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点石成金 沈也个展

点石成金——沈也的文化修辞术​

文字 皮道坚

沈也是一位跨媒介的当代艺术家,人们常用不同的词语来定义他的身份:漆艺家、装置艺术家、观念艺术家、影像艺术家、行为艺术家……但在沈也看来,这一切皆只是皮相的认知。艺术的核心在于观念的传达,因此,沈也拒绝把自己限定在某一种身份之中,这种拒绝也使其在媒材的使用上保持着一以贯之的开放性,大漆、影像、身体、木头、头发等各种媒材会因时因地出现在沈也的不同作品中。对大漆这一东方艺术媒材的情有独钟,使得传统之有效当代转换成为沈也创作的关注点。将大漆媒材及其工艺作为“有效表达观念的形式”,是沈也艺术创作中从未中断过的追求,而实现这一追求的手段便是艺术家对社会现象的文化修辞。在沈也的作品中,我们可以看到艺术家正是通过这种修辞术的运用,将能指和所指、形式和观念以及物质表现与社会现实的结合等等,转换为形式语言以勾起观众对隐藏的文化印迹的记忆,进而引发其丰富的联想和思考。

 

语言学鼻祖索绪尔跳出传统语言学中关于辞源的历史叙事,将语言看成一种整体的社会现象来对其共识性进行研究。他用整体语言/个体语言来对群体语言的社会性和个人性进行区分,并通过语言的横组合关系和纵聚合关系来分析语言中的意指现象,并将这种意指分为能指(表达层面)和所指(内容层面)。其中横组合关系是一种线性关系,它代表着语言的固定性、重复性和完整性,也就是直接意指;而纵聚合关系则是一种意义与形式之间的并列或对照关系,它是一种含蓄意指。含蓄意指中的所指蕴含着直接意指,这种直接意指承载着意识形态固有的幻象,而含蓄意指中的能指则通过词义的转变、偏离和扭曲等手段来实现意识形态的修辞。

 在沈也的艺术创作中,常将标题中的哲学暗示和作品形式的调侃结合在一起,通过将直接意指中能指和所指的固定关系转变为一种可相互替换的结构关系来进行语义修辞中本义和转义的转换,即是这样一种意识形态的修辞。《在你意识开始的时候已结束》是一块漆板,艺术家通过大漆工艺的处理令漆板表面层呈现不规律的皱褶。形式上的模糊化处理消解了作品的所指系统,而指示性的标题则使作品的象征意义有可能被多样化解读,既可暗示东方哲学中时间对物象的侵蚀,又可象征中国社会中文化产品的快速消费问题。而在《终将成为宠物的玩物》中,艺术家的表达更加直接和激进,以金色大漆的作旧工艺制作出狗的排泄物形态。这一形态和作品标题的结合,散发着对当下泛娱乐化文化浪潮的露骨讽刺。实际上,排泄物这一符号在西方美术史的创作中并不少见,不少艺术家都有所尝试:1961年,曼佐尼(Piero Manzoni将自己的排泄物以1盎司每份的重量封装在小铁罐里并按同等重量黄金的价格进行销售;2007年,华人艺术家许汉威(Terence Koh)则将自己的排泄物镀金,并以50万美金的价格在瑞士巴塞尔博览会上出售;2008年,保罗·麦卡锡(Paul McCarthy)则在瑞士伯尔尼的克利中心广场上矗立起巨大的充气排泄物……但这些艺术家对排泄物符号的运用还是建立在一套西方美术史叙事的基础之上的,他们通过自己的行为或装置作品在对西方的拜物教和消费主义进行批评的同时,也是对西方艺术市场体制的一种调侃和反思。而沈也对排泄物符号的运用则是将其置于中国的当代文化语境之中,通过作品名称和形式的暗喻直指当下中国互联网注意力经济模式下催生出的大量垃圾信息。

 

