Artist-Curator Interviews
對話藝術家策展人


INTERVIEWED BY 採訪 x FION GUNN 菲昂·戈恩
TRANSLATED BY 翻譯 x TING CHEN 陳婷

Part One: The Principles
第一部分:策展原則

“I don’t think it’s about finding a new approach, but about finding a voice as a curator. If you’re a practising artist you bring a unique perspective as a maker, so it’s important to define what that is and how it can be developed as a curatorial skill, in other words – how do you convey what your ethos / passion / line of enquiry is in your practice through your curatorial work.”

“As a curator my multiple role is as an impresario, a producer and an editor – an individual with a vision and a conviction to match, shaped by my own experience as an artist. My skill is to bring together the right voices (be they academic, sonic or visual) at a given moment and shape them into a coherent conversation. I must finely balance my hunger and excitement to create this dialogue with others, with the patience and sensitivity to let ideas ferment and mature.” ──Alex Julyan

“藝術家策展人尋求的不是一種新的方式,而是自己的聲音。每個從業藝術家都有獨特的創作視角,因而重要的是如何去定義這種視角並把帶到自己的策展實踐去。換句話說,就是如何通過策展的方式來傳達你的理念、熱情和探索精神。”

“我作為策展人,同時也是經理、制作人和編輯,需要有基於自身藝術經驗而形成的一種視角,以及實現它的信念。我必須利用我的策展技巧在特定的時刻將不同觀點(理論也好,聲音藝術或或視覺藝術也好)集合起來組成連貫的對話。我擁有創作的渴望和激情,也具備讓思想發酵、沈澱的耐心和敏感性,但二者必須達到完美平衡。”──亞歷克斯·朱利安

“It starts with either a unifying theme (such as danger) or a particular medium (such as a survey exhibition of contemporary collage). The standard of work needs to be international, however, all of the artists do not already need to be established to that level, it is more about the quality and freshness of the work and how the pieces by each artist will play with each other, both on a conceptual level and through the visual language. The exhibition should be challenging and approach the subject matter with as many different perspectives as possible, therefore the pool of artists will be as diverse as possible to cross-pollinate various social, political and cultural backgrounds”. ──Brendan Jamison

“通常由某個統一的主題(比如“危險”)作為出發點,又或是特定的媒介(例如當代拼貼的主題研究)。盡管作品必須符合國際化的標準,但藝術家無需已達到那樣的程度,更重要的是作品的水準和新意,以及不同藝術家的作品之間,在藝術概念和視覺表現形式上如何產生互動。展覽應當具有挑戰性,並盡可能多角度來呈現主題。因此,參展藝術家也應多樣化,從而彼此傳遞不同社會、政治和文化背景知識。——布蘭登·傑米森

“The over-arching principle for me is quality of work and how much the work has answered the brief. Having curated group shows which could involve a large number of artists, there has to be a certain cohesion to the overall look of the exhibition. This would be nearly impossible (and uninteresting) to do in terms of materiality and execution. Having a theme/text/aim for artists to respond to makes both the selection of work an easier process and creates linkages and relationships between the exhibited works. Otherwise the exhibition can end up being a mish-mash of work which has nothing to say in terms of conversations between the artwork and the audience.”──Gail Ritchie

“對我來說,首要原則就是作品質量,以及作品對展覽概要的闡釋是否到位。我曾策劃過幾次大型集體展覽,不同藝術家的作品會同時展出,因而要求整體效果的統一。這點對於材質和表現形式來說,簡直是不可能的,而且還會導致展覽變得乏味。但如果能為每位藝術家設定某個主題、文本或者目標,策展人挑選作品就容易很多,參展作品之間也相應有了呼應和關聯。否則整個展覽就是各式不同作品的大雜燴,無法激發觀者與藝術作品之間的交流。”——蓋爾·裏奇

 


Part Two: The Path to Curation
第二部分:策展之路

“From a very young age I had been looking at exhibitions of all kinds and had unknowingly developed a visual sensibility beyond the bounds of my own work and a strong sense of audience. As my work matured and changed (from painting to sculpture to site-specific) I experienced different aspects of the art machine and like many artists I looked for ways to take more control over the way my work was experienced by others.”

