Charles Esche, Van Abbemuseum艺术馆馆长, Netherlands

译者:Jiayi Song

采访者和作家:Asha Veal Brisebois 译者:Jiayi Song
Original, English-language version available HERE.

 ceprisma

查尔斯 Esche, 导向器 Van Abbemuseum, 荷兰

以下页面来自荷兰的埃因霍温凡阿贝博物馆Charles Esche的Skype 采访。Esche是一位博物馆馆长,也是位策划当代艺术的教授,他曾在雅加达, 圣保罗, 伊斯坦布尔, 拉马拉, 普里斯廷, 伦敦, 卢布尔雅那和光州这些地方都做过两年一次的会展。我和Taykhoom Biviji 一起在SAIC的在艺术管理和政策项目共事过,在去年3月准备了一次补充问题的采访,使我们的各自利益在潜在的双年展会中作为政治和社会力量。

这个谈话是分成两部分,一部分来自我,一部分来自Taykhoom。尽管两部分可以独立开来,第一部分和第二部分都是读起来最多的。 在第一部分我已经在主体文本中删除了自己在采访中提的问题, 它们在文章结尾的注释中能看到。尽管是叙述的主题文本和格言,这个目的是呈现Esche的的谈话。这个报告问题的顺序也被稍微编辑, 这样不去干扰Esche的声音,我觉得是成功的。

rose double square

 

 

“当然,你在双年展做什么?紧接着的一个问题就是你能在多大程度推动双年展在其打造差异性对话的方向上?”

 –

CHARLES ESCHE: 我十分同意。我认为有一种责任在里面,像法国人称道的“公共知识分子,” 作为社会说话(舆论)代言的社会一部分。在某种程度上从社会边缘出发或是从我们对于社会认知的角度来讲。这种以研究监狱或是疯人院的方式来分析社会,会使我们想起福柯。监狱、疯人院这些地点会让你知道社会事实上是如何对待人类的,而这些是你不会从社会中心所能认识到的。如果你只看寡头,你将永不会知道丁点儿关于社会是如何对待人的。你需要去从边缘来了解。所以我认为那是我们的职责去将边缘化的思想主流化。我是如此认为的,但是很多策展人不觉得那是他们的职责。这其实又是一次对策展人这个词的延伸。其中还有很多策展人认为他们的职责应是响应市场和为市场提供新商品。他们对于其职责的看法就好似一个在公司企业里的人一样。这很好,我并不是反对这样的看法。但是这和我对策展人的看法相去甚远。而且你的看法更像是站在我的看法这边多一点,但你也应值得注意在同一个名字下面所有其他正在发生事情动作。

 –

“我们需要去改变艺术存在于社会中的地位和期望。”

 –

CE: 我们需要更具有创新性的平台。所以我认为它是种挑战。就像我曾说过它也是一种尝试创造新平台的调整。但那是种社会所做的事情,因为我们是共同而非一人创造的机构体制。就连纽约现代艺术博物馆也是被一个群体所创建出来的。它是由一个群体所需而应生出来的而非Alfred Bar一人完成的。或如同卢浮宫,也是由法国革命所孕育出来的,而这定是一种群体行为。所以从那种意义上讲,它是一种对于我们整个领域的挑战:去发明创造并说‘我们不断的去做双年展会不会有一天双年展不会在再充满能量’但是博物馆已经存在了150多年快两百年或两百多年从1792年开始的话,而它却一直能够得以新生。所以双年展也会是有可能的。但是与博物馆并肩的其它机构体制也同时在不断被创造出来,例如Kunsthalle (一种非永久、临时性艺术展览机构)、艺术家运营空间、商业画廊。所以并不是说非得需要双年展消失,而是我也许需要一些其它一些形式去使你所说的交流方式存在。因此我是说在这种意义上是种挑战。当然也可以说让我们继续更有创造性吧。甚至也和术语有关,就像有‘艺术家’、‘策展人’、还有很新的‘mediator传递人’。博物馆也有‘馆长’。

