空中的哨兵:安东尼.葛姆雷(Antony Gormley)的“地平线项目”(Event Horizon)

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自今日起至2010年8月15日,麦迪逊广场自然公园 Madison Square Park Conservancy里外四周伫立着31座安东尼·葛姆雷Antony Gormley的系列作品“地平线项目”Event Horizon,这也是艺术家在美国进行的首个公共雕塑装置项目。31座一如既往按照葛姆雷本人体型轮廓创作的真人尺寸玻璃纤维铁雕以曼哈顿闹市区的麦迪逊广场为中心,星罗棋布在广场周围的高楼顶端,其中就有大名鼎鼎的Flatiron Building熨斗楼,Empire State Building帝国大厦,the Clock Tower Building钟楼等地标性建筑,人行道上挤满了抬头仰望的行人。《现代画家》Modern Painters杂志的执行主编Marina Cashdan对这位特立独行的英国雕塑艺术家进行了专访。(真艺术网独家译稿)

MP:你的首次“地平线项目”创作于2007年的伦敦,作为Hayward Gallery画廊的“盲光”Blind Light展览。当然伦敦与纽约两城之别是显而易见的,尤其是其地貌与城市天际线。请问这些有否影响到您在两地的创作?具体的影响为何?

AG:在伦敦,最令我兴奋的是利用河岸为东西两岸创造出截然不同的艺术感觉;然而在纽约,这就完全无从谈起了。昨天我们才将雕塑弄到熨斗楼上去,我被吓坏了。但一切都值得,因为这幢明摆着的充满讽刺意味的建筑上立着我的雕塑,不论从第五大道还是主干道向北走,离大楼好几英里就可以看到这一激动人心的景象。

MP:你觉得纽约人对这一系列的反响会与伦敦人有着怎样的不同?

AG:整个系列的创作与布置在伦敦与纽约的基本流程是一样的,但如今在纽约更具戏剧性。昨天我被深深触动了。一对老夫妻背着背包,拿着地图欢天喜地打算把31件雕塑都找到看个遍。我能感觉到这里的人们都很乐意参与到这个游戏来。这一系列更像是一种催化剂,当人们经过第五大街或麦迪逊广场的这些“障碍物”,肯定会皱眉想:“这儿发生了什么?”于是人们开始三五结对地互相开聊讨论,对着雕塑指指点点。对于我,这一幕是从这一系列创作中能获得的最大乐趣。关键在于,这些雕塑成为了这些素昧平生的陌生人交谈的理由、契机与对象。可能很多人觉得这微不足道,但这实在是非常美丽的场景。

MP:你说过“易察觉的, 可感知的与可想像的,在这样的情境中过路人不仅仅是观众同时也是主体”,从这点看来,地平线项目也成为了你现场装置(living installationOne and Other的一个延续。后者邀请了众多志愿者排排站在特拉法加广场Trafalgar Square第四峰楼顶,由此创造了现代史中前所未有的活人雕塑。而在纽约,观者也因他们的互动反馈而成为了其他观者对这一大型雕塑系列感受的一部分,这可以说是参与观完全不同的视角。

AG: 是的,我认为这非常重要。显然这一系列作品的语义是易察觉的与可感知的联姻。所以你可以肆无忌惮地触摸这些大比例的实体雕塑。所以这些从一具鲜活的、呼吸着的自然人体一摸一样仿制的“躯体” 被做成更大比例、拥有更重质量属性与所处地点的…怎么说,在日常川流不息中杵着的石头模样。于是,你又觉得这是你无法真实触及的死的冰冷的东西。那就更不用提那些站在楼顶上的,你不会真的跑去摸摸他们,近距离地瞧他们到底什么样子,因为你知道就在走道四周都是这些家伙。随后,你又会尝试着跑开远一些,回头从四周的景观中观望这些家伙,然后就会有这样的念头冒出来:“到底有多少这种稀奇古怪的东西?到底是什么意思?”尤其在麦迪逊与第五大街街角的那一座是最让人兴奋的,因为他就站在红绿灯、火警铃、报警铃、垃圾桶与Village Voice(纽约一家类似于大众点评网的机构)客户端旁边。昨天所有路过它的人都张口议论纷纷:“这是个什么玩意儿?它在这里做什么?”随即很快,他们就意识到了什么,开始仰头驻足聚集观望。

MP:你对佛学的研究对你有着怎样的影响?这种影响是否波及到了你的所有创作?

