身就必然不是艺术。

傅文俊数绘摄影作品《春来江水绿如蓝》

有了数码合成技术之后,摄影发生了哪些变化呢?首先,显而易见的是修饰。在胶片摄影时代也有修饰,但是修饰的程度有限,而且有较高的技术要求。不是所有人都可以进行修饰,即使是技艺高超的技师,也不能随心所欲地修饰。在数码摄影时代,修饰的技术门槛大大降低,修饰的程度大大提高。只要掌握简单的技术,就可以随心所欲地进行修饰。照片不再受到与对象的因果关系的束缚,因而不再是不以人的意志为转移的;相反,照片完全服从主观意愿的安排,它甚至比绘画更加柔软,我们的心灵更加容易渗透进去。于是,摄影成了美化现实的主要途径,成为日常生活审美化的主要方式。

修饰可以让照片比现实更美,但是美并不能让照片成为艺术。在今天这个日常生活审美化的时代,美成了日常生活的基本特征。然而,艺术毕竟要跟日常生活有所不同。在日常生活不美的时代,美可以成为艺术的特征。在日常生活已美的时代,对于艺术来说,美不仅无益,反而有害。为了与美的日常生活拉开距离,艺术有可能要跟美决裂。因此,修饰只是将照片变成美的商品,但不足以将它变成艺术。照片要成为艺术,反而要抵制修饰。

除了修饰之后,数码摄影技术还方便了拼接。电影中的蒙太奇技术,在数码时代更是游刃有余。通过拼接来生产意义、表达观念、制造戏剧性效果,成为当代影像艺术的主要手法。例如,徐冰正在创作的《蜻蜓之眼》,就取材于拾得的监控视频。徐冰从海量的监控录像中,找出他需要的主人公、情节、场所等故事片所需要的全部元素,将毫不相关的视频拼接成了悬念丛生的故事片。除了剪辑之外,《蜻蜓之眼》没有用到电影的任何其他因素,没有摄影,没有演员。

与徐冰用拼接去制造流动的影像艺术不同,傅文俊用叠加制造静态的摄影艺术。像徐冰并不改变影像一样,傅文俊也没有改变照片,他们都不是生产卡通或动漫的艺术家。徐冰用拼接的方式,将监控录像资料转变成了艺术品;傅文俊用叠加的方式,将普通照片转变成了艺术品。在傅文俊的作品中,有通过多层照片的叠加,造成抽象绘画的效果的“数绘抽象”系列。在通常情况下,艺术家通过减除和提取,就能将具象作品变成抽象作品。但是,傅文俊采取的是相反的路径,通过不断的叠加和累积,创造出抽象的作品。由于是叠加和累积,不是减除和提取,傅文俊的抽象数绘系列作品具有特殊的深度和密度,像反复绘制的油画作品一样,令人回味无穷。傅文俊用摄影来追求油画效果,与他早年从事油画创作有关。但是,傅文俊没有像大多数艺术家那样,利用照片来创作油画,而是相反,用照片来体现油画的趣味。

傅文俊数绘摄影作品《空山新雨后》

在“昨夜西风”系列中,傅文俊将宋版书和胡杨树的图片叠加在一起,形成了自然与文明的相互映衬。宋版书和胡杨树都经受了长时间的洗礼,它们凝聚的时间的印痕,很容易让人发思古之幽情。这个系列作品呈现出来的趣味,与王国维所说的古雅十分接近。王国维将古雅视为中国美学特有的趣味,“昨夜西风”系列作品是少有的能够体现中国美学精神的摄影作品。

“和而不同”系列可以被视为“昨夜西风”系列的变体,傅文俊将胡杨树的照片替换为西方经典雕塑和中国历代名画的叠加。于是,自然与文化的对话,就演变成为中西文化的对话。追求完美形体的西方雕塑与崇尚虚灵气韵的中国绘画,代表两种全然不同的审美理想,但是当傅文俊将它们叠加起来的时候,却没有丝毫违和之感。傅文俊以自己特有的方式,诠释了和而不同。和而不同是中华文明赖以长盛不衰的智慧,今天也只有它才能解开文化多样性与文明冲突之间的死结。

追求和而不同,并非无视文明冲突。相反,正是因为直面文明冲突,才需要倡导和而不同。在“游戏”系列作品中,傅文俊非常巧妙地表达了当今国家之间的博弈关系。傅文俊选取骰子作为博弈的象征,投下骰子溅开的水花勾勒出不同国家的地图形状。骰子与地图之间不对称的比例,暗示博弈已经成为当今国家的重要内容。

与“游戏”关注国与国之间的博弈不同,“他心通”关注人与人之间的博弈,尤其是人与自我之间的博弈。作品的基本因素是佛像和人头的透视影像。傅文俊通过巧妙的处理,很好地揭示了今天人性与神性的关系。佛像相对较小,或许暗示今天神性的萎缩。放大的头骨,表明自我的膨胀。但是,头骨的模糊和可朽,又表明自我是暂时的,神性才是永恒的。这组作品衍生出来的丰富寓意,真是耐人寻味。它也像一面镜子,让我们看见自己身上的人性与神性的博弈。

《后工业时代》是傅文俊的大型影像装置作品,由五个巨大的轮胎和四面投影组成。作品的内容大多取材于作者生活的重庆。山城重庆以重工业闻名于世,依山崛起的大厦和飞跨两岸的大桥,给人以信息社会少有的崇高感。傅文俊的《后工业时代》,非常精准地传达了现代工业造就的崇高感。然而,这并不是现代工业的辉煌时刻,而是它的末日来临。现在工业即使要退出历史舞台,也是轰轰烈烈地退场.