还有一系列的名册都没有术语。我们可以称之为策展人的人有很多,从做了个网站的Kanye West 到阿肯色州省级博物馆的工作人员还有其它。这个词的延伸是巨大的。有时尝试去多区分其中的一些延伸也是更好的,同理于双年展。让我们在其中去创造吧。

 – 

“就我所以为它背后有着某种实验性质的感觉。我感觉它可以被称作是实验性策展,而不是有明确答案地说“这是另一选择(非主流非传统式策展)

 

CE: 双年展是我不知为何有幸拥有的一个工具,所以我不会拒绝使用它。也许它不是工具箱中最尖锐的器具,亦或许它也并不是一个我所需要的能完成我这职责的工具。其实最后就如同你可以用螺丝刀代替锤子来用一个道理。你可以利用你现有的工具而双年展就是我所现有的工具之一。所以我一点也不会困扰于双年展的构成是否是一个有趣的工具。我认为那其实是我们策展人的工作去尽可能利用好它。所以就衍生出了问题,那就是‘我可以利用好它吗?’我们可以把螺丝刀当锤子来用吗?或这仅是不可能办到的事?所以当然,你在双年展做什么紧接着的一个问题就是你能在多大程度上推动双年展在其打造差异性对话?最后,我觉得我所感兴趣的是这个词广义上的不同立场的人。不同的主观意识和社会强加于他们的不同社会地位。像是阶级,民族,性别,性取向和所有其它诸事。所以你有作为独立个人的一套主观思想,还有因为你是谁、出生在哪的一系列社会强加于你的要求和需求,以及如何将所有的差异进行磋商。在我看来,我这一代和你们这一代人的挑战,实际上是如何以一种比我们现在更好的方式来应对它,因为我们现在所处于的这个世界并不是做得很好。

所以如果说艺术要作贡献的话那么这似乎就是所需要的贡献,而双年展貌似是可以产生出这个贡献的地方。我觉得如何将差异放在一起并不消除差异,并理解对方理解差异是什么,是需要去感受差异所创造出来的能量。而艺术是一个非常好的媒介。因为这是一个文化问题而根本不是个经济问题。这也不是一个我们现在所理解的政治意义上的政治问题。我希望能有一个不一样的政治体系,但现有的政治体系是不会能够提供出来个解决方案的。因此其建立在我们是否能够认识到我们的存在是不会被差异所威胁到的。而那是建立于文化层面上。所以双年展也许可以做到这点。但你作为策展人也是可以选择忽视,然后去做市场热衷的事情并在报纸上得到好评价。这并不是双年展的精髓,也并不是非什么不可。真的就是在于你如何用它。而这个将其看作工具的思想对我来说十分有用,尽管就像周围人所说的那样,它并不是抽屉里最有力的工具。

CE: 非主流一定都是相对的,不是吗?我是说我觉得比用“新”好。我觉得至少用它比用新来形容的好。就我所以为它背后有着某种实验性质的感觉。我感觉它可以被称作是实验性策展,而不是有明确答案地说“这是另一选择(非主流非传统式策展)”。

 –

“所以如果说艺术要作贡献的话那么这似乎就是所需要的贡献,而双年展貌似是可以产生出这个贡献的地方。”

 –

“如果印度与厄瓜多尔对话,那实际上是一个更有趣的连接相对于英国与印度的对话,因为这已经进行了很长时间了。”

CE: 艺术和大众之间?广义上的 “大众”?我的意思是当然你可以努力的做交流啥的而且有时也能成功,经常很多事情不是你想怎么样就怎么样而是自然而然发生的。 比如说,有一次在圣保罗,我们和一群印度尼西亚的朋友在唱卡拉ok。那次卡拉ok棒极了,因为所有人都在那儿。他们是来自南方的印度尼西亚人,给同样来自南方的另外一群人交流着,以一种不同,但是又充满潜力的方式交流着。不同是因为,整个世界都在阻止这场对话的发生。这个世界用尽了一切办法,包括阻止你飞到这里,去切断这种连接。因此,当这场对话实际发生了,它是被困难所包裹着的。但是,同时这场对话又是富有潜力以及希望的,因为它能够让一些食物变得有所不同。它能够影响很多?它可以使权力更迭. 你看,如果印度对话了厄瓜多尔,其实这远比印度对话英国来的有趣多了,因为英国和印度从古至今有很紧密的联系。所以,这场对话既富有潜力,也十分艰难,因为语言,文化,历史,等等等等。在那个时候,我才真正意义上感受到全球化交流是有可能的。另外一件有趣的事情是卡拉ok本身是日本人发明的,然后传播到了西欧以及全世界。

