He Jing | 贺婧





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访谈:Catherine David

采访:贺婧
法译中:吴亚楠
校译:宁琤、贺婧
原文发表于《艺术界》2015年4月刊“里程”栏目


Catherine David_摄影:李冰_图像版权©LEAP

Catherine David于2014年被任命为巴黎蓬皮杜艺术中心副馆长。作为策展人和艺术史学家,她曾策划包括第十届卡塞尔文献展在内的多个重要展览,其长期实践与研究着重于全球化语境下的现代主义演变与美学进程问题,并重点关注中东地区的当代艺术实践与生态。在此次与《艺术界》的独家访谈中, Catherine David 谈论了九十年代以来的当代艺术策展实践在方法论和本体论双重层面上的演进,并提出了其个人对于基于人类学的策展方法的理解,以及针对艺术领域文化产业化现象的批判。

贺婧(之后简称“贺”):您是艺术史学家、策展人、藏品研究员与美术馆馆长。就“策展人”这一职业而言,法语中也开始越来越地使用外来的“curator”(策展人)而非法语原先的表达“commissaire d’exposition”(法语“展览专员/策展人”)。那么对您来说,“curator”与“comissaire d’exposition”这两个用语之间究竟存在着怎样的差异?

Catherine David(之后简称“CD”):在法国,一直都使用两个称谓:在美术馆机制中,“藏品研究员”(conservateur de collection)负责对馆藏进行研究、管理,并决定它们的展出方式。而在这些机构之内或之外,展览是由“展览专员”(commissaire)或者说“策展人”(curator)来策划的,一位策展人也可以同时是美术馆的“藏品研究员”,但不必然。从八十年代起,这些不同的角色开始越来越混淆,无论是在现实层面还是在语言层面,策展人与展览推广者、甚至有时仅仅是那些能够取悦公众的角色之间变得难以区别,我觉得这是非常严重的问题。相反地,我很乐于看到那些来自于不同学科、为当代美学实践所带来的多样性解读与介入,但前提是这种交汇是严肃的并且能够贡献出真正的才能。

对于我来说,国籍文化背景并不影响策展人的水平高低,真正的差异存在于个体间。一位优秀策展人拥有远见、文化诉求还有自我道德标准,他们有能力做出在智识与形式层面可以被清晰表达的提案,显示出在展览意图、布展方案和单个作品之间的意义。

贺:您曾为第十届卡塞尔文献展带来了一种“跨学科”式的方法,邀请一些作家、社会学家与建筑师等共同参与展览。这种方法在今天成为了越来越多被探讨的策展现象,您是如何看待的?

CD:能够帮助公众进入那些启发了艺术家的不同领域和各色论述是十分重要的,我将这些手段或者体验称之为“展览的边缘渗透”(bords poreux de l’exposition),——它们带来的是仅靠视觉经验所无法达到的对于展览或作品的理解。事实上从杜尚开始,可见性不再必须是理解作品的关键所在。在(1997年)的第十届卡塞尔文献展期间,我们设计了特定的观展路线,观众可以穿城而行,在橘园馆看到混合的实验性项目,在文献展馆参与“百天百位嘉宾”活动——即在百天内邀请百位不同身份的嘉宾,包括作家、导演、艺术家、科学家等,以形式多样的现场活动与公众分享他们的经验、思考和知识。这些活动同时被拍摄和记录下来,形成数字档案,以便观众可以随时在现场调看。因此,那一届文献展的核心意图在于让观众能够最大限度地进入到各种不同的参照因素与跨文化、跨学科的场域之中。这个想法本身并不是新的,因为自五十年代开始,围绕着人类学、都市空间与社会空间、实验科学等多重领域的研究已经带来了美学思考与艺术实践领域的扩张。但在97年的卡塞尔文献展中,其他学科并不是“围绕”着艺术,而是在共同制造艺术,由此体现出一种真正的“跨学科性”。

贺:这种“跨界”的实践范围一直在不断地扩大,它更多是正面的还是也有令人担忧的一面呢?

