Interview With Independent Curator Cui Cancan
專訪獨立策展人崔燦燦


TRANSLATED BY 翻譯 x SUDONG CAI 蔡蘇東


Cui Cancan

Cui Cancan

Cui Cancan is an active Chinese independent curator. He was the winner of the CCAA (Chinese Contemporary Art Award) Critics’ Award, Critics’ Award in Chinese contemporary art by YISHU (Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art), the annual award by L’OFFICIEL Art and so on. He was also appointed special observer for the 13th Kassel Documenta. As a curator, Cui contributed to the success of major exhibitions including Heiqiao Night Away (2013), FUCKOFF II (2013), Unlived by What is Seen (2014), etc.

崔燦燦是一名活躍在中國的獨立策劃人,曾獲CCAA中國當代藝術評論青年提名榮譽獎,《YISHU》典藏海外版中國當代藝術批評獎,《藝術財經》年度成長獎等,並擔任第十三屆卡塞爾文獻展特約觀察員,策劃的主要展覽包括夜走黑橋(2013)、FUCKOFF II (2013)、不在圖像中行動(2014)等。


 

ART.ZIP:How did you start curating? Did you have any idea about curating before you got started? If yes, what was it?
C:When I realized creating works could no longer fully express my idea and thinking, I wished there was a better way to communicate them. In my opinion, a curator has such special properties—he can stage a simple issue in an enriched fashion just like a conductor, and he is at the very frontier to communicate with the public and society. In terms of how to enable both individuals and society to express their ideas freely, it does not matter what approach one adopts, what is important is that such approach should make communication better and more efficient—curating is my approach.

ART.ZIP:What are your curating principles? And what is the goal?
C:I do have principles, but more importantly you cannot let these principles become limitations. I prefer to do what I am interested in, and the interest will tell what you like from what you do not like—interest itself sets the boundary of principles. Surely, when I have a clear goal, principles naturally appear. What curating means to me is that, on one hand it maintains a state of being contemporary in me and on the other it enables me to make things happen in the changing process it brings about of the cultural scenario and reality where I am situated.

ART.ZIP:Do you think the role of “artist-curator” is important? Why?
C:Defining role is not important today. If he can have instant access to what is central of art and reality, it does not really matter what role one is in.

ART.ZIP:Can you describe the relationship between you and the artists and “artists-curators” you work with?
C:They are like comrades as well as enemies. We have the same goal just like planets which revolve around the sun but at the same time we have to remain some distance so as to revolve on our own axes. It is quite a divided relation, even a dangerous one, but only such danger can help me define myself in the collective value. Very close comrade in the first minute can be enemy you fight against in the next. Only in this way can tension be created within an exhibition, and reality stimulated, which includes reality of oneself, scenario and identity.

ART.ZIP:How do you balance local and international art practices?
C:I regard local value more in contemporary art. In the era of globalization, art should not only be a biennial gaming event between politics and reality or a material article in exhibitions and gallery systems, it should better contribute to the changes of itself and the substantive transformation of the context we live in. Only in this manner shall contemporary art not be lost in the vagueness of internationalization. The severe homogenization of contemporary art all around the world is what I have been strongly opposed to. What we offer is not cross-region novelty hunting or consumption, nor cultural exotica or commercialized amusement. Contemporary art should have its localness and specific pinpoint; it should aim to solve problems in reality in a sustained manner. Against the backdrop of globalization, the solving of China’s problems is the solving of global problems. Nevertheless, the universal reality problems confronting the globe as a whole do not necessarily result in uniformity in art forms. Each region is blessed with its own specialties, and it is such specialties that make art distinctive. Art is not meant for international exhibitions. No matter what forms it takes on, it should be a forceful solution to its own dilemma.

ART.ZIP:What is the relation between you and the public like? What role do you think art is playing to the public?
C:I wish I were a good communicator, and I could continuously exchange and interact my understanding of issues with the public. The public is the basis of contemporary art. He who locks himself up in the ivory tower is but practicing self training—he has detached himself from the public and needs not to be studied or discussed; he runs his own course.

ART.ZIP:What is the most difficult part in your work?
C:The spiritual decay, I think. I have been alerted of it which breeds repetition of values, stubborn adhesion to certain methods, craze for material pursuits and submission to fixed models. We have been cautious of this seemingly harmless seedbed.

ART.ZIP:Did you make any “mistakes”? What were they, if any? How did you cope with them?
C:Well, it is fair to say I have been making ‘mistakes’. Isn’t it the spirit of contemporary art?

