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李振华 X 邱黯雄 & 未知博物馆

2015-1-21 16:51| 发布者: 墙报| 查看: 2513| 评论: 0|来自: 艺术时代

本文发表在《艺术时代》杂志第39期


QIU ANXIONG MUSUEM of UNKNOWN
邱黯雄 未知 博物馆

INTERVIEW
Li Zhenhua
X
Qiu Anxiong
July 12,2014

LZH: Can you describe “Museum of Unknown” and your role in it?

QAX: As the designer of “Museum of Unknown”, I intended to build a means and platform for cross - disciplinary communication and cultural collaboration. Another significant point I wanted to raise through this project is to suggest a kind of measurement of value systems: what is the criteria and value system of art today?

“Museum of Unknown” was fortu-nate enough to have a lot of young, passionate artists participating: in the beginning there were LiaoFei, WuDing, ZhengHuan, and LiXiao-hua, who worked closely with me in organising this project. Some people left, while many artists, scientists and culturally-oriented people also joined. In short, “Museum of Unknown” is a collaborative project with many talents on board.

Since 2007, we have conceived and run many exhibitions and public programs, and had a lot of great discussions. The birth of “Museum of Unknown” was the result of natural aggregation of its founders’ initiatives, but now I wish it could have continuous, independent working methodologies, and not just passion. Thus, the work I need to do now is to build the foundation and provide conditions for these new methodologies.

LZH: What kind of research subjects has “Museum of Unknown” focused on? The topic of inter-disciplinary collaboration has been discussed a million times in the past 5 years. You mentioned discussions that happened on the platform of “Museum of Unknown”: did they point at or resolve any questions related to the notion of inter – disciplinary work? Why was “Museum of Unknown” essential for the issues it addressed?

QAX: Producing artistic work is not the major goal of “Museum of Unknown”: we only produce work after an idea is mature. Meanwhile, we never do one-off works - we will stick with one idea and develop versions continuously. In the past a few years, we have been discussing on the following topics:

I.the criteria of art value We did the As we talk about art, what are we talking about? project, at BizArt new exhibition space(2010), and later in UCCA (2012); Decor project, at Arrow Factory(2011); Lent Art project at Shanghai Contemporary Art Museum (Power Station) Shanghai (2013).

II.the seat of meditation project In this series, we did: The Seat of Meditation-Museum of Unknown, Art House, Shanghai (2010), Social Meditation- Party, at AIKE-DELLARCO (2012),Social Medi-tation – Drift, at Yuan Space, Beijing
(2013), Social Meditation Social Meditation- Goodman from Sichuan performance project of Museum of Unknown, Germany Culture Center Shanghai(2014), and The Seat of Meditation, Gasträum Public Art Festival (2014).

III.the relationship between art and science
In this series, we did: Pattern-Vortex-Encounter, Museum of Unknown, Space Station, CAFA, Beijing and Time Art Museum, Guangzhou(2011), as well as EventStructure discussion, at the OutLook Magazine, Village, Beijing.

As for “inter-disciplinariness”,we are not really passionate about this “fashionable” topic. When we launched “Museum of Unknown”, we realised that China’s art world was limited in its thinking methods and knowledge, which also set boundaries for its vision. In response to this, we wanted to construct some channels for communication, to bridge discussions between art and science.

As a start, we worked with Songshu-hui-Association of Science Com-municators and invited scien-tists to join the discussions, and later on more people became interested in this subject. For us, the process of discussion is also the process of learning - learning what was, back then, unknown to us. These discussions did not look for particular answers: most questions about inter-disciplinary regardless.

Regarding “essential”… for the
general public, the sense of something being essential emerges when something is accomplished- however, not for an abstract, yet to be delivered idea. I think perhaps this feeling of “essential” is more about yourself, it is the belief and urge to conduct and achieve something. Back then when we started “Museum of Unknown”, we just thought that the discussions on art were replaced by those on markets and auctions. What we did was not to deny that the market is a part of the art scene and that we ought to avoid talking about it, but to argue that the criteria or assessment of art was overly driven and guided by market price, and that was problematic - art should always have independent criteria. So this was the backdrop of the motive of “Museum of Unknown”; and also what I just mentioned, the issue of knowledge and visions.