CD:我对“跨界”并不感兴趣,也无意于时髦的策展方式;而更愿意去关注那些试图质疑和重新定义当下美学领域及其现象的思考和实践。另外,我很少谈论“艺术”(art),而更倾向于去谈“当代美学实践”( pratiques esthétiques contemporaines ), 后者在关照当今艺术家们极其多样的观念与形式实践之时显得更加准确,而“当代艺术”正在成为一种极其物化和市场化的范畴,变成了文化消费的片段。这现象并不令我担忧,我也不会疯狂到想象我可以控制这些事情。真正令人担忧的是当代美学实践被缩减为像“健怡可乐”一样的东西,事实上今天有相当一部分严肃的命题或形式是很难被大家看到、接触到的。令人担忧的不是复杂性与多样性的存在,反而是那种一切都可交换的类似于新自由主义集市的东西。在面对市场和那些具有象征性支配权的力量时,我们应该做出选择,并提供能够替换这种东西的内容,以打开那些尚不为公众所见的空间。

贺:您怎么看待众多知识分子作为策展人介入到展览工作中的现象呢,比如乔治·迪迪-于贝尔曼?即一种风行于当下的“美学实践的知识分子化”,包括艺术家对智识化的追求?

CD:所有的美学选择与批判性思考都是一种智识上的训练。乔治·迪迪-于贝尔曼的批评工作在他的策展实践中找到了一种合理的延续。而您提出的这个问题事实上要分成两种不同的情况来进行判断:一方面,是很多艺术家的文本与论述确实在很大程度上启发并自始至终伴随着他们的创作;而另一种情况是,的确存在着(这样的问题),即对于评论、分析和理论文本的生产,其质量与确切性是十分参差不齐的,这个时候就需要对它们做出准确的判断和选择。

贺:就我的理解来说,“策展人”是那种有能力建构一整套系统、方法和视野的角色,而不仅仅是能够找到某个特定的主题。我们需要透过展览所呈现的视角去重新观看作品,甚至是这个世界本身。

CD:策展人并不是空想理论家,这个角色不是为了证明什么而存在的。问题实际上并不复杂:就某一观念或形式的命题进行思考和诠释,并通过非常敏锐同时又充满智慧的方法在展览空间之中将其呈现出来,这才是策展人真正的工作。当然每个人都有自己的敏感度,而真正谁都无法避免的是要“从作品出发去思考”,而并不存在任何秘诀。总而言之策展人是一项对专业度要求非常高的职业,很严苛,——正如当你是乐团指挥的时候,对你提出的要求将要远远高于对一个演奏家所提出的,这个角色必须对每个细节都非常留意。随着时间经验的积累,一个策展人应该发展出一套方法,但不是一个系统。

贺:您曾游历过世界上多个地区,策展的主题也涉及不同的国家与文化,因而我非常好奇有两个词汇对您而言的意义:一个是“异域情调”(exotique),另一个是“刻板印象”(cliché),关于这一点您曾在里昂美院的一个讲座中提到“我非常反对那些我称之为 ‘异域的托词’的东西”。

CD:说到“异域情调”,要看我们讨论的是什么。如果援引十九世纪下半叶谢阁兰(Victor Segalen)1 的定义来理解“异域情调”——对他来说,那是一种对他者之“相异性”(altérité)的欲望或情结,——那么这当然与一种(简化了的)“刻板印象”下所形成的“异域情调”是不一样的。显然有不少当代作品属于这一“自我异域情调化”的范畴,由此我才一直不确定什么才是“阿拉伯艺术”:我认识一些阿拉伯艺术家或在阿拉伯世界工作的艺术家,——其中后者已经是一个值得斟酌的概念了,因为当今所谓的“阿拉伯世界”充满了异质化、对立和分裂,——但阿拉伯艺术肯定不是暴力或蒙面妇女的系统化再现。您所提到的当代“异域情调”从来都不应该仅仅是对他者之差异性的一种系列化、简化或者局部化再现,它的目的相当值得我们去质疑。