那这种联系能够在一场画展上展现吗?对我来说挺难的,因为你对参与一个画展的方法是不一样的。想要克服所有的文化壁垒是一件特别难的事情。绘画本身其实是既定的,有限制的,特别是现代绘画。但是在今天,在这个时候,所有的孩子和成人,在以色列和苏格兰的展览里,一聚圣保罗,唱着印度尼西亚的歌曲:我瞬间觉得这个展览有了更深的意义。我也能说一些别的例子,但是这些例子往往发生在人们最主要的目的并不是画展本身的时候。请从表演的方面重新思考一下,思考一下关于表演的层面:贫民窟的类似 “Open Mic(允许观众上台参与表演的节目)加入到双年展中。你能发现那些寡头统治阶级十分畏惧着人民。我不知道你们是否了解巴西,整个巴西的社会有一部分不被巴西的统治阶级所承认。简简单单的说其不是巴西的。统治阶级否认这一部分的存在,除了觉得他们是仆人,仅仅如此。所以整个社会系统是趋向于否认他们的存在,外加着这些被否认的人突然“侵”来到他们的空间使得双方都有着恐惧对方的感觉。这并不是你想产生的局面但你可以记下来并说 ‘OK 这意味着某种改变’。

我甚至能够在博物馆找到其它的例子。我们建立了避难所后,很多饱受战火折磨的叙利亚人纷纷来到西欧。在旁边埃因霍温的博物馆有一个政治避难中心,我们尝试着带一些避难者参观博物馆,而又一次的交流连接而后发生于博物馆中的咖啡厅。他们开始能回应我们, 和我们说话,唱像是叙利亚的歌之类的。你会发现这就行像有失有得,而正是这些有失有得的时刻让我觉得非常令人关注。当然,我认为许多的展览建筑都被设计成给予的一方,比如将画面给予出去而在别处寻得回报(展示/发生)。这种回报可以发生在家里,发生在两人的对话里,发生在任何地方。所以,博物馆里的表演,或者表演性质的元素可以是那些你说的时光。

 –

“我们是否能够认识到我们的存在是不会被差异所威胁到的是建立于文化层面上。”

 

CE: 对,我认为是这样的。我认为,策展人宣称自己是艺术家是一个比较敏感的事情,这大部分是来源于策展人和艺术家受到的教育其实是十分不同的。我们可以说,艺术家和策展人所受到训练时完全不一样的。实际上,当策展人并不需要训练。策展人应该专注于其它的事情,然后策划展出这件事情。所以,这实际上是一种表达,而不是一种训练。然而,艺术是需要被训练的,你需要学习特定的技法,比如绘画。所以,当你不会这些技法的时候,你又宣称你自己是艺术家,当然会引起那些会这些技法的人沮丧。但是,我认为如果我们像丢抛弃掉许多东西一样丢抛弃那些现代对于艺术的定义,如果我们丢掉现代艺术作为特定领域的特殊性和其格林伯格主义感觉的艺术—最艺术的艺术才是艺术就像是你需要将平面发挥到极致当你用平面画布创作时。如果我们丢弃掉这些, 然后说艺术就是一种社会映射自身并作出变化的一个领域,那么这才是我认为艺术有趣的所在。那么现在,当我们对艺术有了定义,我觉得我们可以宣称策展人拥有和社会参与艺术家(socially engaged artist)相似的训练。所以仅是在社会层面上简单宣称策展人就是社会活动艺术家是不够的。为了这个宣称,我们需要改变对于艺术的社会期望和艺术的社会地位。但是这点没有被实现的话,这个宣称很难立住脚。我个人认为目前还没有实现。


笔记:

 面试问题

1. 你是否认为双年展和艺术可以是行使公民权利及参与公共生活与对话的一种潜在场所(途径)? 作为策展人,你是否认为你职责的一部分在某种程度上很像一个倡导积极公民意识的领导者?

