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[译事春秋] 如花瓣在虚空中雨点般坠落  吴亮/文

(2011-05-02 10:37:36)
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波多黎各

点簇

符号

文化

分类: 译事春秋

给陈墙的画写评论,我已延宕了近两年,之所以迟迟没有动笔,不是由于对他不够了解,恰恰相反,是了解过度。阐释一位艺术家的个人意图并非评论的份内事,尽管这种意图的揭示对人们仍然充满吸引力,因为人们总是愿意相信,对艺术家的了解将有助于对他作品的认识与感受,仿佛只有艺术家手里才掌握着打开他作品密室的唯一钥匙。在叔本华看来,对美的愉悦而言,无论由艺术品引起,还是为自然激发,它们的性质完全相同——要是我们赞同这一说法,一朵云是美的,没有人会去询问它的意图,那又何必问一幅画,或一幅画的作者的意图呢,如果它已经让我们得到了美的愉悦?

 

无论对陈墙的作品进行纯视觉分析还是提升到形而上学领域去讨论,其结果可能都会让人愈加迷惑,而这种迷惑与陈墙作品给予我们的第一眼印象,即“眩晕”息息相关。视知觉和形上思辨在这里狭路相逢,共同误入虚无,一切社会图像和历史标记均被撤除,我们滞留在一片眩晕的色彩斑点面前被追问:一幅画,究竟有无可能孤立地存在,无须解释而获得肯定?切断所有与外在世界之链接,仅仅甘愿自囚在对一个平面的内部幻觉中,而我们的感受力和思辨力也顶多短暂地掠过其表面,在匆匆一瞥之后,便从那难以名状的斑点表层弹回各自的视网膜和右半脑——质言之,陈墙的画既非所指,也非能指,它只呈现自身,即只为了重申它自己的身份。

陈墙的画总是处在不间歇的生成过程中,从空的画布——即虚无——生成,从一个点、一个元素、一个胚芽开始,源源不断地自我分裂、复制、渗透、蔓延、向边缘扩张,直至充盈整个空间方为止步。陈墙的每一幅画都经历了一次小世界的诞生:一只封闭的实验玻璃瓶,培植一个种群,一簇圆形的孢子,同样的体征、形貌,它们平均分布,绵密、紧凑、沉默、拥挤、卑微、隐忍、喧哗;它们不计其数,它们永无尽头,它们失个性,它们无名,它们盘踞每个角落,它们是无穷的单一;它们是队列、整体、战场、秩序,它们是祭坛,是生物与非生物的轮回,它们是寂静中的死与生。

点簇,则是陈墙作品的生成符号,它滴落,滴落,连续地、均匀地滴落,如花瓣雨点般飘坠于虚空;它们似乎被一只无形的手用隐秘的线编织起来,终至星罗棋布。陈墙的作品生成始终是推进式的、增长的,而不是逆向的,更非破坏与否定的——完全的生产性,繁殖性,带着创造者和工匠的喜悦,耐心十足地将每一个点簇牢牢固定在各自的位置,强制地保持间距,邻近、偶有重叠、交融,它们布满一个又一个区域,一个接一个系列……生成,就是再一次,屡次,无数次,周而复始,永不停息地重申自己的身份与创能。在这里,符号、点簇、结构以及图式,并非指涉、暗示或象征外部世界,甚至也不只是表达情感、意念或幻想,它就是创造出一种由人工催生的生命表征,一种类似生物的形象,也就是呈现艺术家本身。作品生成,就是艺术家生成,就是艺术家一次次的自我确证,一次次的强调、迷醉和被卷入其中的充满惊喜的单调劳作。从一个音符到下一个音符,绝对同一的序列,移项、变位、堆积、交替、叠加、重复的变奏、识别简易——只需牢记其中某一个符号就牢记了所有的符号,因为每一个符号都是另一个符号的原型,反之亦然……

最后,说说我的感受吧,不再竭力解释一件艺术品,一个艺术系列,它的起源与特征,把它放在理论溶液中浸泡,看它有何反应……相信自己的感受力吧,视知觉,上帝赋予我们每个人的神奇能力,对形、色彩、光亮的感知,捕获,追踪,吸引和好奇,它探索呈现在我们面前的所有生成物,不论是一朵云、一幅画、一片花瓣或是一簇发出幽幽荧光的色点,这一切都美如奇迹。陈墙的画,就像雄性萤火虫的磷光,无脊柱微生物的皮瓣,酶虫的闪烁,染了色的细胞与藻类,以及火虱璀璨的光语。仰望星空,万圣节之夜逛玩具店,倘佯大都会霓海,在波多黎各的磷光海岸泛舟,我们都可以看到梦幻般的发光点簇,它们源自神秘的自然和伟大的人工技术,有时候,我们简直分不清这有什么区别,就如我四岁的女儿,那天她居然站在陈墙的画前说:它是雨点,它是花瓣……