贺:就策展范式而言,似乎存在着围绕不同国家或文化所策划的展览,比如一场阿拉伯艺术展或中国艺术展。但每次看到这样的展览,我都禁不住想知道这些展览之间的区别究竟在哪里?或者说,是否应该区分策展的人类学路径与地理学路径这二者间的不同?如果将策展依赖在一种地理划分的层面,难道不是一种很“懒惰”的方式吗?它会使得我们忽略那些对不同文化而言更加本质的问题。

CD:您描述的这个状况恰恰是占主导地位的,我将这种策展方法称之为“购物(shopping)”:通过短暂的旅行,点滴仓促地走访一些当地美术馆、艺术家工作室,貌似找到一个正确的概括地域、民族文化特色的展览主题。当然,还有另一种策展方法,我以前也策划过一些这样的项目,即试图针对某一特定时刻而提出具体问题,拒绝以一种范式来解读作品所包含的历史、社会或政治意义。如果我们的工作由此而展开,就将会是有意义的,同时还可以发现一些围绕某段时期、某个地点的多样化范式,从而呈现出特殊性,避免用简单片面的手法把那些不同文化语境中的作品置于同质化、标准化的现代性研究中。

贺:您曾在里昂美院的讲座中所提到 “现代史仍然没有被全部书写出来,依然有未曾涉及的空间”;并征引了德勒兹的“褶皱空间”(l’espace pli)——“不时地,我们总会展开那些褶子并重新审视它们。当我们意识中的轮廓是如此不均一时,我们该如何讨论现代性?”这种关于现代性的观念是否是您策展思考的核心?

CD:我不太记得这场讲座和引用这些的上下文了,但可以肯定的是我在讨论艺术史书写尚存空白的问题,尤其是针对非西方现代文化书写的空白,而书写这些就像“展开”德勒兹所说的褶子。这项工作的挑战便是将现有的叙述深入化,质询不同等级间的微妙差别,以及去理解作品在不同现代空间中所表现出的“非时序性”。即,在某些特定时刻,会有某些观念与形式于某一特定地点产生了效应。如果我们能够去关注这些在特定的人文、文化与地理空间中存在的现象、产出和形式演变的话,我们当然会更加关注作品本身和它所表达的,并辨识出在感性秩序与社会秩序中的变迁(如形式、物质性等等)——这些正是使我们能够看到20世纪的现代发展节奏与其形式之间的不同质。尤其回到当下经济全球化在不断加速的状况下,当某些人想使我们相信所有的东西都(因为这点而)变得相似了的时候,事实的情况却是相反的。最精益求精的作品总有一种因其所属时刻(段)而呈现出的特性,它们在特定的背景下,于特定地点被建构(而地点这一概念并不见得是尺度概念)。

贺:2014年您被任命为蓬皮杜艺术中心的副馆长及其“全球战略负责人”。您对这一工作的未来计划是什么?又该如何理解这里的“全球”一词呢?

CD:坦诚地说,这个称谓并不是太贴切,这不是我自己喜欢的头衔,但我也没找到更好的。这次任命是一项任务,希望由我来领导,通过增补馆藏,调整馆藏的展示,组织策划展览及其它一些活动(讲座、研讨会及研究),使美术馆的面貌呈现出更加多元的地域文化性,并展现这些区域存在的多种形式的现代性和诱发它们的历史时刻。因此需要用富有智慧的更新视角,使这个主要以西方艺术为主的、庞大的现代艺术馆藏和今天全球化的世界建立新的可能性,并思考它的局限性。如何实现这个目标,也许并不是通过系统性地大量增加艺术家作品的收藏方式(其压力来自目前非西方地区现代主义作品收藏的困难,以及如何让这些收藏形成针对艺术家的有效研究);有效的途径可能是策划系列 “聚焦展”的精致小型展览——例如解读或展示一件作品及它的历史、一位艺术家的创造线索及过程、一个艺术小组的创作、几位艺术家作品的相遇等,并将这些缜密的小展览定期有规律地引入到馆内永久收藏的文化空间中,与之形成对视和对话。

