主题阐述

Introduction

多重时间——苏州与另一种世界史

张 晴

  在全球化或者准确地说以世界体系视域观察历史的今日,对新世界史的书写期待更加广阔而深邃的目光,以突破单纯的地方史、区域史和民族国家框架,对各地区、各文明之间的有机联系与互动进行历史重构与解读,在更加平等全面的框架中呈现出立体的历史图景。苏州——这座具有2500多年历史的重要城市,既是保存中国古典文明与传统文化的城市典范,又与中国现代性密不可分。今天,我们把目光重新聚焦在这座城市,对它的文化历史内涵进行挖掘与演绎,这当然不是重复一套线性的文化历史的固有范式,而是将苏州视为构成世界历史与体系的要素之一,把世界时间和苏州时间交叠相对,以“多重时间”为主题及其方法,重新描述苏州与世界的碰撞与交流,展现苏州之于世界历史发展的动力,探讨苏州所蕴含的丰富性与独特性。

  1937年,极盛一时的“吴中文献展览”在苏州可园举行。展览集苏州各界知名人士和各乡里艺术文献典籍,聚苏州文化之大成,开苏州文献展览之先河,尽显苏州艺术文献之邦的风范。七十九年之后的今天重启新语境下的 “首届苏州文献展”,实乃继往开来。通过艺术创新与文献研究的形式,将当代苏州与历史苏州相互交叠、相互发现、相互激活,尝试在不同时间维度中立体深入地诠释苏州的文化历史之内涵,重绘苏州与世界的历史版图。通过“海洋时间与帝国时间”、“明清的现代时间”、“活化的天下时间”和“时间中的飞地”四个分主题的多维度建构,以及多种艺术形态的立体诠释,“苏州”不仅呈现给世界一种当代艺术的前沿感和超越性,更保有本土感、扎根感和温度感。

  “多重时间”下的苏州不仅是一种认识和想象,更是主体性的探求,既是在深入内部的具体性、扎根于自身历史与现实基础上的视野的外向伸展,又是在全球联系与重访历史的对仗之中的自身反观,这是一种全新的自我发现与认识框架。“多重时间”是打开苏州与另一种世界史的路径,是以苏州为线索的新型世界史视野:以苏州为起点,城市史、亚洲史乃至另一种世界史、全球史,彼此在关联中有机的并置和生动起来。这些“多重时间”会构成一种互补和辩证法,以新的全球史叙事打通古今并破除内陆历史和海洋历史被分开审视的格局;通过“多重时间”重返苏州,展现东亚特殊的现代性,一种与欧洲不同的现代萌芽会扑面而来。

  谨以这些具有活力的史学新论、知识视野及其艺术创新,作为“苏州学”诞生的宣言。


The Multiplicity of Time: Suzhou and Another World History

Zhang Qing

  The writing of a new world history today calls for new perspectives and frameworks. In the context of globalization, it is critical that we look beyond the notion of nation state and conventional local and regional histories to present a multi-layered and multi-dimensional picture of the world. This new world history emphasizes the interaction and the interconnectedness amongst regions and civilizations.

  Suzhou, an important Chinese city, has some 2,500 years’of history. Today it is both a repository of Chinese traditional culture and an embodiment of the nation’s modernity. Rejecting a linear narrative, the inaugural Suzhou Documenta with the theme “The Multiplicity of Time” re-examines the city’s rich cultural tradition by focusing on its encounters and interactions with the world. What are Suzhou’s contributions to the world and vice versa? What has contributed to its singularity and richness?

  In 1937 the exhibition titled Cultural Objects from Wuzhong was launched in Keyuan Garden in Suzhou to showcase artworks collected or created by the city’s luminaries. As a pioneering exhibition, it demonstrated the importance given to art and culture in Suzhou. The first Suzhou Documenta is organized 79 years after this exhibition. We hope that the new art and research we are presenting at the Documenta will bring the present and the past of the city into a lively dialogue.

  With the key concepts of multiplicity and interaction, the Suzhou Documenta organizes the works in variety of forms under four sub-themes: “The Time of the Sea and the Empire”; “Modernity and Time in the Ming and the Qing Dynasties”;“Time and Traditions”; and “Time and the Mind: The Garden and The Imperial Court”. Suzhou is presented here through the lens of cutting-edge contemporary art. Yet we hope it is tangible and deeply rooted in its local context.

  The Documenta with the theme of “The Multiplicity of Time” is more than a presentation of our impression of Suzhou. To rediscover the city in a new light, we look inward at the specific contexts of the city’s history and reality, and look outward at its global connections. Using Suzhou as a starting point, we can perhaps create new ways of connecting the history of a city with the history of Asia, and the world history at large. Through juxtapositions and connections, we are seeking to construct a new narrative for a world history that crosses the boundaries between the past and the present, the continent and the sea. Suzhou embodies a special modernity that distinguishes itself from European models. By bringing together a wide range of new perspectives in history and art, the Suzhou Documenta marks the birth of the new discipline - Suzhou Studies.

