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论两个艺术概念:艺术定义失败的原因(1)

(2010-07-20 17:52:58)
标签:

世界美学大会

杂谈

分类: 艺术哲学

  

第十八届国际美学大会论文 · 北京大学 · 2010.8.9-13

 

On Two Concepts of Art:

The Causes of Failures in Defining Art

 论两个艺术概念:

艺术定义失败的原因

 王祖哲

 

The great enterprise of defining art consists of a string of failures and losers, including the big shots such as Plato, Aristotle and Tolstoy.

为艺术下定义的伟大事业,是一串失败和失败者,其中有柏拉图、亚里士多德和托尔斯泰这样的大腕。

 

For joining them, I’d like to contribute my own might-be-mistake for your criticism, which is just the purpose for such a meeting.

为了跻身伟人的行列,我愿意在此贡献我自己的错误供大家批评。这正是开这种会的目的嘛。

 

What I’d like to tell you is that …

 我想告诉诸位的是……

 

Art is something we already know so well.

艺术是我们已经非常知道的某种东西。

 

The thing we know so well has become seemingly utterly unknowable to us since it got the modern name “art”. So the Neo-Wittgensteinians even believe that art cannot be defined.

这个我们非常知道的东西,在它得到了“艺术”这个现代名称之后,就变得似乎完全不可知了。因此,新维特根斯坦主义者甚至相信艺术不可定义。

 

Why?Because…

为什么?因为……

 

We are accustomed to believe that every distinctive noun is corresponding to a different sort of things in the world, hence, when a thing gets a new name, we would mistakenly think we have got a new and different thing.

我们习惯于相信,每个不同的名字都对应世界上的一种不同的东西,因此,一个东西在得到了一个新名字的时候,我们就错误地认为我们有了另外一个不同的东西。

 

For example, a man is suddenly called father-in-law, the fact does not mean that he has become somebody else different from himself. He has just got a new title, nothing else. Of course, his daughter has just been married to a man, and he correspondingly has been involved in a new layer of social relations. But these facts do not change the nature of the man. He is still himself. There is no such a thing as father-in-law-ness. Of course, everyone knows a father-in-law is a man.

比方说,一个男人突然被人称作岳父,这当然不意味着这个男人变成了一个不同于他自己的另外一个人:他仅仅获得了一个新称号而已。当然,他的一个女儿与一个小伙子刚刚举行了婚礼,他也因此被牵扯到了一层新的社会关系中,但这不改变这个男人本来的本质。他仍然是他自己。不存在“岳父性”这种东西。当然,人人都知道一个岳父是一个男人。

 

However, Imaginative creation has got a modern name “art”, so we mistakenly think art is something rather than imaginative creation, but some other different thing.

然而,想象性的创造得到了“艺术”这么一个现代名称,我们就错误地认为艺术并非想象性的创造,而是别的一种不同的东西。

 

We are still laboriously looking for the “some other different thing”.

我们至今仍然在辛苦地寻找这个“某种不同的东西” 。

 

But we are riding a donkey while looking for the donkey we are riding.

但是,我们在骑着驴找驴。

 

Art is nothing but imaginative creation.

艺术无非就是想象性的创造而已。

 

This is a broadly-defined concept of art.

这是广义的艺术概念。

 

Art can be imitation or representation because they are imaginative creation. It is pretty wise for Kendall L. Walton to generalize them as make-believe.

艺术可以是模仿或者再现,因为模仿或再现是想象性的创造。肯达尔 · 沃尔顿把它们概括为“假装相信”是很高明的。

 

Art is not expression of feelings; however, art can be imaginative creation of expression of feelings.

艺术不是感情的表现;然而,艺术可以是关于感情表现的想象性创造。

 

Art is not forms at all, whether with or without significance; however, art can be imaginative creation of interesting forms.

艺术完全不是形式,无论是否有意味;然而,艺术可以是关于有趣的形式的想象性的创造。

 

However, this concept of art seems too inclusive.