AG: 如果没有19世纪70年代中期对冥想玄学的学习与研究,我不可能创作出这些作品。它教会你如何保持静止——只是存在却什么都不做。依据西方雕塑标准,女性总是极尽显露其性感,而男性则总是极尽扮演着英雄角色,从古典的《掷铁饼者》the discus thrower 到《大卫和歌利亚》David and Goliath,都是这样。他们总是用隐喻暗示的方式来讲故事,来表达欲望与理想。我尽量避免所有这一切。我认为,从许多方面而言,早期古普塔early Gupta和印度雕塑的抽象形体与佛教和耆那教雕塑从某种层面来说都在表达:身体是精神思想的居所,我非常青睐这种理念。事实上,埃及与古希腊雕塑也与之有着异曲同工之妙。

MP:那是否也正是这种平和的心境,或身心合一,伴你度过了这些艰难甚至可能相当痛苦的形体雕塑创作?

AG: 啊,正是如此。你肯定要很平静,不然太容易惊慌失措了。就如你说的:身心合一,一定得合一。当然,这也都是由你的意愿所决定的——是否全心全意地把全身心都扑到那个里面去。不过,到了某种程度这也由不得你了,因为石膏已经变得很硬,你一定得做些什么——比如尖叫、自虐或索性逃走——但几乎所有时候我都选择赶快把它刻完,基本上30多分钟后,我又是个工作室里的自由人了。

MP:麦迪逊广场公园Madison Square Park 一直是诸多杰出的、野心勃勃的雕塑项目的首选地点。基于公共艺术项目本身的高度挑战性,麦迪逊广场自然公园管理机构与麦迪逊广场艺术项目 the Madison Square art program的主席Debbie Landau先生想必也为此系列作出了巨大努力吧。

AG: Debbie是勇者无畏。公共艺术是非常重要的,我完完全全地相信它、并投入我的生命。你可能会说我们时代的艺术已经变得太过依赖某个特定情景了,往往是博物馆、美术馆或其他艺术机构综合知识版权保护以及诸多硬件措施来加以重重保护。然而于我,没有比在完全自由、暴露、无中间媒介的开放空间中进行创作更惬意完美的了。我的意思是,如今媒介的泛深化已经远远超出了负载,但我更青睐人们更直接、纯真的表达,好像小孩子拽着父亲的衣角急不可耐地要去靠近公园中央这生了锈的人体雕塑,随后不知不觉地离开你的视线,继续他们的故事。仅仅是看着他们,就会让我沉浸在欢愉中。换句话说,没有谁能告诉你什么是艺术, 博物馆中的空气永远不可能让艺术显得神采飞扬——这种空气永远无法晃动真实生活的双肩,就好像这艺术还活着的时候所处在的那个生活。我认为这是莫大的耻辱。

Sentinels in the Sky:AntonyGormley on “Event Horizon

Antony Gormley’s “Event Horizon” scatters 31 casts of the artist’s body in and aroundMadisonSquarePark.

NEW YORK—Today through August 15, the Madison Square Park Conservancy is presenting Event HorizonAntony Gormley’s first public art exhibition in the United States. The 31 life-size iron and fiberglass figures, cast from Gormley’s own body, inhabit peripheral areas of the park — the rooftops and parapets of surrounding iconic buildings (like the Flatiron Building, Empire State Building, the Clock Tower Building) and nearby sidewalks streaming with pedestrians.Marina Cashdan, executive editor of Modern Painters, spoke with the British sculptor about his ambitious project.

You first premiered Event Horizon in London in 2007 as part of theHayward Gallery‘s “Blind Light” exhibition. There are obvious differences between London and New York, both in terms of topical landscape and geographic size. How has that influenced or changed the scope of the work, if at all?