LZH: In terms of artistic methodo-logies, how does Museum of Unknown differ from your own practices? What subjects are you responding to?
QAX: My own artistic practice has its own range and idea: the pursuit for artistic languages is fundamental and my embedded motive. My work also relies on art mechanisms, or working around them - which is problematic. The work of “Museum of Unknown”, on the other hand, is more like a laboratory where you are allowed to make mistakes and are encouraged to collaborate with others. It is also where we can work in various contexts, on diverse subjects. You are allowed to open up. “Museum of Unknown” feels like a type of retreat for me, retreating from the systems that I am so engaged in. From it I earn the freedom to be distant, and to wander around. Of course in this process I more or less got involved in the conventional system again, but the core intention is to let “Museum of Unknown” stay independent in its working methodologies and guiding attitudes.

LZH: I think it is interesting that you mentioned the art system, what is the art system in China? Generally, an art system ought to have very specific ways of circulation, resulting in clear allocations of professional work. It is still vague in China, in that it’s even hard to say what a “museum system” is , or what a “gallery system” is.

In terms of your work, what kind of system do you rely on, or work around?

QAX: “Art system” is a grand phrase: to put it more precisely, each country or region - be it China, Europe, or the US - has its own type of “art system”. In today’s China, the system has an odd status: the official system - say, the Association of Art Museums and all those official art museums - is still playing dominating roles. They do not reject contemporary art at all, sometimes they even claim to be updated and “contemporary” in their operation. However, they have never given up the censorship habit. For those non-official art institutions, the scene is more diverse. Most of these institutions do not have their own collections, some of them do, but their collection is more based on the personal interests of wealthy collectors, and not professional. This is the chaotic “art system” of China: things are springing up lively and enthrallingly, however a lot of these happenings do not seem to have long-lasting value - like floating clouds passing by and vanishing in time.

I think maybe we need to wait longer for real, interesting things to happen - there are so many co-existing micro systems currently composing “the system” of art in China. I have been exhibited in different types of venues: official art museums, private art museums or galleries, international art museums, domestic and international biennials…these are of the academic systems, there’re also commercial systems…if you want to sell your work, you have to be part of the economic value system. All these systems are both interrelated and independent from each other, altogether addressing impacts on your life and work. From my personal point of view, we have entered a globalised state of life - I do not have profound knowledge of overseas art systems, but I do know that they have influenced China’s system a lot, largely because we do not have value criteria of our own.

LZH: As an artist who exhibited in Documenta very early, you must have some understanding of art practices centred around German culture. Has your understanding changed turning to your recent work in China?

QAX: My study in Germany has gained me some understanding of its art, and its art concepts have had huge impacts on me, especially those of the Fluxus and Beuys.

On the other side, I am also fascinated by classical Chinese culture - perhaps I firstly got interested because I didn’t know much about it, so I started working on it, and my work in Shanghai was also conducted within the framework of traditional Chinese art. Chinese contemporary art was very popular back then, but I did not see clear value established in the scene. It felt like a state of culture consumption to me, when everyone was borrowing and quoting popular theories without deeply looking into them. If we look at Germany, they have a very systematic notion of value, there is a clear idea and logic in their history of art practices, through which a lot of stuff is generated and could serve as soil for further inventions. However in China, that is not the case: nobody wants to deeply root their work in history while overnight success is more dreamed of. Unfortunately, this kind of quick success will have very little resonance in history.

LZH: What has changed since you came back to China? Say, your work, your financial situation, or your exhibitions and attention you receive - how have these changed and what kind of effect has this had on you? What is your contribution, and criticism, towards Chinese contemporary art?

QAX: I changed a lot. I have started experimenting with new media, ranging from animation, installations, photography and live performances. I am enthused to try new things. Then more and more exhibition opportunities and attention came to me, which in the beginning was exciting, however later on I felt kind of driven by those. You will feel kind of passive when you are overloaded with shows, it will even have bad influences in the result of your work. Now I’m taking more care of my own pace as opposed to being driven purely by the outside world. Regarding income, it has always been just enough for basic living: I do make more now, but I also spend more.