 

Like a Shower of Petals in the Air

Wu Liang

It has been two years since I was commissioned to write a review on Chen Qiang's paintings. The delay is not due to a lack of knowledge about him, but rather, I know him simply too well. It is not the task of a critic to interpret the personal intention of an artist, although revelation of such intention is tantalizing to the public. People tend to believe that the knowledge about an artist can help understand and appreciate of his works, as if only the artist himself holds the key to the world of his works. Just as Schopenhauer notes, the pleasure evoked by the beauty of an artwork or of the nature is no different in its nature. So long as we agree to this allegation, it is pointless to probe into the intention of a cloud if it looks beautiful, and such is the case with a gratifyingly beautiful painting.

It can be more bewildering to examine Chen Qiang's paintings either from a perspective of vision or metaphysics. Such bewilderment is closely associated with the first impression Chen Qiang's paintings leave to us, which may prompt you to call it "a fit of dizziness". Here visual perception meets head-on with metaphysics, and both of them are cast into a vacuum where all social images and signs of history are absent. Left awestricken in front of a dizzying patch of colorful dots, we are challenged with such a question: Is it possible for a painting to exist by itself? Can it be recognized without interpretations? Deprived of all connections with the external world, they are confined in an illusive two-dimensional world, while our perception and intelligence can only glide over their surfaces but not penetrate them. At a quick glance, those indescribable dots leave vague impression on the viewer's retina and the right half of his brain. In other words, Chen Qiang's paintings are neither signified or the signifiers; they only present themselves and reiterate their own identities.

Chen Qiang's paintings are in a constant process of genesis. They start from empty canvases--a space of nothingness--and then a dot, a scrap or a bud emerges, and they incessantly split, regenerate, penetrate and expand towards each border, until they fully occupy the entire space. Each painting suggests the genesis of a world in miniature: A sealed flask, a group of fungi in a cultivation pan, a cluster of sorus, each item is identical in volume and shape. They are evenly scattered, closely packed, either cast in utter silence or crammed in a noisy space humbly and compliantly. Anonymous and with no personality, they form an endless matrix composed of countless identical units in all corners. They symbolize a sequence, a battlefield, an order, an altar, transmigration of living and non-living beings, or life and death in dumb silence.

Dots in clusters are a basic element that comprises each painting of Chen Qiang, and they are reminiscent of successive drops at a regular interval, or a shower of petals in the air. It looks as if they are woven into a starry, glistening fabric by an invisible hand. The creation of his work is always in progress, rather than done in an abrupt act of destruction or negation. They are regenerative, bearing the joy of a creator or a craftsman. Each cluster of dots is fixed at their designated positions, and there is an interval between them. Close to each other, overlapping or even mixing with each other, they find their ways into one area after another, and make repeated appearances in successive series, incessantly iterating its identity and vigor. Here, signs, clusters of dots, structures and patterns do not refer to or symbolize the external world, not are they vehicles of emotion, ideas or illusions. They are totems of life tinged with human endeavor, or an image on a par with biological entities under a microscope. The genesis of the artwork suggests the self-affirmation of the artist and the accomplishment of monotonous yet joyous labor. From one music note to another, they are arranged in the same sequence, piled up, and alternate. It is easy to recognize it, as you can remember all of them if you remember one of them; each note is the protocol of the other, and vice versa.  

Finally, let me say a few words about my own feelings without any attempt to interpret any artwork, any series, its origin or characters, let alone immersing them in the aqueous solution of theories and observing the reactions. Just have trust in your own perception. Visual sense has a god-sent power to perceive shapes, colors and brightness and to capture, trace those curious attractive things. It can allow us to explore everything that we are faced with, be it a cloud, a painting, a petal or a cluster of glistening fluorescence. All these are quintessentially beautiful, and so are the paintings by Chen Qiang. They resemble the glowing light of firebugs, a fraction of the skin of a spineless animalcule, or dyed alga. They evoke the visual experience of toy shops before Halloween, a dazzling array of neon lights, and a cruise on the glistering sea coast of
Puerto Rico. They are fascinating mixture of mystic natural wonders and consummate human craftsmanship as such that sometimes I cannot separate them apart. Just like my four-year-old daughter said in front of a painting by Chen Qiang: They are rain drops, they are petals…

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