201407242059為自己做的藝術 / Art for Oneself

應該是在去年78月間,我以一個很粗略的計畫向TKG+(及耿畫廊)爭取了今年8月的這個檔期,然而,在陸續決定著參展名單的同時,我卻始終沒能找到可以和這群藝術家一起工作的主題與方法。

想「和這群人」做一個展覽先於想做一個展覽的順序,致使我成為一個在展覽發生之前頻頻向藝術家們提案的策展人,更令人感到挫折的是每一次都是由我自己先宣告失敗,或許正是基於我對他∕她們的個別認識,令我既找不到適合概括他∕她們的任何陳述,也沒想出足以引起他∕她們共同興趣的任何提議。

417日,以「為自己做的藝術」為名,我在為展覽所設置的臉書社團裡又一次鋪陳了對於這個展覽如何可能的想像――一個在提出之後即開始擔憂對他∕她們的創作而言更可能是阻礙的計畫,不過在那之後不斷回返同樣這一個句子我發現它開始對我顯現了不太一樣的意涵。

在我極其有限的策展實踐裡,包括2010年的「雙盲臨床實驗」、2011年的「作為一種例外於現實的狀態:廖建忠、李基宏、賴志盛」、2013年的「策展人為藝術家服務――李基宏個展:過時/董福祺個展:話非話」、2013年的「我在中山劉公館」,以及此時此刻我正試圖說明的這一個在內,無論是否曾被清楚地意識到,令藝術家得以自主地生產新的創造是它們共同的關切。

事實是,我之所以出乎自己意料的開始涉入做展覽這檔事,而且同樣出乎意料的還持續做到現在,完全來自於透過書寫、做展覽或僅僅是交往的過程中與不同藝術家交上朋友的經驗,其中既包含為其表達或作品內容所打動的瞬間,卻也不乏為其表達或作品內容感到困惑的時刻,而在這個組成裡的每個個體在不同的時空裡都曾扮演過這樣的對象。於此,相較於書寫總傾向於對過去的回憶與重新認識,展覽實踐則意味著對未來的想像與重新發現。於是,在向他∕她們提出「為自己做」這項陳述或說提議的同時,這個展覽本身也是我在上述經歷之後想為自己完成的一個小結――促生一個由他∕她們尚未實現的創造所集結的事件。

必須承認的是,即便或許並不等同於自我取消,作為一個策展人所給出的展覽名稱,這項陳述或說提議無疑具有撤退的性質,然而這是我在期限內唯一能想到不致限縮他∕她們的思考、行動與表達的權宜之計,畢竟那些曾經對我產生影響的,正是其過往「為自己做的藝術」,而這個在表面上看來最小限度的個人意志展現,似乎也正是如今我們稱之為藝術的生產者們共同的起手式。

為了給出一篇照例要有的策展文字,我重讀並修改了當初寫給藝術家們的最後一封信,期間想起當我向這個小群體中唯一不用臉書的高重黎當面告知這個展覽名稱時,他隨即詢問英譯為何,他對語言的敏感適正指出我停留在這個名稱上時曾經意識到的,「為自己做的藝術」其實並不是一個語意明晰的句子,而我以為維持這個曖昧說法還不賴的原因在於,當這些藝術家們各自的想像被現實化於展覽現場同時,這個原本的陳述或說提議將會看起來比較像是一個正在被以她們「為自己做的藝術」所回答的問題。

藝術家:王德瑜、朱百鏡、杜偉、李基宏、林昆穎、高重黎、陳萬仁、黃彥穎、董福祺、廖建忠、賴志盛

展覽日期:2014.8.2-8.31
開幕酒會:2014.8.2 4:30 p.m.
地 點:TKG+台北

 

I submitted a rough exhibition proposal to TKG+ (and Tina Keng Gallery) sometime between last July and August to reserve this year’s time slot in August. Yet while determining the list of participating artists, I could not find a theme or method to work with all of them.

Since my urge to work with “these people” came before the desire of holding an exhibition, I became a curator who frequently proposed to artists before exhibitions even materialized, and even more frustratingly I would be the first to give up every time. Perhaps due to my understanding of each individual artist, I could not find a statement that was applicable to everyone, or any suggestion that would be of mutual interest to all the artists.

On April 17, in a Facebook group that I titled “Art for Oneself,” I once again laid out the possibilities and my vision for this exhibition — one that, once was proposed, I fear would become an obstacle for the artists’ work. But in revisiting this statement again and again, the words started to hold a different meaning for myself.

In my limited curatorial practice, which includes Double-Blind Trail (2010), An Exception to Reality: Liao Chien-Chung, Lee Ji-Hong and Lai Chih-Sheng (2011), Curators Serve Artists: Lee Ji-hong : Anachronism / Dong Fu-qi: Un-words (2013), and Me at Liu’s Home (2013), and this exhibition I was developing at that moment, my utmost concern in all these exhibitions — whether consciously or not — was to enable artists to produce new works independently.

The truth is, my own engagement in curating and my ongoing curatorial practice, started surprisingly with writing, coordinating exhibitions, or simply meeting artists and becoming their friends. In this process, there have been moments when I was either moved or confused by artists’ ideas or their works. In this selection of artists for this exhibition, every individual has played these roles one time or another. Compared to writing as documentation or reinterpretation of the past or, curatorial practice implies an imagining and rediscovery of the future. And so, when I proposed the statement or suggestion of “Art for Oneself” to these artists, this exhibition was also a little mission that I would like to accomplish — establishing a platform for yet-to-be-made creations by these artists.

I must admit that even though “Art for Oneself” as an exhibition title proposed by a curator, might not be self-cancelling, the statement somehow still appears to be a strategy for me to shed my responsibility. Yet this is the only scheme I could devise within the deadline that does not limit the thinking, actions, and expressions of these artists. After all, the works that have had an impact on me are indeed “art for oneself,” and this seemingly least restrictive demonstration of free will, is what we call the communal feat of art creators.

In writing this curatorial statement, I reviewed and edited the last letter that I wrote to the artists, and was reminded of an exchange with Kao Chung-Li, the only artist in the group that doesn’t use Facebook, who casually inquired the English translation of the exhibition title when I told him the Chinese title. Kao’s sensitivity to language pointed out something I realized when I decided on the exhibition title – the fact that “Art for Oneself” is semantically vague. But my reason to keep this ambiguous statement lies exactly in that: When the individual ideas of these artists materialize at the exhibition venue, the statement would then seem like a question that is answered by the artists’ “art for oneself.”

 

Art for Oneself
Artists: Wang Te Yu, B.J. Chu, Tu Wei, Lee Ji Hong, Lin KunYing, Kao Chung Li, Chen WanJen, Huang Yen Ying, Tung Fu Chi, Liao Chien Chung, and Lai Chih-Sheng

Date: August 2-31, 2014
Reception: 4:30 p.m., August 2, 2014
Venue: Tina Keng Gallery

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