Chinese contemporary art needs to slow down a little bit, and be more patient for more fundamental work. Moreover, we need to bring the critics back: nowadays criticism does not exist as independent sections in the landscape of Chinese contemporary art,critics are not popular anymore. In the 80s and 90s, many critics came from art history backgrounds, they used to curate and write criticisms. However most of them are not curators now because curators are empowered more; also it's because nobody pays critics for “criticism” now. Paid articles produced today are all filled with parsing, promotion languages: the living space of criticism, on the other hand, is minimal. This is really problematic, it’s like giving up our immune system in art. Same as China’s political system, it’s “mutually conditional”, it’s obscure without a balancing mechanism - or the balancing mechanisms are black-box operated and are not transparent to the general public. The whole scene is still totalitarian.

If one gains power, then nobody speaks against him. Once someone does, the normal disputes will upgrade to personal hatred, resulting in malicious, antagonist behaviour between parties. People do not discuss and negotiate in a healthy way, nor do they take the matter on its merits. A lot of them are, still, dictators. “Museum of Unknown” has been a discussion about how to improve the mechanism, on a micro scale. We haven’t contributed too much, we just focus on what we think is worth doing, and let the next generation judge our value.

LZH: “Museum of Unknown” presented “The Seat of Meditation” in Zurich, in which you presented a channel for people to enter, to arrive at a meditative status in this space, separated from the city. The manifestation of art in this project, of course, is not the Seat-shaped installation itself, but the moment when people enter and participate. How do you see the position of participants in this form of art? And the function of art in this context?

QAX: Yes, the Seat of Mediation is simply a place for mediation. It could be functional, but meditation itself is not functional. This is what’s contradicting and interesting about this project. The Seat of Mediation provides you with a function that is quintessentially “useless”, which is in itself a retreat from the pragmatism of modern civilisation, offering a questioning perspective. The Seat of Mediation is more of a “space” than an “installation”. It is making use of the void, or making use of the useless.

LZH: I like “making use of the useless”, do “Museum of Unknown” produce many works similar to this? Does this attitude come from your study in Buddhism?

QAX: All the works in the “Seat of Mediation” series are useless, perhaps it’s related to my Buddhism studies. When we say something is pragmatic, we imply that it’s for some purpose. In the context of Zen, however, the process from A to B, either in time or space, is no longer differentiated: A is B.

李振华 X 邱黯雄 & 未知博物馆

李振华:能不能介绍一下你自己和“未知博物馆”的关系?

邱黯雄:作为未知博物馆的发起者,最初我提出要做这个虚拟博物馆的初衷是建立一个跨学科的文化交流合作机制和平台,另一点是对价值体系的考量,今天我们以什么作为艺术的评判标准?很幸运的是有一些年轻艺术家有热情和兴趣参与这个工作,最初有廖斐,吴鼎,郑焕,李晓华等人,还有些人后来没有参与了,也有很多参加不同项目的艺术家,科学家以及其他文化工作者,从开始到现在做组织工作的是我和廖斐,吴鼎,郑焕他们。总的来说这是个集体的项目,许多人一起工作,2007年以来我们做了很多展览和活动还有讨论,讨论是最多的。未知博物馆开始时是一个自然凝聚的状态,现在我希望它能够有持续的独立工作方式,而不仅仅是靠热情,所以现在需要去建构这个基础和条件,这是我目前要去做的工作。

李振华:“未知博物馆”具体的创作和倾向曾经有哪些?跨界在这五年来说一个很主流的话题,但是鲜有人真正做到,那么你提到讨论的时候,有些问题得到解答了吗?以及“未知博物馆”在当时做的必要性是什么?

