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采访对象:孙晋、彭尧/Interviewed: Sun Jin, Peng Yao

采访对象:孙晋、彭尧

采访时间:2007129日中午

采访地点:于北京798孙彭工作室

 

社会 society social socially 24

反应 reaction (feedback response respond) 8

(不)接受 accept acceptance (take in rejected) 7

普通(人,观众) ordinary (people / audience) general public 9

公众 general public 2

观众 audience(s) 22

关系 relation relationship has something to do with 11

机制 system mechanism 8

机构 organization 5

美术馆 museum 8

 

独立 independence 2

政府 government 5

政治 political 3

自由 free 3

 

和谐社会 harmonious society 9

do make 40

do engage in tackle 1

中国 China Chinese 31

西方 the West western 19

发展 development drifting 5

成功 success successful 10

商业()  commercialization commercial commercially 4

游戏 game 4

舒服 comfortable 3

学术 academic academics academically 11

农民 farmer 5

强奸 rape raped 2

通奸 adultery 2

生效 effectiveness effective 2

市场 market marketing 5

投机份子 opportunitists 1

 

 

Q:你们刚才说到你们的创作在公众的反映,也说到外界的自然的影响,我觉得你们早期的作品中与社会相关的比较少,而现在的作品就比较强调社会影响方面的。

A:(孙)其实所有的材料来自社会,只是有些是来自于社会比较不公开层面,有些是比较知名的东西,比如新闻题材,社会题材,其实所有的题材都是社会题材,只不过是被关注程度不同的问题,另外,我觉得我同意现在所有题材都是来自于社会,可能更多的还是来自于我们自身,但是就是说它在跟社会对应的时候,你需要一个合适的转译转换,这时候你在选择材料的时候就会选择一些相对典型性的,就是说这个问题你好像不能分割着来看。

(彭)早期,更年轻的时候,跟社会之间的关系没有那么复杂,或者没有很融入社会中去,所以你的作品和选择材料就不是那么地社会,但我觉得什么都可以作为材料,你越成长的时候,跟社会发生的关系越来越,你自然就会选择社会中你有兴趣材料,所以我认为题材决定的。

Q:在很多展览中看到你们的作品,都是很强调和社会的关系,你们觉得在中国和在西方,观众对艺术的接受和反馈是有区别的吗?

A:(孙)是不一样的,但是我觉得这个不一样更典型的是体现在前些年,就是2000以前和左右的时候,那个时候中国开放时间还不长大部分人当代艺术这个东西持接受的态度,看的时候过于的心急,而现在好像就是越来越趋同西方的和中国观众现在知道有一种(中国当代艺术,知道有一帮人做奇怪,他在看这个东西的时候首先反应就是:行为艺术!这个东西就变成一个词儿了,他对一个东西不理解的时候,他就行为艺术了,他心里头有一个,他可以把它归类,他就接受了。

(彭)以前西方的更加关注的,认为的东西是跟政治对抗的东西,那就是跟整个中国意识形态关系,因为那个时候还不够开放,上海还没有开始做双年展……,所有的西方观众都会从政治角度去看你的作品中国观众两部分,我觉得这两个部分是特别有意思的,这两部分,一部分是懂艺术的人,或者就是跟艺术,跟文化有关的,一部分是跟文化没有关系的人,跟文化有关的这部分人恰恰不能接受这样的作品,而且提出很多抗议或者指责,而跟艺术文化没关系的人,包括警察……我的展览有一次被封过,我跟很多警察片警居委会这些普通人过天,他们都来展览,都觉得太有意思了,

而现在政府也在搞双年展,当代艺术变成了一张,变成大家都可以利用的和值得利用的东西了,所以像一个口号,一个面孔,出现在国际上面孔,这个时候一场与官方游戏开始了

A:(彭)在九几年2000以前,有的时候发生一件事情,你可以静下心来观察周围的事情,细心地去体会每个人变化,而现在,尤其是这些年,整个的艺术气氛都是特别浮躁的,我都心情体会外界的一些变化,而且现在情况比较复杂,……就像我们生活798这个院子里,这完全就是一个旅游区,你很难定位,但我们确实还在这儿工作,现在政府也在做当代艺术了,有很多投机份子做这个事情画廊疯狂加入,每这个院子都有可能出现十几家画廊,然后整个中国当代艺术价格国际市场膨胀,我觉得很多艺术家他们都找不到自己了,所以不像那个时候的情况那么单纯了,地下就地下,就搞艺术,现在真是在和所有的人合作,你在越来越多地跟他们玩这个游戏游戏越来越复杂了,进入第二关!