然而,这个艺术概念似乎过分包容了。

 

But it should be so inclusive.

它就应该这么包容。

 

Back in old time, these things were as useful as a bike, but we still regard them as artworks. Why? Because they are imaginative creations.

在古代,这些东西和自行车一样有用,但我们仍然把它们视为艺术品。为什么?因为它们是想象性的创造物。

 

Actually bikes and Duchamp's bike wheel are also artworks, namely, imaginative creations; however, being an artwork will not guarantee a admission to occupy the precious space in an art museum.

其实自行车和杜尚的自行车轮子也是艺术品,即想象性的创造物;然而,身为想象性的创造物不能保证获准占据艺术博物馆的宝贵空间。

 

This concept is pretty good at reflecting the essence of art even though it is awkward in dealing with a bike or a bike wheel, so we need a narrow-defined concept of art as a work definition of art  in order to reflect the situation of art in modern sense.

这个定义在反应艺术的本质一事上是相当好的,尽管拙于处理自行车或者自行车轮子。因此,我们需要一个狭义的艺术概念作为一个艺术的工作定义,以便反应现代意义的艺术的情况。

 

Art is imaginative creation practiced in a social institution mainly for the encouragement of free exertion and appreciation of imaginative creativity.

艺术是在制度中进行的想象性的创造活动,主要是为了鼓励对想象性的创造力的自由发挥和欣赏。

 

This is my definition of art in modern sense.

这就是我对现代意义的艺术下的定义。

  

The birth of the modern concept of art

现代的艺术概念的诞生

 

The modern concept was invented by the Frenchman, Charles Batteux. In 1746, in The Fine Arts Reduced to a Single Principle, he offered a modern name “the fine arts” for the age-old practices such as painting, sculpture, dance, music and poetry, which are the members of the family with the title Art with a capital letter.

现代的艺术概念是法国人夏尔 · 巴托发明的。1746年,在《归于单一原则的美的艺术》这篇论文中,他为绘画、雕塑、舞蹈、音乐和诗歌等等古老的人类实践方式起了 “美的艺术” 这一现代名称,简称 “艺术”。

 

Batteux’s paper symbolizes the establishment of the “system of the fine arts”, that is, of arts in modern sense. In other words, the concept of art that we are now chatting about thereby came into being.

巴托的论文标志着 “美的艺术制度”(即现代意义的艺术)的确立。换言之,我们现在喋喋不休的那个艺术概念,由此诞生了。

 

The“single principle” Batteux offered, that is, “the imitation of beautiful nature”, is utterly untenable.

巴托提供的那个“单一原则”,即艺术是对“美的自然的模仿”,却完全是站不住脚的。

 

However, a modern art institution and a modern term “art” thereby have begun to exist, and spread to most parts of the globe. 

然而,一个现代的艺术体制,以及一个现代的词语 “艺术”,却由此从法国开始存在了,并且传播到全球的大多数地方。

 

What we should acutely be conscious of is that (1) the age-old practices such as painting, sculpture, dance, music and poetry are not modern, and they could be properly generalized as imaginative creation. And (2) these imaginative creation activities are now practiced in a new social institution mainly for the encouragement of free exertion and appreciation of imaginative creation. So my definition seems to be right…

我们应该敏锐意识到的事情是:(1)绘画、雕刻、舞蹈、音乐和诗歌这些古已有之的实践并非现代的,可以恰当把它们归纳为想象性的创造活动。(2)这些想象性的创造活动如今在一个新的社会体制中进行,主要是为了鼓励对想象性的创造活动的自由发挥和欣赏。因此,我的定义似乎是正确的……

 

Art is imaginative creation practiced in a social institution mainly for the encouragement of free exertion and appreciation of imaginative creativity.

