Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Curating Topography: Art Curating, Globalization and the Sense of Place by Sandy Hsiu-chih Lo 策展地誌學:藝術策展/全球化/地方感 /羅秀芝

Date : 24 Jan 2015
Time: 7 pm
Venue: Lostgens'  

The conception of “curating topography” (or “topographic curating”) I raised here can be briefly described by the graph of curating topography (see figure 1). The “origin” in the middle refers to the origin of “cognitive mapping”, which emphasizes the cognitive mapping proposed by Fredric Jameson. It tries to endow individual subjectivity by intensifying new sense of place in a global system, and creates new model of representation with complex represent dialectics, in order to enhance the self-positioning accuracy, prove the ability of understanding the world, and represent the imaginative relationship between oneself and the real situation . The “origin” is similar to the “standpoint” and “point of viewing” of traditional landscape painters, and is also the origin of curating topography”. Only by starting from this “origin” is the topographic curating able to show the representation of space with a sense of place, and to lay a real foundation for subject positioning.

Curating topography also starts from and aims at the place outside the “origin” and the concentric circle of “sense of place”. Cognitive mapping is related to self-positioning and understanding the world, and “place” is also “a way of seeing, knowing and understand the world”. “If we regard the world as a composition of different places, we can see different matters. If the ‘origin’ is the self-position of cognitive mapping, then ‘place’ is the positioning anchor of one’s identification and worldview. ” Just like what Harvey has said, “The preservation or construction of a sense of place is then an active moment in the passage from memory to hope, from past to future.” The place is regarded as the foundation of resistance of politics and an important force to fight capitalist commodity flow and monetization. It activates the environment and society by combining local characteristics and recovering collective memories. However, Harvey also emphasized the dangerousness of exclusive nationalism and local fascism in particular. If, the memory of place is closely related to local conceptions, and it’s difficult to share with outsiders, then insurmountable barriers, exclusive nationalism and localism will take shape.

The “sense of place” is like what Massey has said, “What we need, it seems to me, is a global sense of the local, a global sense of place.” No matter in Harvey’s “cosmopolitanism” or Massey’s “global sense”, the sense of place expressed by art language may surpass the limits of place and acquire more universality because the art language can be shared more easily. Besides, the imaginative “place” is greatly powerful, because it’s away from the present and the past, and aims at the future. Driven by the utopian thoughts and desire, it plays a more important role in politics. Then, what is more appropriate than art to describe the utopian imagination? In the art reality of the globalization, biennial exhibitions and art fairs, which are seen everywhere, are the mainstream art trends. They are not only the main functioning operational mechanism in global art that increasingly converge, but also an important link of transnational capitalism economy. Curating topography maybe a way out to break through the mechanism that confine the power of art and wear down the creativity of art.

In my theory of curating topography, the art that stems from the origin of cognitive mapping and the sense of place reappears some “landscapes” of place, which I name them as “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes”. The “landscapes” of these two types interact as both cause and effect with the “sense of place”. However, “landscape” is different with “place”, the former, in general, combines physical landscape (object of being seen) and viewpoint (way of seeing). Most viewers are outside the landscape; on the contrary, they are in it as far as “place” is concerned . Both of “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes” stem from and are shaped by the “origin” of cognitive mapping, in which viewers are exposed to both outside and inside of the landscape, and afford the cognitive mapping of place—“sense of place”. If there is a deeper connection between “being landscapes” and “imaginative” place, then “becoming landscapes” is more closely connected with the place in the real world. Eventually, “being landscapes” and “becoming landscapes” that stem from the “sense of place” will become new elements of it and jointly compose the huge collage of the place.

Curator Bio
Sandy Lo Hsiu-chih lives in Hsin-chu, Taiwan, and works as an independent curator, art critic, film critic and filmmaker.

Her major curatorial projects include “Di Hwa Sewage Treatment Plant Art Installation: A New Cosmopolitan World”(co-curator, Taipei, 2004-2005), “Pop Pill” (“Shanghai Cool”, Taiwan Section, Doland Museum, Shanghai, 2005), “Border-crossing: the Shadow Dance of Cities”, (Taipei, Tainan, 2005), “Border-crossing, A Tale of Two Cities” (Taipei, Shanghai, 2005-2006), “ Exorcising Exoticism”(Taipei, 2006) ,“Poetic Borderline” (“Borderliner”, Taiwan Section, Festival of Contemporary Art Varna, Bulgaria, 2007). She is the co-curator of the related project of 9th Shanghai Biennale “Zhongshan Park Project”(Taiwan, China, 2012-2013). Her recent curatorial works are “A Revelation from Ponso no Tao”(Orchid Island, Taiwan, 2014) and “Taitung Ruin Academy”(Taitung, Taiwan, 2014).