Q:那么一般的观众是不是比以前更能够接受当代艺术了?

A:(彭)我觉得现在是他们可能容易接受了,但是相反的给他们带来的东西却是少了,以前他们会去体会这些人为什么要这样,现在他们有了一个概念,就像给了你一个,叫“行为艺术”,就说“啊,这是行为艺术!”就不用再想了,对于普通观众来说,他们丧失了这种东西,当他们一旦被给予了一个可以安全解释的之后,实际上就丧失了自己去思考过程

(孙)情况还得分两头说,从艺术家方面来说,实际上他也在逐渐摸清观众脾性 90年代的时候,像“泼皮”那种,我觉得如果那个叫早期艺术家的话,感觉就是任我行,因为公众不接受,他就越来越走向极端,但是现在很多艺术家可能都意识到了,就是说你要想任我行的话,你首得让观众觉得你行,所以它的两方面就开始往一个地方走,然后它找到一个协调点了以后,就是双方都能感觉地比较自由比较融洽,就是和谐社会了。那个时候就是改革开放突破,就什么事都现在就是很多事格局已经划分好了,就是看怎么协调了,跟国家形势一样,这个和谐社会艺术来说也是一个比较大的问题,当然任何时代都有问题,但是现在和谐社会问题西方差不多,因为西方都是和谐社会,所以艺术家在里面既自由难受,现在我就看中国什么时候能够达到西方一样,也有这种感觉

(彭)就比如说,有国外比较大的机构要来北京做美术馆,其实刚开始我听他们这样的消息很兴奋,因为终于有很好美术馆中国北京做当代艺术了,但很,几天以后我就意识到一个危机,我不知道这个东西来了以后,对于北京,对于整个的中国当代艺术的状况是一个帮助,是一个推进,是推进它朝不好的方向,还是方向健康的方向还是不健康方向?这都是有两个方面的,就是他们想的是把一个很正统西方美术馆机制拿到北京,在国外做展览的时候,你可以看到整个西方的那种很腐朽美术馆机制给整个艺术带来的没有活力的状况,这就是那年很多中国艺术家去参加威尼斯双年展的时候他们很轰动原因,他们觉得整个中国当代艺术西方有力量的,其实是不是真的有力量?其实我觉得也不是说有没有力量,而是他们发现中国才有可能性,这个可能就是潜力能量,让人可怕的东西,而在西方呢,那种机制让大家觉得就像在孙原所说的和谐社会里,他必须要在缝隙,这样玩来玩去的话,就变成大家都在耍小聪明,我觉得这样人生就太不灿烂了,所以说,这样一个机制中国来,对艺术家的影响,我觉得就是应该从两个方面来去考虑这个问题。你把一个死了的东西拿到来,它是不是丧失了好多可能?就是它让你加速规范化,当然很多西方美术馆批评中国艺术家或者说整个中国市场的时候,就说他们太不规范化了,但这就是中国特色,这是中国魅力所在。我比较喜欢生活出现很多意外,就是你眼看着中国当代艺术向完全知道的,没有任何意外方向发展,我觉得这时候艺术家要用什么样的活力刺激这个东西呢?

Q:经济环境的变化会影响艺术,艺术家与观众之间的关系,但其实有很多艺术家做作品不是做给观众看的,是吧?

