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  iwishicoulddescribeittoyoubetter
15-Nov-2018 -

如果记忆和巧合的事实本身并不重要,那么,什么才是重要的?
IF IT IS NOT THE FACT OF THE MEMORY NOR COINCIDENCE THAT MATTER, PER SE, THEN WHAT IS IT?


记忆 Memory #1

我记得曾经看过一场达明安•赫斯特(Damien Hirst)名为“感觉即真实”的大型展览。* 题让我产生了强烈的共鸣,即便当时我还没有意识到制药狂热时代的到来,尚且无法体会那些各种颜色和形状的药片构成的细致网格。但它仍然令我印象深刻,而且当然很容易被记住。尽管我无法说我喜欢这个作品,但它确实给我留下了深刻印象,这个事实本身就相当令人惊叹,因为现在——大约十五年后的今天——对一件艺术品的记忆究竟是一种感觉,还是观众曾经经历过艺术品的物质性存在这一事实,仍然是不确定的。如果某个物体存在的事实仅仅可以在形而上意义上通过外在于它的他者加以证实,那么也许事实确实是通过感觉证实的,而感觉作为某种共情的接收器,也必须是事实。无论如何,我们永远不明白为什么有些事会萦绕不散,但它们就是如此。

I remember once seeing a very large scale exhibition of Damien Hirst called Feelings are Facts.* The title had a strong resonance with me, though preceding my awareness of the entry into the pharmo-frenzy era, I could not at the time find the feeling within all those meticulous grids made with various colours and shapes of pills. But it was still impressive, and of course, easy to remember. That fact of leaving a strong impression upon me, despite an inability to say that I liked the work, is something rather fascinating in and of itself, because now——some fifteen years later——it's uncertain whether or not what emerges in the memory of an artwork is a feeling or the fact of its material existence as experienced by the viewer. If this fact of an object's existence can only be confirmed in the metaphysical sense by an other outside of it, in recognition, then maybe indeed it is true that facts are confirmed by feelings, and feelings, as empathetic receptors of a sort, must then also be facts. Anyhow, we never know why certain things stick to us, but there they are.


巧合 Coincidence #1

在《新牛津美语词典》中,用来举例说明“per se”(本身)用法的例句:“这些事实本身并不重要”(it is not these facts per se that are important)。这和Nina在构思她的“per se”展览时一再告诉我的一些东西非常类似,因为在研究过程中,她恰好偶然重读了关于彼德麦时代的文章,这一时期作品的核心来自她最为熟悉的奥匈帝国地区,她给我的描述带有一种对我们两人来说都十分神秘的共鸣。她说,其实,“事实并不重要”。为什么要在一个中国当代艺术项目中提及19世纪欧洲的这一文化和政治时期?她意识到某些新殖民主义态度,这种态度可能来自于抛弃了简单的对比,于是她甚至不想提起它。那么,她想抓住什么?而事实又究竟是什么?

In the New Oxford American Dictionary, the sample sentence exemplifying the use of the word 'per se' is: 'it is not these facts per se that are important'. It's similar to something Nina repeatedly told me as she was developing ideas for her exhibition of the same title, because in her research she had happened to stumble again upon readings on the Biedermeier era, and while the nucleus of the Biedermeier period came from the Austro-Hungarian region which is most familiar to her, her description of it to me bore a kind of uncanny resonance to both of us. Actually, she said, the facts are not important. What would be the purpose of referencing a cultural and political moment of 19th century Europe in a contemporary art project in China? She was aware of a certain neo-colonial attitude that could come from tossing out shallow parallels and therefore did not even want to reference it. So what was she grasping at? What then, are the facts of the matter?


