注册 登录  
 加关注
   显示下一条  |  关闭
温馨提示!由于新浪微博认证机制调整,您的新浪微博帐号绑定已过期,请重新绑定!立即重新绑定新浪微博》  |  关闭

Suman Gupta 看画随笔

small notes on Chinese art

 
 
 

日志

 
 
关于我

见首页。 http://sumangupta.blog.163.com/ http://www.open.ac.uk/Arts/english/gupta.shtml

文章分类
网易考拉推荐

尹朝阳的《收租院》与隐约显在的幽灵(Yin Zhaoyang's Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence)  

2014-01-19 00:38:25|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

  下载LOFTER 我的照片书  |
Small notes on Chinese Art(15)  Suman Gupta 《看画随笔之十五》 Juanuary 16, 2014

Yin Zhaoyang (尹朝阳), Rent Collection Courtyard 《收租院》, 2007,
oil, glitter, silver-foil on canvas, 180cm x 400cm
.



Yin Zhaoyang’s Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence
尹朝阳的《收租院》与隐约显在的幽灵
Small notes on Chinese Art(15)  Suman Gupta 《看画随笔之十五》   January 16, 2014


What manifests itself in the first place is a spectre, this first paternal character, as powerful as it is unreal, a hallucination or simulacrum that is virtually more actual than what is blithely called a living presence.

Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx (Routledge 1994, pp.12-3).

The painting presents the illusion of a material surface, accentuating the illusiveness of the figures. These two levels of visual manipulation are separate and yet work upon each other. The illusion of a material surface has to do with abstract patterns, that dense texture of concentric circles (a signature technique in several of Yin’s paintings) – rather like the cross section of a tree trunk or a vinyl gramophone record – and the spatter of paint. The human figures are not integrated with the abstract patterns, in the way a figurative Vorticist or Cubist painting might have them. The figures are arranged in a diptych that is layered across by the two rippling rings of concentric circles; the spatter falls unevenly across both. And yet the two levels of visual manipulation – patterned surface and figures in diptych – are related by their slippage and interference with each other. The figures seem to be dabbed quickly on the surface, or are seen uncertainly through or reflected upon patterned glass: they are illusive, spectral forms, almost evanescent on a mere film, featured by shadow and light. The mono-hued figures might be no more than manifested by light, hologram-like. Simultaneously, the illusion of material surface is foregrounded as no more than mediatory, a device to bring forth the spectral figures; it is there only to give uncertain access to the figures, like the music contained in the grooves of vinyl records or flickering memories in the mind.

The colours of the spattered paint are the colours of the figures. This might be an admission that the figures are painted, they are art, but they are also less opaque than the paint.

For those with even a cursory interest in Chinese art, or memories of living in China in the 1970s, these are instantly recognizable figures. They recall some of the iconic life-size clay figures of Rent Collection Courtyard, the six tableaux originally made by artists of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, led by Ye Yushan, in 1965; the tableaux that brought to life accounts of landlord Liu Wencai’s 刘文彩 (Dayi county, Sichuan. 四川大邑县) oppressive exploitation of peasants before Liberation. On the left of the painting appears a shadow of the well-known photograph of the suffering peasant, a father figure, in the tableau (see below, it featured on covers of publications about Rent Collection Courtyard); on the right are colourful images of landlord and rebellious peasant. The diptych thus poses the passively oppressed against the dynamic encounter of the oppressor and the rebellious. The oppressed on the left is the single archetypal father figure, in subdued non-colours; the oppressor and the rebellious on the right appear in overbearing primary colours. The light that constitutes and manifests these figures in the painting, throws them upon the retinae of viewers now, structure an immediate grasp of the polarity between being passively oppressed and the dynamics of revolutionary confrontation – which is layered on to the all-too-recognizable figures from Rent Collection Courtyard.