2. 有一篇文章引用了您的话,说您认为全球对于双年展形式的重复会导致双年展的影响力下降。请问您对于打破这一重复有着什么样的展望与想法?会运用到社会参与的形式吗?又或许是多地点形式利用意想不到的安排(设计)与场所?

3. 是否每个双年展基本上都是策展人的一个平台或工具?

4. 我很乐忠于非主流策展。不知“非主流策展”用词是否准确?

5. 我经常在想双年展的形式作为一个跨文化对话和表现的潜在平台会是一种真正公平的积极交流而非单向“打量”。在你经手过展览项目的城市和国家中这是否曾具体出现过? 我很难想象这样的交流会在每个地点都呈现的一摸一样,比如雅加达,巴勒斯坦,伊斯坦布尔,哈瓦那,荷兰,圣保罗,光州…

6. 策展人的工作是否堪比(看作是)社会实践行为艺术?策展人本质上是否可以像社会实践行为艺术家似的发展自己的项目?

[1] In “Civic Seeing: Museums and the Organization of Vision,” Tony Bennett (who will likely never be flown to the moon) wrote about the historical viewpoints and philosophies that shaped participation in early American museums. He described museums as places of engagement and citizenship (available to whomever the status of “citizen” might at the time apply); and obviously, also, as sites for the appreciation of art objects.

Macdonald, S. 2011. A Companion to Museum Studies. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

[2] A value statement of “creating citizens not consumers” is top-of-mind for many museums at present. In fact, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, in a recent visit to our SAIC arts admin and policy program, presented on this concept as being an essential driver behind its descriptive language update for 2016: The MCA Chicago is a top 21st-century contemporary art museum: An artist-activated, audience-engaged platform for producing art, ideas, community, and conversation around the creative process, in order to be a consciousness leader of local necessity and international distinction.

[3] Theorists such as Néstor Canclini, in my recent reading, have written about the necessity to “deconstruct the confusion of civil society with the market” and the “complicity of consumption and citizenship.” Many museums are seeking to position themselves as a remedy to this social stasis (again, this has been our SAIC cohort’s observation over the past two semesters). The goal seems to be to serve as a private/public hybrid space, fostering an environment of ideas and interactions not based on transaction. I definitely assert that the desire to move toward this model is different for each museum; and ranges from the need to create an inclusive community space for a specific niche group, to a reaction of pushing back against neoliberal climates.

Canclini, N. 2001. Consumers and Citizens: Globalization and Multicultural Conflicts. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

[4] Esche, C. 2011. Making Art Global: A good place or a no place? Making art global (part 1) : the third Havana Biennial 1989. Rachel Weiss. London: Afterall Books, p. 6

[5] In a November 2003 piece for ArtForum, editor Tim Griffin described the then proliferating biennial format as such: “This type of exhibition, endowed with a transnational circuitry, assumed the unique position of both reflecting globalism—since these shows happen in locations throughout the world, however remote—and taking up globalism itself as an idea. Establishing a new curatorial class able to bring artists together from wide-ranging geographic and cultural points, the large-scale exhibition altered the kinds of visibility afforded artists and so fundamentally changed the conditions of artistic discussion, ultimately forwarding the position that no show could, or should, presume an all-encompassing thesis—at least not in conventional terms and form. Rather, the exhibition extends through time and across geography to include panels, lectures, publications, performances, and public works that fall welt beyond the parameters of the traditional show, and lies well beyond the grasp of any single viewer.”