“我從很小的時候就已經開始去各類展覽參觀,潛移默化中培養了對他人作品審美的敏感性和很強的觀眾意識。從繪畫到雕塑再到定點作品, 隨著自己作品的不斷成熟和變化,我體驗了藝術的多個層面。跟許多同行一樣,我也尋求另一種方式更多地把控觀眾對作品的體驗。”

“When the more tenacious of us sought out spaces for hire in Central London and put together exhibitions to the best of our abilities (something that is happening once again in a different form). This was a period when there was virtually no support given in art schools to the business end of art or outside opportunities and we were truly learning on the hoof. I’m not sure that we thought of it as anything as high powered as curating at the time, but looking back this is how I cut my teeth”. ──Alex Julyan

“我們中有些策展人曾堅定執著地在倫敦市區租用場地,竭盡所能辦展,現在也是如此,可能形式有所不同。當時的藝術院校未能提供任何商業方面的支持或其他額外的機會,我們的確是邊做邊學。回想起來,雖然那時所做的不像是策展那樣精彩,但卻是我真正學習積累的階段。”──亞歷克斯·朱利安

“Curation seemed to evolve naturally from my own sculpture practice of creating installations in entire galleries, with a fine-tuning of spatial awareness and the complementary arrangement of different elements.”──Brendan Jamison

“我的策展似乎是這種從雕塑實踐自然演變過來的,因為雕塑放置在畫廊空間需要有對空間微妙的感知以及利用不同元素實現最好的視覺效果的能力。”——布蘭登·傑米森

“Curating art shows is based on the same creativity which is the main key to how artists perceive the world. An art show curated by an artist-curator often has got a unique theme with very wide understanding of aspects inspired by the personal interests which are usually the base for creating artefacts.” ──Kasia Kujawska-Murphy
“創新是藝術家對世界認知的關鍵要素,也是展覽策劃的基礎。身為藝術家的策展人,在設計展覽時通常受到自身興趣啟發而確定一個獨特、開放性的主題,而這種個人興趣通常也是藝術創作的基礎。”——卡西亞·庫左斯卡·墨菲

 


 

Part Three: Difficulties
第三部分:困難與挑戰

“The most difficult aspect is communicating my vision for a show to the host museum or gallery, and this usually manifests itself in a scale model of the exhibition space, coupled with a text outlining why the show is so appropriate for the venue and how it will attract new audiences.”──Brendan Jamison

“策展最難的地方,就是與展館主辦方溝通我對展覽的設想。所以我常會事先做個模型,配以文字闡述為什麽展覽適合在這樣的場地舉辦,以及它如何吸引新的觀眾。”——布蘭登·傑米森

“I have more-or less run out of energy for trying to make projects through any other means than commission. I have 30 years’ experience and am still largely very underpaid, the arts landscape has changed dramatically, it’s now over-bureaucratised, and outcome-driven, which has accelerated the erosion of trust. Value is much spoken about in relation to outcome and benefits, but the value of the creator often overlooked or marginalised.  Trust allows artists to be creative and do what they do best, whether it’s making work or curating, this is particularly irksome when being managed by commissioners with much less experience than myself. I’ve actually found working with small organisations to be the most rewarding because they are freer to experiment and can respond quickly to ideas, they are also often, quite openly on a learning curve and one can actually mentor alongside the delivery of a project.”──Alex Julyan

“除了策展委託項目,我也曾試圖再自發策劃一些展覽,但實在是太累了。從業30多年,我的報酬仍然偏低。如今,藝術的本身也經歷了巨變,其官僚化和功利化的特點更是加深了大家對彼此的不信任。展覽的價值更多通過收益來體現,但策展人的價值通常會被忽略甚至是邊緣化。信任可以使藝術家或策展人充分發揮才華和創造力。與缺乏經驗的委托人合作總是令人疲憊。我反而感覺與小型機構的合作更能受益,他們更願意去嘗試,反應迅速,且不斷學習積累,這讓策展人可以以導師的身份參與其中。”──亞歷克斯·朱利安

“In terms of curating exhibitions, or perhaps being part of a selection panel, it is always difficult to choose between selected and non-selected work. This is even more difficult if the submissions include work from other artists whom one might know, personally or professionally. Selecting work is often a qualitative, subjective process and as a curator you may have a vision for the overall look of an exhibition. For this reason, some parameters are useful. If work is too big/too small/ does not respond to/fit the brief then selection becomes a little easier. Outside of the selection process – logistics and finances are always difficult.”──Gail Ritchie

“展覽策劃或參展作品挑選的困難就是篩選的過程,如果申請人中有相識的藝術家,更是難上加難。作品的篩選通常是比較主觀的定量的過程,策展人通常對展覽整體效果有自己的設想。因此,使用參數標準可以簡化篩選過程,比如作品尺寸是否合適、能否切合主題等。除篩選之外,策展涉及的相關物流和財務方面的工作也是很具挑戰性的。”——蓋爾·裏奇

 


 

 

Part Four: The Artist and the Public
第四部分:藝術家與公眾

“The public are the biggest audience, the zone beyond the regular art audience and art critics. It is key to engage the public through press interviews, walk-around gallery talks, workshops, and where possible, collaborative artworks that invite every visitor to the exhibition an opportunity to participate, irrespective of age. It is extremely important to convey a warm and positive aura when dealing with the public and all communication should be in a clear and concise fashion.”