The career of the latter, their replications and mutations, after 1965 has been much discussed in artistic and scholarly circles. That career is tracked through and could be used to characterise changing ideological dispensations, and has been numerously detailed -- for instance: usefully, especially re the initial impetus and reception, in the Morning Sun website; in terms of the history of various appearances and reappearances by Britta Erikson (in Richard King ed. Art in Turmoil, UBC Press, 2010, pp.121-35). Replication and modification during the Cultural Revolution is a significant part of this story: replication as clay modelled figures; thereafter in fibreglass so that the tableaux could travel and be preserved (by Zhao Shutong (赵树桐), Wang Guanyi (王官乙) and the Rent Collection Courtyard Collective, 1974-1978); and more effectively, in propaganda films, photographs, memorabilia, and so on. Another significant part of the story is the appearance of an installation based on Rent Collection Courtyard by Cai Guo-Qiang (蔡国强), an expatriate artist, in 1999, which won the International Award at the Venice Biennale that year. A vociferous debate followed when the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute threatened to sue the curator and artist for infringement of intellectual property rights – a move that signified the contradictions in China’s current social and ideological dispensations (some of the main documents of this controversy are available in Wu Hung ed., Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, MOMA-NY, 2010, pp. 368-376). Notably, artist and critic Wang Min aka Daozi (王敏,笔名岛子) felt that Cai’s artwork was a kind of plagiarism and rebounds to the original’s multiple and contradictory significations, so that it “resonates with the trends in spontaneous postmodern art” (p.375); and art critic Liu Xiaochun (刘骁纯) felt that Cai’s was an artwork in its own right which “quotes” rather than plagiarises, and the controversy reveals more about the art establishment in China than anything else (both reproduced in Wu Hung 巫鸿 ed. 2010). [See below for comparable images of one tableau in the original clay Rent Collection Courtyard, in its fibreglass casting, and in Cai’s model.] Academic publications on the artwork’s career have continued to appear intermittently; the fibreglass figures have continued to be exhibited in various locations within and outside China; and it has continued to inspire new artworks (to be “quoted”). In 2007, the year Yin Zhaoyang’s (尹朝阳) painting appeared, Li Zhanyang’s (李占洋) playfully kitschy sculpture ensemble Rent - Rent Collection Yard 《租-收租院》 also appeared, featuring figures of persons known to the artist arranged as in the original (see below for an image).

Accounts of Rent Collection Courtyard from its first appearance, traced through the plethora of reproductions and modifications and adaptations and relocations and exhibitions through and since the Cultural Revolution, seem to gradually concretize an emptiness of import and fluidity of affect in contemplating it. It is, of course, forever fixed as an exemplar of Socialist Realism of the Cultural Revolution period, and yet that fixity itself operates by nullifying its specific artistic and ideological content – it is now a perpetual void which could only be fixed according to the larger frames of whatever context it is reified and variously reiterated within. This void now seems to be both the condition of Rent Collection Courtyard’s production, and the condition of every moment of its multifarious passages thereafter. If it has an integrity, it is only at a very thin wafer-like level of spectrality which underpins, to take Liu Xiaochun’s (刘骁纯) term, a “quotation” of the ideology of the Cultural Revolution (almost as if it were produced as “quotation”); and every time a viewer sets eyes on it somewhere it is perceived as an (increasingly retrospective and remote) “quotation” of that “quotation” of Cultural Revolution ideology; and every time it mutates into another artwork, such as Cai Guo-Qiang’s or Li Zhanyang’s sculptures, it is another “quotation” in that sense, only with a self-reflexive gesture towards its “quotability” (as contemporary art, as intellectual property, as icon and commodity). And this spectral thinness of Rent Collection Courtyard, which withdraws significances and makes it the disappearing subject within larger frames in the present, seems also bent on withdrawing its anterior significances – what it ostensibly represented. The landlord Liu Wencai’s descendants (see this news article ) and revisionist authors (like historical novelist Chen Min aka Xiaoshu 陈敏,笔名笑蜀) have sought to rescue his reputation from opprobrium.