记忆 Memory #2

1816年初,一片乌云笼罩了整个世界,几个月内不见阳光。人们不知道它的起因和寓意,把它称为“无夏之年”,虽然生活坚持以尽可能接近“平常”的方式继续着,但很快那些解释黑暗与寒冷的故事和传闻就开始透过厚厚的、烟雾弥漫的空气传播开来。** 或许是太阳表面的大块耀斑投射在地球上的影子,或许是神灵和超自然的报复。人类需要解释这些现象,或者至少从这些可能与人类毫无关系的现象中找到意义,但是因为一个现象,我们在这里可以称之为一个事实——像是席卷大气的暗物质——是被人类感觉到的,而且人类热衷将自己的感受投射回事实。这种投射有时被称为拟人,一些笃信科学的人认为事实是有等级之差的,从而不屑于这种投射。但是,其他人则通过某种类型的炼金术将这些感情转化为了其他形式的事实。

Beginning in the year 1816, a dark cloud crept over the entire world, and kept people from seeing the sun for many months. Not knowing its cause or meaning they called it the 'Year Without a Summer', and while life persisted in as close a manner to 'the usual' as could be possible, it was not long before stories and rumours explaining the dark cold began to circulate through the thick, smoky air.** Perhaps it was that unusually large spot on the surface of the sun casting its shadow upon the earth, or perhaps it was a divine and supernatural vengeance. There was a need to explain their condition, or at least to find meaning within a condition that may not have actually been related to humanity at all, but because a condition, and we may call it here a fact——like a dark matter sweeping over the atmosphere——is felt by humans, and humans like to project their feelings back upon the facts of the matter. Such projections are sometimes called anthropomorphisms and looked upon with disdain by certain enlightened members of society who uphold a hierarchy of facts known as science. But other members of society cast such projections in a certain other kind of alchemy that transforms feelings back into other forms of fact.

事实上,当太阳重新升起,他们可以回头去看曾经经历过的黑暗,将这非比寻常的时期定义为“一个时代”,他们发现黑暗已经侵占了与被称作“风格”的平行感受相关的整个社会文化感受的领域。

Indeed, when the sun returned and they could look back upon their former darkness with such distinction as to be designated 'an era', they realised that that darkness had encompassed a whole realm of sociocultural feelings associated with that parallel feeling known as 'style'.

直到很多年后,那些笃信科学的人将他们认为的事实返还给那个时代:暗物质是由包含了一个又一个粒子群的火山灰组成,由当时被称为荷兰东印度群岛的坦博拉火山的某次喷发开始,像一条充满了粒状和烟雾的丝绸之路一样横跨亚洲 。

It was not until many many years later that enlightened members of society cast their fact-of-the-matter into the pool of the era: the dark matter was composed of volcanic ash that had flown particle cluster after particle cluster, like a grainy and smog-filled silk route across Asia, from the eruption of a certain Mount Tambora in what was then known as the Dutch East Indies.


巧合 Coincidence #2

《新牛津美语字典》也对单词“style” (风格)作出了描述:一种绘画、写作、编曲、建筑等的样式,体现了某一特定时期、地点、人物或运动的特点 。正是在无夏之年那个“切实”的时期,一种绘画风格诞生了,因为画家们切切实实看到了不同的东西。印尼火山灰中的离子团反射在欧洲大气上,改变了光谱,创造出鲜艳的日落和朱红色、橙色和紫红色的多彩天空。这些描绘以及它们所传递的感受,即是所谓的浪漫主义。

The New Oxford American Dictionary also describes the word style: 'a manner of painting, writing, composing, building, etc., characteristic of a particular period, place, person, or movement.' It was exactly in that fact-of-the-matter period highlighted by the Year Without a Summer that a certain style of painting emerged, because the painters were literally seeing differently. The particles of Indonesian volcanic ash reflecting on the European atmosphere changed the spectrum of light, creating vivid sunsets and dramatic skies of vermillion, orange and magenta. These depictions, and the feelings imparted by them, were known as Romanticism.