邱黯雄:未知博物馆并不是以创作为主,创作是当某些想法成型后的结果,一个想法开始后也不会一次性消费,会持续的做下去,这几年有几个话题是我们持续讨论的,一.艺术的价值标准的讨论,我们做了《当我们谈论艺术时,我们在谈论什么?》2010,比翼艺术空间,《装饰》 2011,箭厂空间,《当我们谈论艺术时,我们在谈论什么?2》2012尤伦斯美术馆,《借艺术》2013,上海当代艺术馆。二.冥想台计划,《冥想台》2010,上海襄阳路368号;《社会冥想-Party》2012,艾可画廊;《社会冥想-漂移》2013,北京元空间;《社会冥想-四川好人》 2014,上海德国领事馆文化处;《冥想台》2014,苏黎世Gasträum公共艺术节。 三. 艺术与科学,《图案,漩涡,遭遇》2011,北京空间站,广州时代美术馆,北京中央美院美术馆,《事物的结构》讨论会,北京三里屯新视线杂志社。说到跨界,我们并不是想去掺和这个时髦话题,在未知博物馆成立之初,我们意识到国内艺术圈的思维和知识视野很狭窄,对艺术圈以外对东西不太了解,我们想搭建一些沟通渠道。比如艺术与科学的话题,我们和科学松鼠会合作,找到了一些科学家一起讨论,后来也有很多人开始对艺术和科学的话题感兴趣。讨论对于我们来说更多时候是学习的过程,很多话题中的知识我们都还是未知的,在讨论中我们学习到了更多有趣的知识。这类问题很难说去找到一个答案,因为这些问题很难下一个简单的结论,而且到今天为止,这些话题的讨论可以说才是个开始。我们就像点了一个火种,更多人看到了感兴趣来参与。也许解决问题的不是我们,但是我们去找一些路径和方法,也许最后都不对,但这是未知博物馆的存在价值。说到必要性,对于别人来说很多事情做出来了才会去谈论他的必要性,如果只是一个想法,没有成为事实前,没有人会觉得它有什么必要。必要性更多是对自己而言吧,就是自己觉得一定要把它实现出来的冲动。当时就是觉得没有谈论艺术,都在谈市场,谈拍卖。当然市场也是整个艺术生态的一部分,不是说不去谈,但是用市场价格作为艺术价值的标准是有问题的。艺术的价值评判应该有自己独立的标准,而不是跟着市场走。还有前面提到的知识范围和视野的问题,这个是未知博物馆产生的主要动机。

李振华:未知博物馆的工作方法和你自身的艺术创造有什么不同,或者说你在具体的回应什么?

邱黯雄:我自己的创作还是有一个线索和范围,对语言的要求是基本的,也是工作的内在动力。还有这个工作依赖于艺术的体制,甚至是围绕这个体制展开的,这正是有问题的地方。未知博物馆的工作方式更像实验室工作,可以试错,可以合作,可以在不同的语境和话题里工作,可以完全敞开。未知博物馆对我来说像是一个退出机制,从正在其中的体制中退出,保持距离,让思想散步。当然在实践过程中,还是或多或少的卷入了体制的工作方式,但是我希望未知博物馆能保持独立的态度和工作方式。

李振华:你提到的艺术体制,我觉得很有趣,因为中国的艺术体制是什么?通常一个体制应该有很具体的循环,以及常年工作下来的各自位置和分配。在中国甚至很难说什么是博物馆体制,什么是画廊体制等,那么你所依赖或者围绕的体制是什么?

邱黯雄:体制是个大词,具体到实际情况中,中国有中国的体制,欧洲有欧洲的体制,美国有美国的体制。但今天中国的体制是个很奇怪的状态,官方体制仍然存在,有美协,有官方美术馆,而且也不拒绝当代艺术,甚至很积极的宣称自己也当代了,但是他们审查机制从未放松过。民间的艺术机构水准参差不齐,但大多美术馆没有馆藏,有的馆藏没有馆藏标准,很多时候就是有钱人的个人的趣味。就是这样的一个混乱的情况,所有的事情都在发生,看起来很有活力,但大多数发生的事情又好像没有什么留存的价值,过了就过了。也许我们还需要等待一段时间,就会有有意思的事情发生。我说的体制就是这些已经存在的系统。具体点说,比如我参加不同的展览,有中国的官方美术馆,有私营美术馆,也有国外的美术馆,有国内国外的双年展,这是学术层面的,还有市场层面的,你要卖作品就是进入这个经济体制,进入他的价值体系,这些都是体制。可能它们非常不同,但是都会有关系,也会影响你的工作方式和生活。从我自己的生活轨迹来看,我们已经进入一个全球化的生活,尽管我们对国外的体制的了解不深,但是他对中国的影响力却很大,很大原因是我们没有自己的价值标准。

李振华:作为从卡塞尔回来的中国艺术家,你对以德国文化为中心的艺术实践一定有认识,那么在中国的工作中这些认识发生了什么改变?