反思空间的方式

罗杰·博格尔

  我和张晴是合作了多年的好朋友,“苏州文献展”是我们又一次思想交流碰撞的成果。传统展览策划的模式,无论是在美术馆空间中,还是类似双年展模式的展览,都令我们强烈地感受到其所存在的局限性。这些局限性使一些展览形式往往显得陈腐平庸,使大众普遍无法恰当地欣赏艺术。此处的“恰当”指的是“花费时间”,或者说是“花费私人的时间”。如今艺术则往往被当作时尚文化和娱乐产业的附属品,或作为边缘社群的治疗方式。与崇高的艺术方式相反,这使得艺术的体验既不蔚为壮观,又不会让人感到遥远。

  “恰当”地观看艺术需要一种近乎违背现代生活的感知和批判。当下的文化,不断有事物分散人们的注意力。能够享有自己的时间,感受独特的本我是一种巨大的奢侈。正因如此,当代艺术家发展出许多方式来应对这种令人沮丧的形态。他们发明了相应的表现方式,不需要观看者全神贯注便能直接欣赏一件作品。如今,观众被邀请进入一个由多种混杂的艺术元素组成的人造环境。这样的环境以装置的名义为人所知,并且成为当代艺术的标准形式。与绘画、雕塑或影像不同,装置不只是一种艺术的媒介,它是凭借自身力量形成的一种展览,也是横跨时间和空间分布的艺术与非艺术媒介的集合。这些媒介包括日常用品、传统的手工制品、照片、文本、绘画、素描等。对我们而言,体验当代艺术意味着变成装置的一部分。同时也通过制造装置所要求的关联性来感受自己独一无二的身份。

  那是一个没有雪景的冬天,在苏州经典园林中最古老的沧浪亭里,“苏州文献展”的想法在一系列对话中渐渐成型。跟随曹俊和张晴,我沿着曲折的石阶和斜坡,上下盘行。透过窗户的间隔,我们借景移步,经过一个个庭院、人造山洞和弯曲回廊。沧浪亭旁边是由二十年代西洋画的先驱颜文樑先生创办的沧浪美术专科学校,如今已是颜文樑纪念馆。我也是不久前才意识到自己从来没有单纯地为了欣赏风景而造访沧浪亭,每次来都是为了汲取灵感。那么,苏州园林的文化形式是否能对我们策划一个当代艺术展览有所帮助?一个展览能否既充满当地特色,又无限向外延展?一个展览能否做到公允地展示苏州灿烂的文化历史,同时又吸引世界范围内的当代艺术爱好者?不胜枚举的双年展和艺术事件有时就像超级市场一般俗气,使得这些艺术爱好者烦不胜烦。这个展览又是否能够成为一种在此时此刻留有反思空间的方式?

  “苏州文献展”有两个基石。一个是追溯到1937年的“吴中文献展”,这个展览是由张晴在研究苏州历史的过程中发现的,因此由张晴为我们详细描述。而我要在此陈述的是另一个基石——1955年在德国卡塞尔建立的文献展览。这两个展览紧密相连,不仅因为他们的名字相似,更主要是因为他们都展示了一点:未来是从过去中走来的。最初,“卡塞尔文献展”仅仅是联邦德国园林园艺展览里的一个小展览。这个德国园林与苏州园林截然相反,并不那么写意随性、令人惬意。经过二战的洗礼,城市的百分之八十遭受严重破坏,园林中的绿植大都隐藏在城市碎石之后。“卡塞尔文献展”告诉人们:通过展示国际艺术,展览将经历战争创伤的德国观众与更广泛的世界重新联系起来。这个想法得以践行,且卓有成效。文献展取得了巨大成功,而卡塞尔这个城市也愿意延续这个展览。“卡塞尔文献展”每五年举办一次,已经成为世界上最著名的艺术事件之一。

  我曾于2007年担任卡塞尔文献展的艺术总监。此前,我从未想过能有这样一个机会来促成中德园林以及“吴中文献展”和“卡塞尔文献展”之间的审美关联。类似的经验,我可以从历史中借鉴、学习。历史不是一个线性过程。回顾历史,在策划、运筹和机会等更具决定性的因素面前,简单的年代学法则常常败下阵来。简而言之,历史像极了苏州园林里的路径,其策划背后的逻辑看起来就像酩酊大醉后挥就的书法。