「策展地誌學」(curating topography,或稱「地誌學式的策展」),其主要概念可以藉策展地誌學圖示(上圖)簡要說明。最中心的「原點」(origin)指的是「認知繪圖」的原點,強調詹明信所主張的認知繪圖美學,企圖在全球系統下藉由增強某種全新的地方感而賦予個人主體性,並以複雜的再現辯證法創造全新的再現模式,以便更準確地自我定位和增進認識世界的能力,並精確再現自我與真實處境的想像關係 。這個「原點」類似傳統風景畫家的「立足點」和「觀視點」,同時,也是當代「策展地誌學」的起點。唯有由此「原點」出發,地誌學式的策展才可能呈現一種具有地方感的空間再現,並為主體定位奠定真實的基礎。

在「原點」外圈和其成同心圓的「地方感」(sense of place),是策展地誌學的另一個起點,同時,也是目的之一。認知繪圖關乎自我定位和認識世界,「地方」(place) 也是也是一種「觀看、認識和理解世界的方式」 。我們若把世界看成由各種地方組成的世界,就得以看見不同的事物。如果,「原點」是認知繪圖的自我定位點,那麼,「地方」也就是認同與世界觀的定位錨。誠如哈維所言,「地方是承載集體記憶的場域,寄予了對未來的諸多想望。」 地方被視為抵抗政治的基礎,透過凝聚地方特質與復甦集體記憶,得以激活環境和社會,是對抗資本主義商品流動與貨幣化的重要力量。不過,哈維也特別強調排他性國族主義和地方法西斯主義的危險。如果,屬於一個地方的記憶和地方概念緊密相連且難以和外人分享,將形成難以逾越的隔閡和排他性的國族主義、地方主義。關於「地方感」,一如梅西所言「對我而言,重要的是全球在地感和全球地方感。」 不管是哈維所指的「寰宇主義」(cosmopolitanism)還是梅西的「全球感」(global sense),或許,藉由藝術語言表達的地方感,由於具備共享性的藝術語彙,而得以超越地方侷限,獲得更大的普遍性。此外,想像的「地方」具有強大的力量,因為脫離現實與過往,面向的是未來,被一種烏托邦的思想和慾望所驅動,在政治中扮演更為重要的角色。那麼,還有什麼比藝術,更適合勾勒烏托邦想像呢? 全球化下的藝術現實裡,隨處可見的雙年展和藝術博覽會是主流的藝術趨勢,不僅成為全球藝術日漸趨同的主要運作機制,也扮演著資本主義跨國性經濟的重要環節。企圖突破此侷限藝術能量與消磨藝術創意的機制,或許,「策展地誌學」是個可能的出路。

在我的「策展地誌學」理論中,由認知繪圖原點和地方感出發的藝術,再現了地方的某種「風景」,我稱之為「存在的風景」(being landscapes)和「流變的地景」(becoming landscapes)。此兩種類型的landscapes,和「地方感」有互為因果的關係。但,風景(地景)和地方有別,風景,一般而言,結合了有形的地貌(被看的事物)和視點(觀看的方式)。大部分的觀者在風景之外;相反地,就地方而言,大部分的觀者則置身其中。 同樣由認知繪圖「原點」出發所形塑的「存在的風景」和「流變的地景」中,觀者穿行於風景內外,並共構了一個地方的認知繪圖──「地方感」。倘若,「存在的風景」和「想像」的地方有更深的連接,那麼,「流變的地景」就與真實空間中的地方有更緊密的勾連。最終,源生自地方感的「存在的風景」與「流變的地景」,也將成為組成地方感的新元素,共同完成地方的巨幅拼貼。

獨立策展人, 獨立影片工作者, 淡江大学讲师

2007年第四屆保加利亞瓦納爾當代藝術節(Festival of Contemporary Art Varna)台灣策展人,策劃〈影詩疆界〉。




Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Other's Words ~ Video installation by Chan Lai Kuen

“There can be no such thing as an isolated utterance. It always presupposes utterances that precede and follow it. No one utterance can be either the first or the last. Each is only a link in the chain, and none can be studied outside this chain. Among utterances there exist relations that cannot be defined in either mechanistic or linguistic categories. They have no analogues.”- Mikhail Bakhtin

Exhibition Opening : 9 January 2016 (Sat ) 8pm
Performance : 9 January 2016 (Sat) 8.30pm
Artist sharing ( with Dutch cheese ) : 10 January 2016 (Sun) 4pm

Exhibition : 9 January (Sat) ­- 22 January 2016 (Fri)
Space opening hour : 2pm – 7pm, Closed on Monday

Artist Talk