艺术是在制度中进行的想象性的创造活动,主要是为了鼓励对想象性的创造力的自由发挥和欣赏。

 

I am self-satisfied with my art definition. It contains two elements, natural and cultural, that is, imagination and creation as the biological competence, and institution.

我对我的定义自鸣得意。它包含两种因素,自然的和文化的,就是说,作为生物学能力的想象力和创造力,以及制度。我的定义对现代主义不友好。

 

George Dickie’s definition is short of the natural element. And it is too friendly to modernism in which everything goes; however, a definition too friendly is not a definition at all.

乔治 · 迪基的定义缺少自然因素。它对“什么都行”的现代主义很友好,而很友好的定义不是定义。

 

“Father-in-law” and “marriage” also contain both natural and cultural  elements. A father-in-law must be a man of some group of age, and with some social relations due to his daughter’s marriage.

“岳父” 和 “婚姻” 也包含自然因素和文化因素。岳父是一个一定年龄段的男人,再加上由他的女儿的婚姻而来的一些社会关系。

 

Marriage is sexual bond institutionalized.

婚姻是制度化的性联系。

 

A woman can not be a father-in-law; and a person and a chair can not form a marriage; and an activity short of imaginative creativity can not and should not be art. In the endeavor of defining of art, essentialism is neither wholly wrong nor wholly right.

一个女人不可能是岳父;一个人和一把椅子不可能构成婚姻;一种缺乏想象性的创造力的活动不可能也不应该是艺术。在为现代意义的艺术下定义的努力中,本质主义既不全错,也不全对。

 

Imaginative creativity is the gene for a thing to be an artwork. Without such a gene, a thing can be anything but an artwork.

想象性的创造性是一个东西作为艺术品的 “基因”。若无这个基因,一个东西可能是任何东西,却不是一个艺术品。

 

George Dickie has been fully conscious of that art is institutional, but it is inconvenient for him to mention the imaginative creativity which is necessary for a thing to be an artwork because the so-called artworks with the title modernism surrounding him usually lack of such a quality: everything goes.

乔治 · 迪基充分意识到了艺术的制度性,但他不便强调艺术的想象性的创造性,因为他周围的那些被冠以现代主义这个名堂的所谓艺术品缺乏这种品质:什么都行。

 

The “system of the fine arts” described by Charles Batteux is just the “artworld” described by George Dickie.

夏尔 · 巴托描述的 “现代美的艺术的制度” 正是乔治 · 迪基描述的“艺术界”。

 

George Dickie is often rebuked for his refusal to offer an explanation of the reasons for the existence of the “artword” and of the principles for the artworld’s confering the status of being a candidate for appreciation to an artifact.

乔治 · 迪基常常遭到指责,因为他拒绝提供一个解释,来说明“艺术界”的存在理由,以及“艺术界”为一个人工品授予供欣赏的候选者地位的原则。

 

So, we’d better to inquire the reasons for the emergence of the “system of the fine arts” described by Charles Batteux.

因此,我们最好讯问一下夏尔 · 巴托描述的 “现代美的艺术的制度” 出现的原因。

 

What I can do here is only to make a guess. Some kind of luxury was gradually emerging in Western civilization since Renaissance, that is, the free exertion of imaginative creation without any practical purposes, while the imaginative creation had already been used for the practical purpose of civilization construction from time immemorial.

我在这里只能做一个猜测。从文艺复兴以后,西方文明里逐渐出现了一种奢侈,即不为任何实际目的地自由发挥想象性的创造力,而自古以来形象性的创造力一直被用作文明建造这一实际目的。

 

Painting, sculpture, dance, music and poetry, convenient for the free exertion of imaginative creation, were put by Batteux in a new category with a name “Art” with a capital letter.

绘画、雕塑、舞蹈、音乐和诗歌,便于形象性的创造活动的自由发挥,被巴托归入了一个新范畴,其名为大写的 “艺术”。

 

The listing and categorizing are arbitrary and experiential, and not based on some logical truth. He did not mention Chinese calligraphy and later appeared movie – of course, It is impossible for him to know of these “forms of art”.