而在以《永恒》、《点石成金》为代表的另外一类作品中,沈也则通过对东方哲学和中国神话故事的转义处理来引发观者的思考。艺术家让大漆顺着一根头发丝滑落,以意指东方哲学中时间观;而《源》则可以被看成是《永恒》的延伸,通过将相同形式的作品进行空间场域置换,《永恒》一作中的时间观被东方式的生命观所替代。在《点石成金》中,沈也回到对中国传统文化叙事的转义上。神话做为一种“集体表象”,功能在于“扭曲事物”,其在直接意指的能指不变的情况下,通过扭曲直接意指的所指,让同样的能指来负载不同的所指意义将直接意指的符号转变为含蓄意指。装置作品《点石成金》以大漆贴金箔工艺逼真模拟“点石成金”这一典故中被吕洞宾一点即成的金石,用立在木箱上的乌鸦来象征对点金之指的搜寻。值得玩味的是该作品对“乌鸦”这一多义文化符号的使用。因黑色羽毛和食腐习惯,乌鸦在中国文化中成为不祥的预兆,“枯藤老树昏鸦”、“于今腐草无萤火,终古垂柳有暮鸦”皆与荒凉、衰败意象联系在一起。但另一方面,乌鸦在古代中国曾最早被视为太阳鸟,与王业兴盛、宗庙祭祀等联系在一起。如《山海经·大荒经》中便有“一日方至、一日方出,皆载于鸦”的表述。此外,乌鸦还曾被当成一种孝鸟与“孝道”联系在一起,在古代便用“乌哺”来形容子女奉养长亲。通过乌鸦和金石两种符号的语义偏离、转变、改易和取代,《点石成金》的修辞术变得极为复杂:如果将乌鸦作为太阳鸟的象征,通过其对点金指的搜寻便顺理成章;反之,如果将乌鸦当成衰败、荒凉的象征,通过其来寻找点金之指则显得突兀,这种意指使得作品既是对金石所指代的拜物教的反讽,更是对金石本事的一种揶揄。

 

康德在《判断力批判》中将介于理性和感性之间的去功利性审美看成是防止人被理性所异化的重要手段。随着时代的推演,审美活动不断地和伦理诉求、感官刺激、阶层区分、财富获取发生种种关系。沈也因此而运用挪用、重组、改写、象征、隐喻和转喻等多重文化修辞手法,将问题的关注和哲理的入思融入进大漆这一传统媒材之中,将大漆从“漆工艺”的桎梏中解放出来。艺术家通过文化符号的语义修辞,在漆的当下表达中取消了审美叙事中的明确指向性,以此使其原始意义与新的语义场之间的关系,变得复杂而丰富,这种语义的模糊性也将一种新的无功利性的审美重新赋予了作品。

 

Liang Project Co Space

艺术家: 沈也

展览时间: 2019.9.21 – 2019.11.12

开幕时间: 2019.9.21 15:00

地址: 上海市普陀区莫干山路 50 号 18 号楼 102

The Golden Touch · the Solo Exhibition of Shen Ye

The Golden Touch —— Cultural Rhetoric of Shen Ye

 

By  Pi Daojian

 

Shen Ye is a cross-media contemporary artist. People often use different words to define his identity: lacquer artist, installation artist, conceptual artist, imaging artist and performance artist……But in Shen's view, all of them are shallow recognitions. The core of art relies on the transmission of concept. Therefore, Shen Ye refuses to confine himself to a certain identity, which keeps him boundless throughout the use of media. Various media such as lacquer, image, body, wood, hair and so on will appear in Shen Ye's different artworks according to the time and place. Specially fonding of lacquer, an Oriental art media, Shen Ye starts focusing on the effective transformation from tradition to present in his works. It is Shen Ye's never-ending pursuit to use lacquer media and its technology as an effective form of expression of concept, which is the artist's cultural rhetoric of social phenomena. Through the use of this rhetoric, the artist transforms signifiers and signified, forms and concepts, as well as the combination of material manifestations and social reality, etc. into formal language to evoke the audience's memory of hidden cultural imprints, and then trigger their deep association and thinking.

 

Saussure, the founder of linguistics, discarded the historical narrative of etymology in traditional linguistics and studied the consensus of language as a whole social phenomenon . He distinguishes the sociality and individuality of group language by holistic language/individual language, and analyses the meaning phenomenon in language through the horizontal combination and vertical aggregation of language, and divides the meaning into signifier (expression level) and signified (content level). Among them, the transverse-combination relation is a linear relation, which represents the fixed, repetitive and integral of language, i.e. the direct meaning; while the vertical-aggregation relation is a juxtaposition or contrast relation between meaning and form, which is a kind of implied meaning. Meaning in implied meaning implies direct meaning, which carries the inherent illusion of ideology, while signifier in implied meaning realizes the rhetoric of ideology by means of changing, deviating and distorting the meaning of words.

 

 

In Shen Ye's artistic creation, he often combines the philosophical implications in the titles with the ridicules in the form of his works. By transforming the fixed relationship between the signifier and the signified in the direct meaning into a structural relationship that can be replaced by each other, the original meaning and the transferred meaning in the semantic rhetoric are transformed, that is, such an ideological rhetoric.