“I detest art-speak waffle where curators write an exhibition blurb that is so generalised it could actually be applied to 1,000 exhibitions around the world at any given moment. It is more important to be specific about what makes the exhibition unique and to connect with the public through clear language that complements the specific aesthetics and themes of the show. All communication should be conducted with an educational mindset.” ──Brendan Jamison

“公眾是除藝術愛好者和藝評人以外最大的觀眾群體。增強公眾的參與至關重要,可以通過媒體采訪、畫廊導覽、工作坊等形式來實現,甚至以協作的方式,邀請不同年齡的觀者參與藝術品的創作。與公眾打交道,就需要傳遞積極熱情的信息,用最簡明的方式確保溝通的順利。”

“有些策展人寫的展覽介紹過於籠統,同樣的文字可以用來放在世界上1000個其他的展覽,這種做法我很鄙視。我認為,展覽介紹的目的在於具體描述該展覽的亮點所在,用簡單明瞭的語言與觀眾溝通,並與展覽的審美和主題相輔相成的。任何溝通都要以給人以啟發為出發點。”——布蘭登·傑米森

“The public are paramount. I’ve worked for many years in gallery learning & interpretation as well as other forms of public engagement. As an artist I work in gallery and performance contexts, these have all informed the way I work with audiences. If curating for public consumption it’s vital to define the audience you are aiming for and to have them in your consciousness, after all without an audience we are nothing. I visit a lot of diverse cultural events and am always audience-aware – what are audiences responding to and what are they alienated by (that includes oneself).

“公眾是至關重要的。我有多年從事公眾參與項目的經驗,如藝術館教學和作品闡釋。作為藝術家,我在展館和表演方面的經驗成為我建立與觀眾關系的基礎。如果策展的目的是為了公共大眾的,我們需要時刻考慮受眾。脫離與公眾的聯系,藝術家的意義何在?我經常出席不同的文化活動,我都會時刻留意觀眾的反映,什麼成為他們理解作品的障礙。”

“Inflated art-language only serves to re-enforce a hierarchy and doesn’t engage audiences. I feel very strongly about this. The best communicators in any field can communicate and articulate complex ideas in simple terms.”── Alex Julyan

”我深信,言過其實的藝術語言只會使藝術脫離受眾,淩駕於受眾需求之上。無論在任何領域,最好的溝通便是深入淺出。”──亞歷克斯·朱利安

“The public are not just passive viewers but can also play a participatory role. They can co-create meaning in a work of art by sharing their own insights and responses – whether positive or negative – or they could take up some form of creative activity themselves.” ──Gail Ritchie

“公眾不僅僅是被動接受的觀者,他們還可以是主動參與的角色。他們通過分享自己的理解,提供的任何反饋都能共同賦予藝術作品不同的意義,無論這種反饋是正面的還是負面的;除此之外,公眾還可能參與作品的共同創作來賦予作品新的意義。”——蓋爾·裏奇

 


 

 

Part Five: Motivation
第五部分:策展動力

“I started being interesting in organising exhibitions, partly to explore the figure and role of the curator, but mostly to engage in collaborative projects and social practice.For this reason, my approach to curating has been to avoid what was “typical” about it: such as choosing artists, artworks and topics according to a highly coherent scheme that is meant to prove a point or define a standard or frame a certain topic.