A:(孙原)这个问题实际上是知识政府步调一致,就是和谐社会产生实际上是经历了一个和平演变过程的,就是商业化经济参与实际上是促成了这个和谐社会,就是让你在关注自己和关注受众的同时共同参与参考规则经济规则,你不能不承认所有人都会把经济上的成功作为衡量成功标准艺术家自己也会这么观众也是,它是一个参考值,所以这个经济作用在里面了一个协调工作,就逐渐地发生了和平演变,所以我就说这个和谐社会的产生并不是纯粹地由艺术家观众造成的,它肯定是有另外的东西来介入,才能促成,那怎么保持一致?怎么达到一个共同协调点?很多时候都是会把经济因素作为一个参照点的。

(彭)市场学术根本就是两回事,因为市场做市场的学术的有做学术的,所以你要我们搞这方面的人去谈那个也谈不了。

(孙)有时候“学术是学术”,我也不完全认同,在考虑学术的时候你会考虑成功的问题吗?当你考虑这个问题了就存在一个协调点了,所有的因素一起达到一个最佳分配比,它就以一个成功面貌出现了,它也会让你的学术一些动力,得到一些可应证的东西,这个成功不仅指商业上层面的,而是指各个层面上的成功,如果没有这个成功做参照的话,学术无所谓方向,无所谓价值,就是它没有统一平台学术实际上都有一个平台,它存在一个成功标准,就是生效商业上的和学术上生效,实际上都是产生一种价值的。

Q:你们在意那些对你们作品的反馈意见中的非议的东西吗?

A:(孙)其实我在意的就是观众反应

(彭)但是他们反应成什么样不重要,他一定反应就行了。我们不注重他们的反应赞扬批评,只注重他们反应

(孙)或者说这种东西最好混杂的,就是说既有强奸又有通奸嘛,如果说强奸它又有高潮了,而通奸却又带有被动性,就是它是很混杂的比较好,我不太赞成纯粹强迫的东西,但是一定要有反应

Q:我觉得在北京、上海和在广州很大不同的一点就是对权力意识的不同,在北京是最强的,在上海薄了一点,而在广州则更弱,你们对这点有什么看法吗?

A:(孙)我对你说的这个权力问题感觉不是特,我不知道有没有权力,但是我对这个问题的看法就是说不管有没有权力,你感觉很舒服愉快了,因为你处在别人权力机制,你不是处在最高层上,你在这很愉快,你在这儿,那我觉得就可以了,它相对来说跟农民企业的感觉还不一样农民企业它是权力第一,甚至就连吃饭都是权力一部分,那就是如果拿不到这个权力的话就没有生存余地了。……我说的权力也是指的那种支配被支配关系,而不是那种权势的东西。

 

Interviewed: Sun Jin, Peng Yao

Time: Noon, January 29, 2007

Location: Sun & Peng Studio, 798, Beijing

 

 

社会 society social socially 24

反应 reaction (feedback response respond) 8

(不)接受 accept acceptance (take in rejected) 7

普通(人,观众) ordinary (people / audience) general public 9

公众 general public 2

观众 audience(s) 22

关系 relation relationship has something to do with 11

机制 system mechanism 8

机构 organization 5

美术馆 museum 8

 

独立 independence 2

政府 government 5

政治 political 3

自由 free 3

 

和谐社会 harmonious society 9

do make 40

do engage in tackle 1

中国 China Chinese 31

西方 the West western 19

发展 development drifting 5

成功 success successful 10

商业()  commercialization commercial commercially 4

游戏 game 4

舒服 comfortable 3

学术 academic academics academically 11

农民 farmer 5

强奸 rape raped 2

通奸 adultery 2

生效 effectiveness effective 2

市场 market marketing 5

投机份子 opportunitists 1

 

 

Source of Keywords:

 

 

Q: You just mentioned the public perception of your works and the natural influence thereof, I have the feeling that most of your early works are not as socially-conscious as the newer ones.

A: (Sun) Actually all the materials come from the society, it’s just that some of them come from the relatively private aspect of social life, and some are better-known materials, such as news subjects, social topics. Actually all topics are social topics, it’s just that the attention they draw are of different levels. Also, I don’t think I would go with the idea that currently all subjects derive from the society, I think a lot of them can still find roots in ourselves, but when they are confronted with the society, you’ll need an appropriate translation and conversion system, and then you’ll end up choosing relatively typical materials. It seems to me that you just can’t take the problem separately.

(Peng) In the early days when we were young, our relation with the society are not so complicated, or, shall we say, we were not yet an integrated part of the society, therefore the works we did and the materials we used are not so socially-conscious. But I reckon that anything could be used as material, and you are going to engage in the society more and more as you grow up, eventually you’ll choose those materials in the society that interest you. So I don’t think that subject is the key issue here.