想要精确地描述出构成一种风格的物理和物质元素需要专业知识。想想艺术历史学家,或者如果我们拓宽风格的概念,从而囊括进更广泛的分类,任何负责将书籍、物种等放置在它们“正确”位置的专业人士。但对于我们这些并没有如此专业的人来说,风格仍然是可以被简单识别的,尽管我们解释不出为什么。或许,它接近感觉的领域,无论如何加以分析,仍然更像是没有分类的事实,所以也不存在可以将之归纳总结的语言结构。感觉即事实,或者是事实的光晕,它们可以被远远地感受到,就像我总是可以辨认出是Nina正朝我走来,即便她还离我很远。她的步子带有一种不能被模仿的风格,尽管私下里我知道它就像是一连串的括号在她行走时交替地、从她肩头跳下,这就是事实。然而它也只是一种感觉。

It often takes an expert to accurately describe the physical and material elements which comprise a style. Think of art historians, or if we broaden the concept of style to include categories in general, any enlightened member of society who takes such charge of distributing books, species, etc. into their 'rightful' places. But for those of us who are not so enlightened, style is still often easily recognisable, even if we can't explain why. Perhaps it's something akin to the realm of feelings, which for however much they are analysed are more like facts without categories, and therefore also without the structures of language to which they can be reduced. Feelings are facts, or perhaps the aura of facts, and they can be perceived from a long way off, just like I can always recognise that it's Nina walking towards me, even from a long way off. Her steps bear a kind of style which cannot be imitated, though I know it intimately like a series of hypothetical parentheses bouncing alternately off her shoulders and down through the gait. This is a fact. But it is also just a feeling.



— 何穎雅 Elaine W. Ho
(written while going backwards on the high-speed rail from Shanghai to Beijing, 2015年10月)
漢譯 CN Translation // 郭娟 GUO Juan






记忆中的错误 Mistake in Memory #1

当我第一次向你展示这篇文章的时候, 你说“感觉即真实”听起来像别人的风格,你的感觉是正确的,因为“感觉即真实”发生在仅仅几年前(这其中也存在某种巧合),只不过我大脑储存里的“难忘的标题”区域错将“感觉即真实”的那件作品当作了达明安•赫斯特的那次展览。顺便一提,达明安•赫斯特2000年在纽约高古轩画廊的展览标题是“理论、模型、途径、方法、假设、结果和发现”。而被放进我脑子里“难忘的标题”文件夹的那件达明安•赫斯特作品实际是一本叫做《余生我想生活在每个地方,和每个人在一起,一个接着一个,从来,永远,现在》的书。

When I showed you this text for the first time, you said that Feelings are Facts sounded a lot like someone else's work, and your feeling was correct, because Feelings are Facts only happened a few years ago (there is another not-to-be-mentioned coincidence in there somewhere), and it was only that the section of my brain for storing the category 'Titles that Stick with Me' misplaced the art matter attached to Feelings are Facts with that of Damien Hirst's. Incidentally, the title of Damien Hirst's 2000 show at Gagosian Gallery in New York was Theories, Models, Methods, Approaches, Assumptions, Results and Findings. The actual Damien Hirst work filed in the 'Titles that Stick with Me' brain folder is a book called I Want to Spend the Rest of My Life Everywhere, with Everyone, One to One, Always, Forever, Now.


** 记忆中的错误 Mistake in Memory #2

在你第一次告诉我这个故事的时候,我对于无夏之年的恐怖想象在寒冷中增添了一丝黑暗,在我想象里,黑烟覆盖了欧洲很多年(这或许是2010年艾雅法拉火山大爆发的图像在脑子里造成的当代性置换)。这并不完全是事实,1816年气候异常主要是由于极端的全球气温下降,尽管在欧洲中部确实包括“愚蠢的迷雾-浓雾-雨水-以及永恒的厚度” 这些给了拜伦勋爵《黑暗》这首诗以灵感的现象。

When you told me this story for the first time, my imagination of the horror of a Year Without a Summer added Darkness to the Cold, and I pictured a kind of black soot covering Europe for years (perhaps a contemporary displacement of brain folders from the media imagery of the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in 2010). This is not entirely factual. The climate abnormalities of 1816 consisted primarily of extreme global temperature decrease, though in Central Europe this did include the 'stupid mists—fogs—rains—and perpetual density' which inspired Lord Byron to write the poem Darkness.

 

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別處 elsewhere 15-Nov-2018 64#
       
in other words [關於 about] 07-Jan-2018 05#
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