I think the great thing inLondonwas using the corridor of the river as a kind of visual chasm between North and South. But here, it’s a completely different thing. We got the figure on the Flatiron up yesterday, and I am thrilled. It was just a lovely thing to realize,  obviously because it’s an iconic building, but also to be able to see it from a mile away on bothFifth Avenueand Broadway if you’re traveling north.

Do you think New Yorkers’ reactions to the figures will be very different from Londoners’?

AG: It’s what was happening inLondonbut happening in a much more dramatic way. I was really touched yesterday. There was a little old couple with their backpacks on, clutching their map and diligently going and finding them all. I feel that people are really enjoying the game of it. It’s working in terms of the catalyst — the fact that there were these obstructions within the flow of pedestrians moving down Fifth Avenue or down Madison, and then immediately there is a transfer, people saying “What’s going on?” Groups of people were talking to each other and pointing out the work. For me, that’s the great joy of this thing. What it does is it creates these little tableaux of people who maybe never met before, taking account of their surroundings simply through the agency of the work. It may be a small thing, but it’s just really wonderful to see it happen.

You’ve talked about “the palpable, the perceivable, and the imaginable, in which the passerby is the viewer but also the subject.” With that in mind, Event Horizon is almost an extension of your living installation One and Other, where last year participants were invited to stand atop the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square, becoming living sculptures. In New York, the viewers will also be part of a larger picture as their reactions become part of other people’s experience of the work. It’s participatory in a different way.

Yeah, I think that’s very important. Obviously the syntax of the work is the alliance of the palpable and the perceivable, so you bump into something physical, which you can touch and is 100 percent there in terms of its mass/space ratio. So here are bodies that are a direct transposition of a living, breathing, biological body that has been made into an absolute mass 10 times its specific gravity and sits as a… well, a rock in the stream of daily life. And then, from there, you look at things that are unreachable. The idea is that you don’t need to reach the ones on the rooftops because you have an example of the same thing next to you. You transfer your physical experience of the work on the ground into the work that you can then see on the horizon. And then the idea is, “How many more are there to be found, and what is the extent of this?” The one on the corner of Madison and Fifth Avenue is fantastic because it’s next to the traffic lights, the fire and police alarm boxes, the garbage bins, and the Village Voice box. Yesterday people were saying, ‘What’s going on there, what’s this thing doing here?’ And then, immediately, they were looking up.

Has your study of Buddhism has played a significant role in this work? Is it an influence on all your works?

I couldn’t make the work without having studied meditation quite seriously in the 1970s. It teaches you how to be still — just being and not doing. The female figure is often sexualized in the Western canon of sculpture, and the male figure is activated as the heroic male, the discus thrower or David and Goliath or whatever. There are always implied narratives, or implied notions of desire or idealization. I’ve tried to avoid all of those things. And I think that, in many senses, in the abstract body in early Gupta and Indian sculpture, the body is a kind of house of the mind. I quite like that as an idea. Buddhist and Jain sculpture are of an equal interest to me, as well as Egyptian and Archaic Greek sculpture, as reference points.

Is that calm mind — or body as mind — something that gets you through the arduous and almost painful process of body casting?

Oh yeah. You have to be calm because you could panic quite badly. Mind is body at that moment. It has to be one. On one level that is an act of will — you put yourself into that position voluntarily. And then, at a certain point, you don’t have any choice because the plaster has gone very hard, and if you wanted to do something — to scream or to scratch or to escape — you’re not able to until you’re cut out, and that takes another 30 minutes or so.

Madison Square Park has had a really ambitious and well-curated program. Since public art can be quite a challenging endeavor,Debbie Landau, the president of Madison Square Park Conservancy and the Madison Square art program, deserves huge credit for that.

Debbie’s fearless. Public art is really important. I really, really believe in it. You could say that the art of our time has become too dependent on the specific conditions, the protective intellectual conditions of the museum and institutional support. I think there’s nothing better than doing art in the elements because it’s unmediated. I mean, we’ve had a lot of mediation here, but still, the thing that gives me delight is to see the young kid dragging dad to see what this funny, rusty thing is in the middle of the park, and then working out their own story. In other words, there’s nothing to tell you that it’s art. Art that aspires to the condition of the museum never has life — it never rubs shoulders with real life, with life as it’s lived, and I really think that’s a shame.

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