Q: A lot of your works in the exhibitions are focused on the relationship with the society. Do you perceive any differences in China and the West in terms of audience’s acceptance and feedback?

A: (Sun) Yes, but I think the differences were more typical a few years ago, before and around 2000. The opening-up of China was still in its early phase back then, and most people did not accept what is called contemporary art, they were too impatient when watching. Now there seems to be a unified consensus, western and Chinese audience are aware of this (Chinese) contemporary art thing, they know there is a bunch of people doing weird stuff, and their first reaction towards them are “Ah! Another performance art! “Thus art is reduced to a term, when someone puzzles over something; he would call it performance art. He has this category in his mind, and can group it, and then it’s easy for him to take in.

(Peng) At that time the West was more interested in the political confrontational aspect, it has something to do with the whole Chinese ideology. The country was not open enough back then, and biennale still didn’t emerge in Shanghai……all the western audiences would interpret your work from the political perspective. There were two kinds of Chinese audience, and this is particularly interesting, the first kind is artistically-informed people, or people somewhat related to art and culture; and the other kind is people who has no relationship whatsoever with culture. As it turned out, the culture-savvy part happened to find our works incomprehensible, they even made a lot of protests or accusation against them. On the other hand, those who have no relationship with art or culture, including policemen……one of my exhibitions was banned, and I chatted with many ordinary people like policemen and persons in Residents’ Committee, you know, ordinary people, they all went to see the exhibition and found it super interesting.

And now governments are organizing biennales, contemporary art has become a card in their hands, something that everyone can and should take advantage of. So it’s like a slogan, a presentation used to impress the international community, and here’s when the game with the official starts.

A: (Peng) In the ’90s, before 2000, when something happens, you can calm down to observe your surroundings, to perceive the changes of everybody in detail. But now, especially in recent years, the whole atmosphere in the art scene is volatile. It has become difficult for me to try to understand the changes outside, and the situation is complicated now……take our studio in 798 for example, this place is so touristy now, it’s hard to position yourself. But we do work here as of today. Now the government is into contemporary art too, a lot of opportunitists are into this, and there’s the gallery frenzy, a dozen of new galleries would turn up here every day. You also witness the price of Chinese contemporary art skyrocketing on the international market, I have the feeling that many artists have lost themselves, they have become less pure; in the old days, underground is underground, the artists make art, and that’s it. Nowadays everyone collaborates with everyone, and you participate in their game more frequently, the game is getting more and more complex, Stage Two!

Q: So do you think that general public has become better connoisseurs of contemporary art?

A: (Peng) I think maybe they do find it easier to accept, but what art offers them, on the contrary, has decreased. Back then they would try to understand why these people do what they’re doing, now they get themselves a concept, like I tell you this word, ‘performance art‘, they go ‘Ah, so this is performance art!’, and there it is. Something is missing for the general public, the minute they are given a safe explanation, they are deprived of the thinking process.

(Sun) There are actually two sides of the coin. For the artist, I think they are also trying to figure out what kind of audience they have. In the ’90s there was this cynic group, you may want to call them early [Chinese] contemporary artist, they were the enfant terrible, going to the extreme when rejected by the public. By now, however, many artists have come to realize that in order to play the enfant terrible card you need to first have the endorsement by the audience. So both sides were moving towards each other, when the two reach a point of coordination, by which I mean they can work together seamlessly and feel free at the same time, that’s what you may call the harmonious society. Back then reform and opening were everything, people would do anything for breakthrough. Things have changed, now the overall structure is fixed, it’s a matter of coordination. This is in synch with the general situation of the country, the concept of harmonious society has posed a big question to art as well. Of course every era has its own issues, but the issues we are facing now in a harmonious society is of not much difference with those in the western countries. This is because harmonious society is commonplace in the West, and artists there feel free and suffocated at the same time. This is gonna happen in China at some point in the future, we’ll see.