Griffin, T. et al. 2013. Global Tendencies: Globalism and the Large-Scale Exhibition panel discussion. ArtForum 42 (3) November 2003, pp. 152-163, 206, 212

[6] The 2011 Picasso in Palestine project is a compelling example of experimentation. Charles Esche was a key collaborator in achieving the project’s goal. Summaries are available:

Michael Baers, for e-flux: www.e-flux.com/journal/no-good-time-for-an-exhibition-reflections-on-the-picasso-in-palestine-project-part-i/

Charles Esche, for Van Abbemuseum Kitchen blog: thekitchen.vanabbe.nl/2011/06/27/picasso-in-palestine/

Afterall journal: www.afterall.org/online/picasso-in-palestine.1/#.VxwqPPkrJD8.

[7] Art and instrumentality (unfortunately?) have a long history together. This includes the early political motivations of MoMA. Compelling essay available here:

Cockcroft, E. 1974. Abstract Expressionism, Weapon of the Cold War. Artforum 12 (10), June 1974, p. 125-133.

[8] Alfred Bar, was the founding director of MoMA and served 1929-1944.

Ibid. p. 131

[9] The Louvre opened to the public that following year, August 1793.

[10] In a May 1999 interview with ArtForum, the venerable curator Harald Szeemann noted that “The explosion of biennials is creating a new type of artist who really lives from project to project. They are very flexible. They go to Santa Fe, they go to Berlin; sometimes it’s better, sometimes it’s worse. These artists are like film directors because they go from job to job, place to place, and make masterpieces as well as failures.” In considering the wide spread of the term “artist,” I find it interesting to think about how there are artists that shape their careers and work to maximize participation in the biennial exhibition format.

Storr, R. 1999. Prince of tides, interview with 1999 Venice Biennale Visual Arts Director Harald Szeemann. ArtForum. May 1999.

[11] documenta 11, led by Okwui Enwezor in 2002, is another often referenced example of experimentation. The discursive exhibition and public programming took place on four different continents.

In a November 2003 roundtable for ArtForum, Enwezor stated that: “The value of the global paradigm for me—if it means serious interaction with artists and practices that are not similarly circumscribed—is in its allowance for greater methodological and discursive flexibility.” He also noted the “temporary contexts” of these exhibitions as being “distinctly different from the stable site of the institution,” and the possibility of “what they add to the critical discourse of globalization.”

Ibid.

[12] In the essay “Venice or Havana: A Polemic on the Genesis of the Contemporary Biennial,” curator and scholar Rafal Niemojewski quotes several of his peers in this contemporary art field in providing succinct description to answer the question of “What is a biennial?” The gallerist René Block described this format and phenomenon as “a new type of global exhibition established under the generic term biennial, which had a major impact upon the contemporary art scene.” Curator and director Okwui Enwezor pronounced “a mega-exhibition.” And writer Tim Griffin spoke of a “large-scale, transnational experience.”

Niemojewski, R. 2010. Venice or Havana: A Polemic on the Genesis of the Contemporary Biennial. The Biennial Reader. Elena Filipovic, Marieke van Hal, and Solveig Øvstebo eds. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz.

[13] Still (the) Barbarians, led by curator Koyo Kouoh, is the 2016 conception of Ireland’s 38-year-old EVA International. The exhibition was developed to investigate and draw similarities between perceived difference—specifically related to the different experiences of existing as a colonized nation. The curatorial statement is available here http://www.eva.ie/still-the-barbarians. Also, here’s one review of the exhibition by Alice McCool of OkayAfrica http://www.okayafrica.com/news/koyo-kouoh-eva-international-ireland-biennial-still-the-barbarians/. Again, because of this unique take on comparative experience and expressions of dismantling colonialism, I have been following this exhibition for months.

[15] Speaking of shifts in power, I very much like this quote from writer and educator Rachel Weiss, on a major significance of the founding of Bienal de la Habana. In the pre biennial-explosion 1980s, that exhibition “proved that a convincing global position can be developed from outside the usual orders of power.”

Ibid. p.90.

[16] The Van Abbemuseum, in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

[17] In the essay “New Museums in New Europe” (from the book Art and Democracy in Post-Communist Europe, 2012 University of Chicago press) the late writer Piotr Piotrowski references colleague Hans Betting, saying of museums that “They are instruments that allow us to understand local societies.”