傅文俊不仅开创的数绘摄影技法或流派,他的作品所展现出来的对社会和人生的思考的广度和深度更是让人深思。在傅文俊手里,摄影不再是记录事实的工具,而是表情达意的画笔,是充满哲理的檄文。

2017年2月23日于北京大学蔚秀园

关于作者彭锋:北京大学艺术学院教授、2011年威尼斯双年展中国馆策展人彭锋担任策展人。

本文是彭锋作为策展人,于2017年3月在中国美术馆举行的《和而不同——傅文俊数绘摄影展》所写的评论文章。

Decoration, montage and overlying-- Review on Fu Wenjun’s Digital Pictorial Photography

By Peng Feng

Ever since the emergence of photographic technology, it had been struggling for its position in the art field. Why the photography was not considered as an art consists in the fact that, it was determined by the optical and chemical factors, and the human spirit had no way to penetrate. Although photographers varied on their technical skills, the techniques made a difference in a very limited way. Aesthetic scholars has been taking delight in talking about the ontological differences exist between painting and photography. In a court trial, photography could be the evidence, although a little blurred. Painting could not do the same, even if it makes much clearer deion. We can notice that photography is linked to the object, aimed to record such an object; painting is linked to the subject instead, aimed to express ideas or feelings. The technology aims to record an object, while the art aims to express ideas or feelings. So the differences between photography and painting can be conjured up through seeing a part.

However, the boundary of photography and painting drawn by the aesthetic scholars has encountered the twofold challenge of technology and art. From the prospective of technology, the appearance of the digital imaging technology has destroyed the cause-effect relation between photography and the object. Photographer, like a painter, can collect any kind of visual elements to express ideas or feelings. Observers can appreciate the workpiece as if it was a painting, understanding the morale and implied meaning of the photographic work. In other words, if the photography wants to be shown as evidence in a court trial, it needs evidence to prove itself first. From the perspective of art, after the readymades having become artworks, there is no one insists any more on the spirit penetration and advanced techniques. The pick-up readymades and real-happened events, without any working and transformation by the artists, can also be considered as artworks. Then the boundary between art and non-art is completely blurred. In the context of contemporary art, we can not deny photography is art, just like we can not accept painting is art. Today numerous photographic works are regarded as art masterpieces, at the same time a lot of paintings are left out the door of art. The standard to judge if something is art or not has changed. Painting is inevitable to be an art just for its nature, and photography is inevitable not to be an art just because of its nature.

Since the born of digital composing technology, what has happened to the photography? Firstly and obviously, it is the decoration. The Decoration did exist already in the era of using films to produce photography, but the degree was limited with high requirements of the technique. Not everyone could do the decoration, even the technician with superb skill was not able to do it following his inclination. In the digital age, the decoration techniques has become much easier, thus the degree of decoration is highly increased. Just grasping the simple techniques, one can do the decoration as he pleases. The photography is free from to the limitation of the cause-effect relation of the object. So photography is not independent of man’s will any more. On the contrary, it can be arranged completely on man’s will, and be even softer than the painting, as our spirit can go deep inside in an easier way. Consequently, photography has developed into a major method to beautify the reality, becoming a principal way to aestheticize the daily life.

The decoration can make the photography more beautiful than the reality, but the beauty can not make the photography become an art. In the current time of daily life aestheticization, beauty has become a basic characteristic of the daily life. However, art should be different from the daily life. In an era that daily life was not beautiful, beauty could become a characteristic of the art. But in an era that daily life is already very beautiful, for the art, beauty is not useless, but harmful instead. Aiming to distance with the beautiful daily life, possibly the art will break with the beauty. Therefore, the decoration can only turn the photography into a beautiful merchandise, but is insufficiently turn it into the art. For becoming the art, photography should boycott the decoration.

Beside of the decoration, the digital photography technology has also provided convenience to the montage. In our digital times, the montage technique used for the filmmaking can be done with skill and ease. Taking use of the montage for the purpose of producing meaning, expressing ideas and creating dramatic effect, has become a principal method in the contemporary video art. For example, Eyes of Dragonfly, an undergoing film project of artist Xu Bing, has drawn its material from the collected surveillance videos. From tremendous amount of videos, Xu Bing finds out all the necessary elements composed of a story, including characters, plots, places, and makes the montage of unrelated videos, developing into a story film permeated with suspense. Except of the montage, Eyes of Dragonfly does not use any other elements of film, no photography, no actors.