Yin Zhaoyang’s painting goes against the grain of these accounts – but neither by suggesting sympathy with Cultural Revolution ideology, and nor by denying its “quotable” significance (or non-significance), and nor by referring to some prior historical truth. It does so by the visual manipulations and arrangement within itself. In foregrounding the relationship between an illusion of material surface and the diptych figures, the painting accentuates both the spectral character of the recognizable figures and the illusory nature of the means through which it can be accessed. The provisional tenor of the relation between both the “quoter” (whoever, whenever, wherever, however) and that which is “quoted” (Rent Collection Courtyard itself) is exposed to the gaze of this painting’s viewer. From the midst of that provisional relationship, which convincingly apprehends both “quotability” and spectrality, something of the abiding integrity of Rent Collection Courtyard comes through – as an artwork and an artistic intervention. This integrity is captured in the diptych arrangement of the recognizable figures – in the sharp contrast of passive suffering against the dynamic encounter of oppressor and rebellious, not so much as historically referred figures but as artistic archetypes. This integrity is conveyed by the placement of figures and the effect of colours and textures within the environment of this artwork, while referring to that iconic artwork. The artistic thrust and intervention of Rent Collection Courtyard is thus released from “quotations” within and after the Cultural Revolution, and allowed to depict a sort of phenomenological polarity of social forces. Yin Zhaoyang’s painting could be regarded as an artistic metanarrative on the art and artistic effect of Rent Collection Courtyard.

The power of the art of Rent Collection Courtyard constantly slips away from the intent of its historical references and context of production, as well as from the capture of its various reproductions and mutations and travels and receptions. The artistic power has a very thin spectral kind of source: continuously recognised as singular (from the moment of its appearance onwards and still), and continuously elided in accounting and explanation (also from the moment of its appearance and still).

In a way, this power of visual effect and intervention is reminiscent of the famous image of Che Guevara (the Guerrillero Heroico of Alberto Korda’s photograph). The power of this image through its various adjustments, replications, relocations, passages, and mutations has also been variously detailed and analysed, and to similar effect (in Michael Casey’s book Che’s Afterlife, Vintage, 2009; in Luis Lopez’s documentary film Chevolution, 2008). But at the bottom of that lay a serendipitous moment, and at the bottom of Rent Collection Courtyard is careful artistic construction and affect. Yin Zhaoyang’s painting seems to underline that.




尹朝阳的《收租院》与幽灵般的存在(Yin Zhaoyangs Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence) - 甦曼 - Suman Gupta 看画随笔
Book Cover: Revolutionary Chinese Art Workers Group,
Rent Collection Courtyard: Sculptures of Oppression and Revolt.
Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1968.

尹朝阳的《收租院》与幽灵般的存在(Yin Zhaoyangs Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence) - 甦曼 - Suman Gupta 看画随笔
The 1965 clay sculptures of Rent Collection Courtyard

尹朝阳的《收租院》与幽灵般的存在(Yin Zhaoyangs Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence) - 甦曼 - Suman Gupta 看画随笔
The 1974-78 fibreglass figures of Rent Collection Courtyard

尹朝阳的《收租院》与幽灵般的存在(Yin Zhaoyangs Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence) - 甦曼 - Suman Gupta 看画随笔
Cai Guo-Qiang (蔡国强), Rent Collection Courtyard (1999)

尹朝阳的《收租院》与幽灵般的存在(Yin Zhaoyangs Rent Collection Courtyard and the Spectral Presence) - 甦曼 - Suman Gupta 看画随笔
Li Zhanyang (李占洋), Rent - Rent Collection Yard (2007)
  评论这张
 
阅读(1018)| 评论(7)
推荐 转载

历史上的今天

评论

<#--最新日志,群博日志--> <#--推荐日志--> <#--引用记录--> <#--博主推荐--> <#--随机阅读--> <#--首页推荐--> <#--历史上的今天--> <#--被推荐日志--> <#--上一篇,下一篇--> <#-- 热度 --> <#-- 网易新闻广告 --> <#--右边模块结构--> <#--评论模块结构--> <#--引用模块结构--> <#--博主发起的投票-->
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

页脚

网易公司版权所有 ©1997-2017