(Peng) For instance, I’m initially exciting upon learning that certain large foreign organization is coming to Beijing to open a museum, because it means there will finally be a decent museum showcasing contemporary art in Beijing and in China. But soon I come to realize the potential crisis; I don’t know whether this thing would do any good to Beijing and to Chinese contemporary art as a whole, will it help pushing the scene towards the good or bad, healthy or unhealthy direction? There are two sides to these things. What the foreign museums try to do is to port the whole prestigious western museum system to Beijing, but if you take a look at exhibitions in the West, you’ll see how the corrupted museum system stifles the whole art scene. This explains all the buzz about the whole lot of Chinese artists participating in the Venice Biennale that year; they witnessed the potential of Chinese contemporary art in the West. But is there really any potential? Granted, you can’t say there’s zero potential, but the point is westerners realized that they could find new possibilities in China, and these possibilities are potential, energy, frightening stuff. While in the West, the whole system has provided a, in Sun Yuan’s word, harmonious society for everybody, people have to play by the rules and to strive for breakthrough in between. After some time, everybody ends up playing tricks, for me this is really not the ideal way of life. So I think the western museum system‘s coming into China will be a double-edged sword for the artists. Wouldn’t you kill a lot of possibilities if you bring in something lifeless? It helps us to operate under the rules and procedure, that’s for sure, and of course an oft-heard criticism on Chinese artists or the whole Chinese art market by western museums is the lack of rules and procedure, but this is precisely the characteristic and charisma of China. I prefer a lifestyle with lots of accidents, if Chinese contemporary art is drifting towards a completely expected, accident-free direction, I think it’s time for the artists to think about what they can do to stimulate the scene.

Q: Economic changes will have an influence on art and the relation between artists and the audience, but there are a lot of artists seem to ignore the audience, aren’t there?

A: (Sun) This is about knowledge being in synch with the government, in other words, a harmonious society is the end result of a peaceful evolution process. Commercialization and the participation of economics contribute to the realization of a harmonious society. There are rules, economic rules, that you would want to follow and to refer to as a kind of artist who cares not only about yourself, but also about the audience. One can’t deny the fact that all people regard economical success as the measurement of success in general, even artists themselves, so do the audiences. It’s a point of reference. So economics actually works as the coordinator and thus triggers the peaceful evolution. I’ll say that artists and audiences are not the sole driving force of the harmonious society, there must be some other interfering factors. So how to maintain consistency? How to reach the same coordinated point? Economics is being used as a reference point in many cases.

(Peng) Market and academic studies call for different approaches. Marketing guys take care of the market, scholars take care of academic studies, so it won’t do any good to have people like us to talk about issues without our range.

(Sun) Sometimes people say ‘academic is itself’, I’m not sure I agree with them on that: do you think about the question of success when doing academic works? If the question crosses your mind, then there shall be a point of coordination somewhere. When all the factors are mixed together in the optimized proportion, it will appear to be something successful and will generate some momentum for your academic studies. Here, the word successful means not only commercial success, but success in every dimension. Without this all-dimentional success as the point of reference, academic studies will be of no direction or value – it has no coordinated platform. Actually academics all work on a platform, there is the standard for measuring success, which is effectiveness, [commercial-wise and academic-wise] effective commercially or academically. There’s a certain value in it.

Q: Do you care about the negative part in the audiences’ feedback?

A: (Sun) The audiencesfeedback are exactly the thing I care about.

(Peng) But it’s not important how they respond to our works, as long as there is response at all. We don’t really care whether they are positive or negative, we care about the fact that they do have reaction.

(Sun) Or shall we say the best case is that we have mixed response; rape mixed with adultery, if you will. Being raped and yet reaching orgasm, committing adultery but with a bit of passiveness, that’s a good mixture. I’m not into pure compulsory stuff, but reaction is a must.

Q: I think one of the major differences between Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou is the different level of consciousness towards power. It’s the strongest in Beijing, weaker in Shanghai, and the weakest in Guangzhou. Do you have anything to say about this?

A: (Sun) I don’t particularly feel that way, this power thing you mentioned. I don’t know if there’s power or not, but the way I see it, power is of no relevance as long as you feel comfortable and happy. Because you are in the lower tiers of others’ power mechanism, you are not the top guy, you feel good being here, and you stay here, I think that’s enough. It’s not necessarily the same thing as the farmer‘s corporation, in which power is above everything, even daily meals are related to power, if you can’t get hold of this power, you are not able to survive……by power I mean a kind of dominate/subordinate relation, not necessarily political power.

 

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