贺:但纵观这些年在蓬皮杜看到的展览,与英语文化区相比,我总觉得蓬皮杜的展览有些“慢”半拍。比如,弗洛伊德与杰夫·昆斯早就在英美举办过他们的回顾展了。但当我说“慢半拍”时,不一定是一种负面评价,它呈现的或许更多是一种不同的时间观念,这种观念可能让法国人对一个艺术家在美术史中的位置保持了相当的审慎态度。

CD:毫无疑问的是我们错过了一些时机,尤其是事关那些非欧洲国家的重要艺术家的专题讨论与展览。有些事情应当发生在一些更准确的时刻,或早或晚。而同时间,也不能忽略不同国家文化历史的差异性,从某种程度上来说是这些定义了我们的选择和选择的优先权。

贺:在第十届卡塞尔文献展的导言中,您提到了“当代艺术被文化产业变得投机化”,以及“信息被审美化”,在今天这种状况似乎变得更严重了,艺术时常沦为投机工具、资本工具,或文化产业的娱乐工具,艺术评论家也在画廊主与收藏家面前变得越来越弱势,在中国尤甚。面对这种状况,您的主张是什么?是要对这种投机化秉持一种负面态度从而试图恢复艺术的尊严呢,还是寄希望于在这一状况下催生新的可能性?

CD:我相信从1997年至今,情况的确恶化了。我并不感到震惊,因为我知道会变成这样。在中国,还真的是更严重一点!这也就意味着对我而言,如果还自认为是一名严谨的知识分子或策展人的话,那就总有一些艺术家,我永远不会去展出他们的作品,我对他们不感兴趣,这一点很明确。如果回顾一下我做过的展览,您将不会看到那些我称之为“贡多拉船头”的哗众取宠的艺术家,——没人会逼迫你去做一个展览。我当然也遇到过一些这样的要求,但我对权力从来不感兴趣,我希望能最大限度地呵护我所拥有的那点权威性。但问题是,今天无论是专家、知识或理念的权威,均不能与资本的力量相提并论。正是因为知道这一点,我们必须得变得更聪明。即使情况变得很糟糕,我们也有权质问还有什么会永存,在未来还会有多少真正的空间去维护和滋润一种自由与想象。不过这些并不妨碍我工作,也无法困扰我。当我与中国艺术家交谈时,其中的一些文化参与者还是非常清醒的并且提出了同样的质疑。总之,要去做那些能做到的。

1. 19世纪末法国的探险家、人类学家、艺术理论与文学评论家。



Interview: Catherine David

Interviewer: He Jing
French to Chinese Translation: Wu Yanan
English Translation: Nathaniel Brown
Copyeditor: Ning Cheng, He Jing
Published on LEAP, April Issue 2015.

He Jing (HJ): You are an art historian, a curator , a museum conservator and a museum director. Let’s first talk about your position as a “curator.” Many French speakers have begun to use the term “curator” rather than the original French term, “commissaire d’exposition.” In your opinion, what actual difference exists between the two terms?

Catherine David (CD): In France we have always used two titles: in museums we use “conservateur de collection” (conservator) to refer to those who are responsible for the research, organization, and management of the collections and its hangings. However, both within and outside these organizations, exhibitions are organized by the “commissaires” ( “curators”) . A curator can also concurrently be a conservator – though does not necessarily have to be. Since the 1980s there has been a great confusion, both in terminology and in reality, regarding the boundaries and differences between the roles of curators and exhibition promoters, who at times just focus on pleasing a larger public. This poses a number of problems; these positions are very different and should remain so. On the other hand, I’m delighted to see so many people from different disciplines being involved in bringing a diverse array of interpretations to the contemporary aesthetic practice, so long as their involvement and work is rendered in a serious way, and brings with it a contribution of real talent.