 

The work "It's been Ended at the Beginning of Your Consciousness" is a lacquer board. By the treatment of lacquer process, the artist makes the surface of the lacquer board appear irregular folds. The fuzzification in form dispels the referential system of the work, while the indicative title makes the symbolic meaning of the work possible to be interpreted in a variety of ways. It can not only imply the erosion of time on objects in Eastern philosophy, but also symbolize the rapid consumption of cultural products in Chinese society. In "the Toy that will Eventually Be a Pet", the artist's expression is more direct and radical, performing the dog's excrement with the old craft of golden lacquer. The combination of this form and the title of the work exudes a bare satire on the current wave of pan-entertainment culture. In fact, the symbol of excrement is not uncommon in Western art history. Many artists have tried it: in 1961, Piero Manzoni encapsulated his excrement in small tin pots with a weight of 1 ounce each and sold it at the price of the same weight of gold; in 2007, Chinese artist Xu Hanwei (Terence Koh) gilded his excrement and sold it at the Basel Expo in Switzerland for $500,000. In 2008, Paul McCarthy erected a huge inflatable excrement on the central square of Cree in Bern, Switzerland... However, the use of excrement symbols by these artists is based on a set of narrative of Western art history. They criticize Western fetishism and consumerism through their own actions or installation works, and at the same time, they are also a kind of ridicule and Reflection on the western art market system. Shen Ye uses excreta symbols in the context of contemporary Chinese culture. Through the metaphor of the name and form of his works, Shen points directly to a large number of garbage information generated under the current mode of Internet attention economy in China.

In another series of works represented by Eternity and the Golden Touch, Shen Ye arouses the viewer's thinking through the transformation of Eastern philosophy and Chinese mythology. The artist let lacquer slip along a hair, indicating the time view in Oriental philosophy, while Yuan can be regarded as an extension of Eternity. By replacing works with the same form into a different space field, the time view in Eternity is replaced by the Oriental view of life. Shen Ye returns to the transformation of traditional Chinese culture narrative in The Golden Touch. As a collective representation (représentations collectives), mythology functions as "distorting things". In the case that the signifier of the direct meaning is unchanged, by distorting the signifier of the direct meaning, the same signifier loads different signified meanings and transforms the sign of the direct meaning into the implied meaning. Installation work "The Golden Touch" vividly imitates the stone that has been turned into gold by a touch by Lu Dongbing in the allusion of "the Golden Touch" with lacquer and gold foil. The crow standing on the wooden box symbolizes the search for the golden pointing finger. The use of the polysemous cultural symbol "crow" in this work is also interesting. For the black feathers and decaying habits, crows have become an ominous omen in Chinese culture. The images of "Over old trees wreathed with rotten vines fly evening crows" and "no more fireflies in rotten grass, but only evening crows in weeping willows" are all associated with desolation and decay. On the other hand, crow was first regarded as a Sunbird in ancient China, which was associated with the prosperity of sovereign and the sacrifice of ancestral temples. For example, in the Classic of Mountains and Seas:the book of the great chaos land, there is a expression that "one sun appears and another sun disappears, all of which are carried on the back of the crow". In addition, crow has been regarded as a kind of bird linked with "filial piety", in ancient times, "crow nurturing" is used to describe children's repaying their aged parents for the upbringing. Through the semantic deviation, transformation, transformation and substitution of the symbols of crow and golden stone, the rhetoric of the Golden Touch becomes extremely complicated: If the crow is regarded as the symbol of the sun bird, its search for the pointing golden finger is logical. On the contrary, if the crow is regarded as the symbol of decay and desolation, it seems abrupt to find the golden finger through it, which makes the work not only an irony of the fetishism which is referred to by the golden stone, but also a teasing on the golden stone itself.

 

In Criticism of Judgment, Kant regards the non-utilitarian aesthetics between reason and sensibility as important means to prevent people from being alienated by reason. With the development of the times, aesthetic activities are constantly related to ethical demands, sensory stimulation, class distinction and wealth acquisition. Therefore, Shen Ye used multiple cultural rhetoric techniques such as embezzlement, reorganization, rewriting, symbolization, metaphor and metonymy to integrate the concern of the problem and philosophical thinking into the traditional medium of lacquer and liberate the lacquer from the shackles of the conventional "lacquer technology". Through the semantic rhetoric of cultural symbols, the artist cancelled the explicit orientation in aesthetic narration in the present expression of lacquer, in order to make the relationship between its original meaning and the new semantic field more complex and rich. This ambiguity of semantics also gives the works a new aesthetic value of non-utility.

Liang Project Co Space

Artist: Shen Ye

Duration: 2019.9.21 – 2019.11.12

Opening: 2019.9.21 15:00

Address: 102, Bldg 18, Moganshan Rd 50, Shanghai, China