巴托的列举和归类是武断和经验性的,并不基于逻辑真理。中国的书法以及后世的电影未被提到——当然,他不知道这些 “艺术形式”。

 

Hence, art in modern sense is by no means a newborn thing; it is nothing but the imaginative creation that has existed from time immemorial, nevertheless often without practical purposes.

因此,现代意义的艺术完全不是一种新生事物,而仅仅是自古就有的形象性的创造活动,只是常常没有实际目的。

 

For the ancient Greeks, this statue is as useful as an axe; for the Parisian in the 18th century, it is useless, therefore it is regarded as an artwork.

对古希腊人而言,这个雕像和一柄f斧头一样有用;但对十八世纪的巴黎人而言,它没有用,因此被奉为艺术品。

 

The cave painting 30 or 40 thousand years ago must be an artwork because it is an imaginative creation; and whether it has something to do with some primitive religion is quite another question.

这幅三四万年前的洞穴壁画必定是一个艺术品,因为它是一个想象性的创造物;至于它是否与某种原始宗教有牵扯,却是一个完全不同的问题。

 

There is no such a thing as “artisticquality”. What has been mistaken as “artisticquality” is nothing but imaginative creativity.

世界上不存在“艺术性”这种东西。被我们误认为 “艺术性”的东西,仅仅是想象性的创造性而已。

 

乔治 · 迪基的制度论艺术定义:

“X是一个艺术品,当且仅当(1)X是一个人工品,(2)代表一种制度(艺术世界)行事的某人,为这个人工品授予身为供欣赏的候选者这一地位。”

“The Institutional definition of Art” by George Dickie:

“x is an artwork if and only if (1) x is an artifact (2) upon which someone acting on behalf of a certain institution (the artworld) confers the status of being a candidate for appreciation.”

 

Generally speaking, George Dickie’s definition is correct; its defect is that it is short of an explanation of the principles of  the conferment and of what for appreciation.

一般而言,迪基的定义是正确的,其缺点是它没有解释授予地位的原则,没有解释供欣赏的是什么。

 

I’d like to make a complement for Dickie…

我愿意替迪基做一个补充……

 

The principle of the conferment is to see if a candidate is a high-caliber product of imaginative creation, and the object of appreciation is the imaginative creativity expressed in the product.

授予地位的原则是看一个候选物是不是一个高水平的想象性的创造物,供欣赏的对象是表达在这个创造物中的想象性的创造力。

 

According Dickie’s definition with my complement, these works of modernism are not artworks, and lack of the quality for appreciation.

按照经过我补充的迪基定义,现代主义的这些东西不是艺术品,因为它们不是高水平的想象性的创造物,缺乏供欣赏的品质。

 

So Arthur Danto does not mention appreciation at all. He is right in this point for they are nothing for appreciation; instead he has to say they are “about something”.

因此,亚瑟 · 丹托不提欣赏,他是对的,因为它们没有什么可欣赏的,却说这些东西“关于什么”。

 

If many people are interested in them, they should make a new name for them. It is not right to call them artworks. The social activity around this sort of things is really an utterly new phenomenon emerged in the Western societies in the last century, a queer phenomenon that has not been understood well up to the present.

如果很多人对这些东西感兴趣,那就应该为它们取一个新名称,而不应该叫它们是艺术品。围绕着此类东西的那种社会活动,确实是发生在20世纪西方社会的一种全新的现象,一种至今不曾得到很好的理解的奇怪现象。

 

If we presuppose these works of modernism are artworks, please take my humble advice: Please give up the impossible attempt to define art, and it would be more advisable to go out for a glass of beer.

如果我们假定现代主义的这些东西是艺术品,那么请采纳我谦卑的建议:请彻底放弃为艺术下定义这桩不可能的事,出去喝杯啤酒是更可取的。

  

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