邱黯雄:在德国的学习可能还是比较粗浅的认识,但是对我还是有很大的影响,尤其是激浪派、博伊斯的艺术观念。但另一方面,我又对中国自身的文化传统感兴趣,可能是因为不了解才感兴趣。那时候想做的工作是往这个方向去的,回到上海也是在这个框架下开始工作,中国当代艺术那个时候很热,但是看不到具体的价值建立,都是临时用一下时髦理论背书,更像是文化消费的状态。再回头看德国,他们的价值系统还是很完整的,艺术实践的推进是有其自身的逻辑和线索的,他们留下的东西都可以成为未来的土壤和营养。而现在中国能留下的东西很少,大家都不愿意作短期在面上看不见的下水道的工作,都想一蹴而就,一蹴而就的东西是经不起时间考验的。

李振华:回来中国后你发生了什么改变吗?你的工作以及经济上的收入,或者说更多的展览和关注,让你发生了什么变化?你对中国当代艺术的批评和贡献是什么?

邱黯雄:变化很大,我的创作开始了新媒体的尝试,动画、装置、摄影、现场表演,我都想去尝试。后来有了很多的展览机会和关注,开始很兴奋,后来发现这个方式自己变得很被动。当展览太多时,你的工作就很被动,甚至会影响到作品 的完成度,这时候会考虑保持自己的节奏和速度,而不是跟着外面走。收入上一直是刚够生活支出,现在收入比以前多,但是开支也大了。中国当代艺术需要更慢一点,更有耐心一点,做更多基础的工作。还有中国的艺术机制中没有批评这一环节了,批评家不吃香了,八九十年代的批评家很多是美术史专业的,又同时在作策展工作,也写文章。后来都去做策展人了,因为策展人的权利更大。还有一个原因是没人为批评掏钱,现在请人写文章都是宣传推广说好话的。所以批评没有生存空间,但是这是很大的问题,相当于一个生态中没有免疫机制。这和中国的政治系统是一个逻辑,互为表里,没有制衡机制,或者说制衡机制不是公开透明的,而是黑箱操作,整个圈子还是江湖化,集权化的。势力大的就没人敢提意见了,而且一旦有人提意见,就会变成私人恩怨,人身攻击,你想整我搞我。而不是一个讨论商榷的心态,就事论事的心态,很多人都还是独裁者心态。未知博物馆想在小范围内探索讨论机制。贡献现在还谈不上,我只是尽量做好自己想做的事情,后人自有评判。

李振华:“未知博物馆”在苏黎世的项目为一个“冥想的碗”,作品拥有一个可进入的通道,在空间中完成一个小群体和城市隔离的冥想状态。艺术显然不是这个具有碗形态的雕塑,而是在参与的时刻。你怎么看待这一艺术形式中参与者的作用,以及艺术的功能?

邱黯雄:是的,冥想台是提供给人去冥想的地方,可以说是有功能性的,但是冥想本身又是一个无用的状态。这是比较矛盾但也是比较好玩的地方。冥想台提供了一个让人处于无用状态的功能,这本身是对现代文明的实用主义的抽离和怀疑。冥想台与其说是一个装置,不如说是一个空间,以空为用,或者说无用之用。
李振华:“无用之用”很棒,那么“未知博物馆”是否有很多这样的作品,或这是你在成为佛教徒之后的一种状态?

邱黯雄:冥想台这个项目中的作品都是无用的,也跟我学佛有关系吧。实用都是有目的性的,空间上时间上都有一个过程,就是从A到B。冥想,禅定,就是在A,也同时在B,没有分别。



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