Of biennials, Piotrowski perhaps skeptically notes that “They are often organized by foreign curators, a fact that is supposed to raise their prestige and significance within the art world.”

[18] In her essay “The Curatorial Paradigm,” art historian Dorothea von Hantelmann, begins literally and figuratively with Harald Szeemann, curator for 1972’s documenta 5. Szeemann declared: “I am simply no longer willing to merely fill up an available space, but tend more and more to projecting my own ideas into it.” This shift in role for the curator, from “service provider” to “meaning producer,” was concurrently noted in documenta’s exhibition catalogue by artist Daniel Buren; Buren rejected the encroach of an emerging emphasis on curatorial practice and the importance given to exhibitions.

Von Hantelmann, D. 2011. The Curatorial Paradigm. La Critique journal on exhibition making, No 4, June 2011, p. 6

[19] In excerpt, an actual, and perhaps the quintessential debate…between Okwui Enwezor, Martha Rosler, and Yinka Shonibare, in ArtForum:

Martha Rosler: [speaks of her experience as an artist at Venice] … I am a bit perturbed by Okwui’s remarks that rather decisively elevate the curatorial metadiscourse above the contributions of the artists, which I can accept up to about 20 percent. I have to admit that I regard my own work as ‘instances’ of a discourse rather than leaden ‘things,’ but I’m not sure how willing I am to have a curator say that!

Okwui Enwezor: On the contrary, Martha, I do not elevate the curator’s metadiscourse above that of the artists at all—far from it. If I’m reluctant to treat the artist as an absolute god it’s only because I find it difficult to press myself into the false idolatry of the artwork as the only meaningful theory and speculative object in an exhibition. I always take it that artworks by their very nature are concrete examples of highly speculative thinking, and as such, I come to respect the artist on terms that are beneficial to our mutual interests in the construction of an exhibition.

Yinka Shonibare: The number of artists participating in this debate [2] highlights the ‘dictatorship of the curator’ [several] (sorry, Francesco, it’s a joke too good to resist). I think Martha will agree that the art of curating has become almost more important than the art, and the exchange between the curators here demonstrates this quite well. How did we get to a point where the rise of the global curator has brought artistic practice to its knees? It feels like a David and Goliath situation. This discussion reminds me of a dinner conversation between a critic and artist friend. The critic said to my friend, ‘You are simply an actor, and the curator is the director.’ My friend, who had had quite a bit to drink, screamed in horror, ‘How dare you say such a thing! I am nobody’s actor. I’m an artist.’ To which the critic replied, ‘You are an actor whether you like it or not!’

Ibid. “Global tendencies: globalism and large-scale exhibition”

[20] In “Cultural Pilgrimages and Metaphoric Journeys,” the artist Suzanne Lacy described movements of artists in the 1960s and 1970s and “the connection between an activist view of culture.” This included making a statement on how “women and ethnic artists began to consider their identities […as] central to their aesthetic in some as yet defined manner.” I imagine that this likely the same for many curators of that same generation and afterward, and that it’s not likely coincidental that both shifts occurred at the same time.

Lacy, S. ed. 1995. Introduction: Cultural Pilgrimages and Metaphoric Journeys. Mapping the Terrain: New Genre Public Art. Seattle: Bay State Press.

  • 译者:Jiayi Song

    Charles Esche:
    http://www.arts.ac.uk/research/ual-staff-researchers/a-z/professor-charles-esche/

    Jiayi Song:
    Jiayi Song is an international student from Beijing, China, and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Arts Administration and Policy program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She obtained her B.A. in Art History and Media Studies at Beloit College. Coming from a background in traditional Chinese philosophy and art practices, her primary interest is to re-contextualize Chinese traditional culture and aesthetics in a contemporary context.

    Asha Veal Brisebois:
    http://www.ashavealb.com/

    Taykhoom Biviji: https://www.instagram.com/taykhoom/
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/taykhoom-biviji-a04799113