Different from Xu Bing, who uses the montage to produce video art in dynamic state, Fu Wenjun applies the overlying to create photography art in static state. Xu Bing does not change the videos, and similarly Fu Wenjun also does not change the photos. They are not artists who produce cartoon or manga. Xu Bing, with the method of montage, has transformed the surveillance videos into artwork; while Fu Wenjun, with the method of montage, has transformed the ordinary photos into artwork. In his works, Fu Wenjun does the overlying of photos in multiple levels, and creates the series Digital Pictorial Abstraction series featured with the effect of abstract painting. Normally, the artist can change a realistic work into an abstract one by way of deduction and extraction. However, Fu Wenjun has applied the opposite way, creating abstract works with constant overlying and accumulation. Thanks to the overlying and accumulation, not the deduction and extraction, his digital painting abstract workpieces are characterized by special depth and density, just like the repeatedly painted oil paintings, which provide endless aftertaste to the spectators. Probably with regard to his experience with oil painting creation in his early stage, Fu Wenjun uses the photography to pursue the effect of oil painting. Unlike many artists, he does not use photography to assist oil painting creation, but on the contrary, presents the delight of oil painting through the photography.

In the series A Wind from Yesterday, Fu Wenjun overlays the images of a page made from a woodblock printing in Song Dynasty and a Euphrates poplar, leading nature and civilization to set each other off beautifully. Both of the two objects have gone through the test of a long time, so, as symbols of time they can evoke people’s nostalgia towards ancient times. The works embody a taste that is very close to the “classic elegance” proposed by the modern Chinese scholar Wang Guowei. This scholar regarded the “classic elegance” as a very special interest in the Chinese aesthetics. A Wind from Yesterday represents one of the few photographic works able to give expression to this Chinese aesthetic spirit.

Harmony in Diversity can be seen as a variant of A Wind from Yesterday, in which Fu Wenjun replaced the Euphrates poplar with the overlying of Western classic sculptures and Chinese ancient paintings. Then the dialogue between nature and civilization has evolved into the dialogue between Chinese and Western culture. It is evident that they represent two completely different aesthetic ideals: the Western sculptures pursue a perfect form, while the Chinese paintings adore the light and intangible spirit. Nevertheless, with the overlying performed by Wenjun, they do not appear to be inharmonious. In his own special way, the artist interprets the harmony in diversity, which represents a wisdom contributing to the continuous development of Chinese civilization and which can untie the hard knot of culture diversity and clash of civilizations.

Seeking harmony in diversity does not involve ignoring the clash of civilizations. On the contrary, precisely because we are facing directly the clash of civilizations, we need to advocate the harmony in diversity. In the series Game, Fu Wenjun has brilliantly expressed the current relationship of gambling among countries. The dice is chosen as symbol of the game, and the water splashes created from the throwing of dice outline the map of countries. The asymmetric proportion of dice to maps implies that the game has become an essential content of national politics nowadays.

Different from Game, that pays attention to the gambling among countries, Thought Reading focuses on the game among people, especially between the person and himself. The basic elements in the series are some Buddhist statues and pictures of the human skull under X-ray. Fu Wenjun, with ingenious treatments, reveals the relationship between humanity and divinity in our time. The Buddhist statues are relatively small, which possibly implies the shrinkage of the divinity nowadays. The enlarged skull refers to the expansion of the self. However, the skull is blur and will be rotten, indicating that the self is temporary and the divinity is forever. The meanings conveyed by this series give us much food for our thinking, just like a mirror, which make us to see the game between humanity and divinity.

Post-industrial Era is a large-scale photography installation created by Fu Wenjun, composed of five huge tires and four video projections. Chongqing, a mountainous city, is known for its heavy industry. The high-rises on the mountains and cross-river bridges bring people a sense of sublimity that is hardly to find in information society. Post-industrial Era delivers accurately this sense of sublimity created by modern industries. However, it is not a glorious moment for modern industries, but instead their last days. Even though modern industries will leave, they will leave the stage of history in a grand style.

Fu Wenjun not only has paved the way for the technique or school of digital pictorial photography, his works also represent the manifestation of a wide and profound thinking on the society and life, which is very charming. As for Fu Wenjun, photography is not merely a tool to record reality, but a brush to express his ideas or feelings, a proclamation permeated with philosophy.

Wei Xiu Park of Peking University, 23rd February 2017

About the author Peng Feng: Professor at Peking University School of Arts and curator of the Chinese Pavilion at the 54th Biennale di Venezia.

This critic article is written by Peng Feng as the curator of “Harmony in Diversity: Fu Wenjun’s Digital Pictorial Photography Exhibition” held at the National Art Museum of China in March 2017.返回搜狐,查看更多

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