HJ: You once brought an “inter-disciplinary” approach to the documenta x, inviting authors, sociologists, and architects alike to participate together in the exhibition. This idea of “curating a cross-sector show” has become increasingly popular, what are your thoughts about this?

CD: It is important to give the public access to the diverse disciplines and discourses that inspire artists. I call this method, and this experience, the “bords poreux de l’exposition” —the permeable edges of the exhibition. It gives viewers an understanding of the works that goes beyond merely the visual experience alone; by being able to access the reference points and discourses that structure the works, viewers are able to gain a more comprehensive understanding. Beginning with Duchamp, we know that the visual aspect is no longer necessarily the most integral aspect of understanding a work of art. Therefore the core intent of documenta x was to enable the audience to access the vast array of intercultural and interdisciplinary elements that these works reference. Since the 1950s, the aesthetic practice has opened up to incorporate anthropology, reflections on urban and social spaces, and experimental sciences. However, at the 97 documenta, these other disciplines did not merely “surround” the art, instead they were involved a collaborative creation of it. Through this the show was able to truly embody the essence of what it is to be “interdisciplinary.”

I rarely talk about “art,” instead I prefer to discuss the “contemporary aesthetic practice,” the latter being a term that I believe is more encompassing and accurate in describing the extreme diversity of the concepts and forms that have developed in the practices of contemporary artists. On the contrary, “contemporary art” has become a purely commoditized market category, designating a specific segment of cultural consumption. What is truly worrying is that the contemporary aesthetic practice has become reduced to resembling “light art” —similar to “light Coke.” In actuality, there is still a portion of quite serious and pertinent proposals or formal practices around that have little or no visibility, and that most people have no contact with. Therefore what is worrying is not the existence of complexity or diversity but rather the reduction and commodification of works and practices that occurs in a neoliberal bazaar wherein everything is assigned a value and deemed interchangeable. In the face of the market, or other forces of symbolic authority, we must make an explicit and deliberate choice.

HJ: What do you think about growing number of intellectuals, such as Georges Didi-Huberman, that have become involved in the curative process? Does this follow a trend of the “intellectualization of the aesthetic practice” and artists’ pursuit of “intellectualism”?

CD: All artistic decisions and critical thinking are intellectual exercises. The critical work of Didi-Huberman finds a legitimate extension in his curatorial practice. However, in the question you are asking there are actually two separate parts that need to be considered: the first is that many artists produce text and discourse that not only influence a large extent of their work, but also accompanies their creations from start to finish. However, we also have a production of critiques, commentaries, and “theoretical” texts that vary significantly in quality and pertinence and therefore must be carefully parsed.

HJ: You have travelled all over the world and many of the shows you’ve curated have had themes that touch on the cultures of different countries. Consequently, I’m extremely curious as to your feeling towards two words: “exotique” and “cliché”.

CD: When speaking of the “exotique” we must be clear as to what we are talking about. If we are citing Victor Segalen 1 in the second half of the 19th century, then the definition of “exotique,” in his understanding, is something which creates enjoyment or desire through its “otherness" (altérité). Obviously this is quite different than the simplified understanding of exoticism as “cliché,” which describes many contemporary artworks based in the process of “auto-“ or “self-exoticification.” Because of this I am unsure as to what “Arab art” actually is: I know Arab artists and artists working in the Arab world —the latter being a concept that requires consideration in itself, especially because the reality of the “Arab world” is something very heterogeneous, antagonistic and full of contrasts— and Arab art is definitely not just some systematic representation of violence or veiled women. The contemporary concept of “exotique” that you brought up is just the serialization and reductivist essentialization of differences.

HJ: Every time I see a show focused on a certain country or a specific culture, such as an Arabian exhibition or a Chinese exhibit, I can’t help but wonder, what actually is the difference between these shows? To put it another way, how can one separate and differentiate between a curator’s anthropological methodology and his/her geographical methodology?