  对于曹俊和张晴的邀约,我不胜感激。有幸与他们共同创建“苏州文献展”、共同探索那被艺术家揭示或遮蔽的另一种世界史。我也邀请许多同我在文献展中有过紧密合作的艺术家来到苏州——这个拥有全世界最美味的苏州汤面、最令人惬意的城市,这是我精神的第二故乡。

Introduction to Suzhou Documents by Roger M. Buergel

  I. Suzhou Documents grew out of an exchange between colleagues who, over the years, became friends. Zhang Qing and I were both keenly aware of the limits imposed on conventional exhibition-making, whether within the confines of a museum or as a biennale lookalike. These limits are as manifold as they are banal, but it all boils down to the widespread inability to look at art properly, where “properly” means “taking time” or, rather, “taking your own time.” Contrary to the ways in which art is touted nowadays, as an appendage of the fashion and entertainment industries or as a therapy for alienated communities, the experience of art is neither spectacular nor glitzy. Nor is it particularly helpful.

  Looking at art “properly” calls for a mode of perception that is almost incompatible with the strictures of modern life. Making time our own and experiencing our unique sense of identity is a major luxury in a culture based on permanent distraction (hey, take a look at the text message that just came in!). But of course, contemporary artists have developed ways of addressing this sorry state of affairs. They have invented forms of presentation that no longer confront the viewer head-on with a single piece that would require his or her undivided attention. Today the viewer is invited to enter an artificial environment – a constellation of varied and often heterogeneous artistic elements. Such environments are known as “installations” and have become the standard form of contemporary art. But unlike painting, sculpture or video, installation is not an artistic medium proper. It is an exhibition in its own right: an assemblage of artistic and non-artistic media (everyday objects, historical artefacts, photographs, text, paintings, drawings, and so on) that are distributed across time and space. For us, experiencing contemporary art means becoming part of an installation and experiencing our unique sense of identity by making the connections the installation requires.

  II. Suzhou Documents began to take shape in the course of many long conversations that commenced in winter (no snow scenes!) at the Canglang Pavilion, the oldest of the classical gardens of Suzhou. With Cao Jun and Zhang Qing, I followed the meandering pathways up and down the slopes, passing through courts, artificial caves and corridors while taking in the “borrowed views” provided by the window grilles. Adjacent to the Canglang Pavilion lies the school (now the Memorial Hall) set up by Yan Wenliang, the pioneer of Western painting, in the 1920s. Before long I realized that I hadn’t been brought to Canglang Pavilion solely for the purpose of sightseeing, but for inspiration. Would the cultural form of the Suzhou garden help us to design an exhibition of contemporary art? An exhibition with an unmistakably local flair but a virtually infinite reach? An exhibition that would do justice to Suzhou’s glorious past while appealing to an international audience of art lovers who have grown understandably weary of biennales and art fairs with all the meretricious charm of a supermarket? A way of being in the here and now that would leave space for reflection?

  III. Suzhou Documents has its conceptual roots in an exhibition that took place in Suzhou in 1937. We shall leave it to Zhang Qing to tell us about this particular exhibition – the Suzhou Exhibition of Documents – which is also a cornerstone of the Suzhou Documents. But there is another cornerstone, one I bring with me from Germany: an art exhibition known as documenta and founded in the city of Kassel in 1955. The two exhibitions are closely linked, not only through their names but also because they demonstrate that the future inevitably issues from the past. Originally, Kassel’s documenta was merely a sideshow at a large state-organized garden exhibition. This German garden, however, was the polar opposite of the delightfully informal Chinese garden. Its greenery concealed the rubble of a city that was 80% destroyed in the Second World War. The Kassel documenta thus had a pedagogical aspect: by showing international art, the exhibition sought to reconnect a largely traumatized German audience with the wider world. And, for whatever reason, the idea worked well. The documenta was such a success that the city decided to repeat the event. It now takes place every five years and has become one of the most prestigious art events on the planet.

  When I was the Artistic Director of Kassel documenta in 2007, I would never have imagined that one day an opportunity would arise to forge an aesthetic link between the Chinese garden and the German garden, between the Suzhou Exhibition of Documents and Kassel’s documenta. But history could have taught me that. As we know, history is not a linear process. It is determined as much by good planning as by luck and chance and therefore tends to defeat the laws of simple chronology. In short, history resembles the multiple pathways of the Suzhou garden, at least up to the point where the logic behind the design starts to resemble the calligraphy of a drunk.

  I am more than grateful for the privilege of being invited by Cao Jun and Zhang Qing to give shape to Suzhou Documents and the histories of a global hub as revealed (and obscured) by artists. It goes without saying that I brought many of the artists who grew dear to me during the Kassel documenta to Suzhou, a delightful city – with the best noodle soup on the planet – that has become my spiritual second home.