“我開始對策展產生興趣,主要是希望能參與到合作項目和社會實踐中來,同時也想更深入了解策展人的工作和角色。所以,我的方法是盡量避免‘典型’的策展工作,比如制定一套條理分明的方案,證明某個觀點、標準或提出問題,挑選相應的藝術家、作品和主題。”

“I never really considered myself a curator in a specific sense, because the way I work and function with other people, artworks and concepts is much more similar to that of a situationist : I define an area of interest, precise or broad, I chose or I am given a physical location which I study and I contact people whose work can potentially trigger something unexpected. If these people are interested to collaborate, I make sure they have enough physical and mental space to develop their ideas and I try to see if these ideas can be influenced and transformed by mutual interaction. I do not influence the final outcome, I try just to ‘prepare’ the ground for something to happen.”──Alessandro Rolandi

“我其實並不認為自己是策展人,因為我的工作以及與他人、作品和概念的交流方式更像是情境畫家:我挑選一個感興趣的領域,範圍大小不限,選擇或被安排到一個特定空間,然後就去聯系我認為能與此空間發生有趣碰撞的人。如果他們願意合作,我需要做的就是確保他們能自由地在空間發揮自己的創意,還有考量互動是否會對這個創意產生影響或轉化。我不會控制最終的結果,只是提供一個平臺。”——亞歷山德羅·羅蘭迪

“My duty of care is to facilitate the exhibition, to the best of my ability, and part of that involves being aware of not prioritizing my own work where it is included in the overall exhibition. Curating requires an objective approach, where each artist, work, and staging is given equal and considered attention, to create a cohesive exhibition that is inclusive for both the participants and the audience.”──Mary Mackey

”我的職責是盡我所能促成展覽,這意味著我不能優先考慮自己的作品在展覽中的位置。策展人需客觀平等地對待藝術家、作品、以及公平分配展示平臺,從而打造一個能夠凝聚藝術家和觀眾的展覽。”——瑪麗·麥琪

“Previously, I had experience in either selecting work for projects or exhibitions during various art related employments. I also had experience of as an artist in putting forward my own proposals for curated exhibitions – mostly without success. A Spanish artist, Ima Pico, joined our studios and was very pro-active in initiating artist led projects and we were both frustrated with the limited opportunities to show work in Northern Ireland. We founded a non-profit organisation called Green Dog Arts and our remit was to look for exhibition opportunities for artists to show their work outside of Northern Ireland. Over a period of several years we took the work of North Irish artists to venues in Mexico, USA, Japan and Spain. I had no real thoughts about curating beforehand other than a consideration of the premise that it would be interesting to show work by both established and emerging artists alongside in each other and in that way help the professional development of emerging artists.“ ──Gail Ritchie

“我之前做過各種藝術相關的工作,為項目或展覽甄選作品。也曾以藝術家的身份申請參展,不過經常申請失敗。西班牙藝術家艾瑪·皮克(Ima Pico)加入我們工作室後,非常積極地推動以藝術家為主導的項目,但令我們無奈的是在北愛爾蘭能夠展示作品的機會太少。因此,我們隨後成立了名為‘綠犬藝術’的非盈利性機構,為北愛爾蘭的藝術家們尋找在國外參展的機會。幾年的時間內,北愛爾蘭得藝術家作品已經在墨西哥、美國、日本和西班牙等地區得到展示。之前我對策展也並沒有特別的想法,只是希望找個平臺讓新老藝術家同臺參展,也是對新興藝術家的職業生涯提供幫助。”——蓋爾·裏奇

 


Heartfelt thanks to all the artist curators who contributed their responses: Brendan Jamison, Alex Julyan, Kasia Kujawska-Murphy, Mary Mackey, Gail Ritchie, Alessandro Rolandi, Niamh Cunningham and to those I have quoted: Matthew Nevin, Darryl Banks, Mary Sherman, Gavin Wade, Antonin Vidokle.

衷心感謝以下藝術家策展人的經驗分享,他們是:布蘭登·傑米森,亞歷克斯·朱利安,卡西亞·庫左斯卡·墨菲,瑪麗·麥琪,蓋爾·裏奇,亞歷山德羅·羅蘭迪,尼安·坎寧安,馬修·納文,達利爾·班克斯,瑪麗·希爾曼,加文·韋德,安東寧·維多克。

Find Out More:
Darryl Banks: curatorsincontext.ca
Niamh Cunningham: niamhcunningham.com
Brendan Jamison: www.brendanjamison.com
Alex Julyan: www.alexjulyan.com
Kasia Kujawska-Murphy:kujawska-murphy.com
Mary Mackey: glasssocietyofireland.blogspot.co.uk/2009/11/artist-profile-mary-mackey
Matthew Nevin: matthewnevin.com
Alessandro Rolandi: www.alessandrorolandi.org
Gail Ritchie: www.gailritchie.com
Mary Sherman: transculturalexchange.org
Antonin Vidokle: www.e-flux.com
Gavin Wade: www.eastsideprojects.org