CD: Unfortunately the situation you are describing has become the leading modus operandi. I like to refer to this style of curating as “Shopping”: in a short trip, one is hastily washed through a swath of local museums and artists’ studios and made to feel as if the theme of the exhibition has not only properly summarized a place, but a culture. Of course, one can also take an entirely different approach: attempt to identify and articulate a specific historic-cultural moment and put forth specific questions in response to it. In doing this we refuse a singular paradigm and highlight the unique historical, social, and political significance embodied in each piece. If we can re-adjust these paradigms, we can create meaning. We must avoid using unilateral oversimplifications that homogenize the process of modernization in different cultures and instead strive to present their singular developments.

HJ: In a lecture you gave at the Lyon Museum of Fine Arts you said, “modern history has yet to be written in its entirety, there are still spaces we have not yet touched upon.” In this you were referring to Deleuze’s “folded space” (l’espace pli ) —“from time to time one will inevitably open the folds and re-examine them anew.” Do you think this conception of modernity is central to your curatorial thought process?

CD: I don’t really remember this lecture nor the context you are referring to, however, I can say that I was discussing how the written history of modern art is still incomplete — especially in terms of the modern cultures of non-western countries. Writing about these is like “opening” the fold Deleuze talks about. The challenge of this is to complicate the already existing narratives and hierarchies, to question subtle differences between them and to understand the “no-linearity ”(dyschronies) operating in the diverse spaces of modernity. Today, as the processes of economic and financial globalization continue to accelerate, things are not becoming more similar and equalized, as some might want us to believe —in fact, the opposite is happening.

HJ: In 2014 you were appointed as deputy director and head of global outreach at Centre Georges-Pompidou. What is your plan for the future of this job? And how do you interpret the word, “global” in this context?

CD: My role in this appointment is to make sure that acquisitions, exhibitions and their programs, and other activities are approached and executed in a way that gives visibility to the multitude of forms in which modernity is developing in diverse geo-cultural spaces. I also have to show that within these areas modernization takes on many forms, and I have to bring that forth in the context of specific historical moments. To do this we must find new and intelligent approaches that enable us to understand the possibilities for and limitations of this predominantly west-centric, immense collection of modern art. The best strategy for realizing this objective may not be through a large-scale, systematic acquisition of more art works (it has become increasing difficult to find outstanding, non-western pieces, at suitable price, for a modernist collection, particularly in view of the need to show a significant body of work of selected artists). The most effective approach may be to plan a series of “focused exhibitions,” small shows –such as one focused on a single work and its history, one artist and his or her creative sequence, a group of artists, or the meeting of works by multiple artists. These meticulous, small-scale exhibitions can then become a regular presence in the museum and take the form of a visual and cultural dialogue in the space.

HJ: In your introduction to documenta x, you pointed to “the mounting spectacularization and instrumentalization of contemporary art by the culture industry” and the “aestheticization of information.” In today’s world, it seems this situation has only changed for the worst. Art is now often reduced to a tool for speculation or investment, or as an instrument of entertainment for the creative industries. Art critics have become more and more powerless in the face of gallery owners and collectors, especially in China. What is your attitude towards this situation?

CD: In my opinion, if you think you are serious critic and curator, then there will always be artists whose work you will never show. If you look back at the exhibitions I’ve done, you wont see any of what I call “gondola heads” (têtes de Gondole), those who are sensationalist just to play to the crowds. Of course I have run into these kinds of demands, and though I have never been interested in power, I do have a little authority that I would like to keep. The real problem is that the power of expertise, knowledge and ideas is now weightless against capital. This issue is severe, but it is not one that hampers my work. The thing that I feel is most dangerous, however, is not knowing how many spaces that really safeguard freedom and imagination will actually be left in the future. When I talk with certain Chinese artists and cultural actors they are still lucid enough and are asking the same kind of questions. In short, you must do what you can.

1. 19th century French explorer, anthropologist, art theorist and literary critic