ART.ZIP:What kind of program are you most interested in joining if given a chance?
C:Nothing specific. But I do really hope that my continuous curation can play a part to contribute to the changes of the reality in China and provide a brand new way of perception. For individual, the mix-up of reality and his work means failure in both aspects. I wish there would be such a program that can help me define my way of existence and unfold my possibilities after failing so many times.

ART.ZIP:您是如何開始策展的呢?在此之前您對策展有什麼想法嗎?如果有,那是怎樣的呢?

崔:當我開始意識到創作作品無法充分表達我的想法和思考的時候,我希望用更好的方式去交流。在我看來,策展人具有這種屬性,他可以像指揮家一樣把一個平面的問題豐富化,也直接站在與公眾、社會進行直接交流的第一線。我想對於個體和公共社會的自由表達而言,職業不是一個問題,如何更好地、更有效地交流,才是如何行動的核心,策展即是我的行動。

ART.ZIP:您的策展原則是什麼?策展目的又是什麼呢?
崔:原則肯定會有,但更重要的是原則不能成為限制,我更願意去做我感興趣的事情,這個興趣會劃分出你喜歡什麽或是不喜歡什麽,興趣本身就決定了原則的邊界。當然,當我明確了目的的時候,原則也就會自然呈現。策展對於我個人而言,我希望它一方面可以使我時刻不斷地保持一個當代人的狀態,另一方面它對我所處的文化境遇和現實處境有所改變,在改變的過程中,我不斷地制造這個發生。

ART.ZIP:您覺得“藝術家策展人”這樣的角色重要嗎?為什麼?
崔:角色的劃分在今天並不是這麽強烈,如果能在第一線碰觸藝術和現實的核心問題,是什麽身份都不是太重要。

ART.ZIP:您能形容一下您跟一起合作的藝術家及“藝術家策展人”之間的關係嗎?
崔:既像是戰友,又像是敵人。我們既要奔著一個共同目的像地球一樣公轉,也要時刻保持距離進行自轉,這是一個挺分裂的關係,甚至應該是危險的,只有危險才會讓我在集體價值中不斷地尋找自己的方位。上一刻的親密戰友,在下一刻也許就是需要去抵抗的敵人,只有這樣,一個展覽的內部才會具有張力,才會刺激出一種真實,這個真實包括自我的真實、處境的真實、身份的真實。

ART.ZIP:您是如何平衡本土化與國際化藝術實踐的呢?
崔:我更看中當代藝術的本土性價值,藝術在全球化時代,不僅作為雙年展式的政治與現實的博弈,博覽會和畫廊系統中的物質商品而存在。它應該更好的創造自身的改變和我們所生存的語境的現實改變。只有這樣,當代藝術才不會在國際化的虛妄中迷離。當代藝術在全球所呈現的高度同質化一直是我反對的,我們提供的不是一個跨地域的獵奇與消費,也不是一種文化奇景和資本取樂,當代藝術必須具有它的落地性和明確的針對性,它應該持續的去解決實際的困境。也正是在全球化的背景中,解決中國的問題就是解決全球的問題,全球現實困境的一體化並不代表藝術形式的一體化,每個地區都有它的特殊性,而正是這種特殊性才能形成藝術形式的獨特性。藝術針對的對象並不是參加國際展覽,而是無論采用什麽方式,它最終都是對自身困境的有力解決。

夜走黑桥 艺术项目 海报ART.ZIP:您和公眾的關係是怎樣的?您覺得藝術對於公眾來說起扮演著怎樣的角色呢?
崔:我希望我是一個好的交流者,可以將我所認識的問題不斷地和公眾進行交換、互動。公眾是當代藝術的基礎,如果我們要關在象牙塔裡閉門造車,我覺得他只能是個人的一種自我修煉,他不是公共問題,也無需在公共系統中被放大或者談論,他也以自生自滅。

ART.ZIP:您的工作當中最難的是哪一方面?
崔:精神的腐敗吧,我一直在警惕這種腐敗,它包含價值的重復、方式的固守、物質的迷戀以及將自我固定化的傾向,我們時時刻刻都在警惕這種看似安全的溫床。

ART.ZIP:過去有犯過什麼“錯誤”嗎?都有什麼呢?您是怎麼面對的呢?
崔:我基本上都在“犯錯”吧,當代藝術不應該是這樣嗎?

ART.ZIP:未來如果有機會的話您最想參與一個怎樣的項目?
崔:沒有具體的的吧,我更希望我可以通過持續的策展行動改變中國的現實處境,提供一個新的認知方式。對個體而言,現實和工作的混雜過程,是一個雙向失敗的過程,我希望可以有一個項目,能讓我在持續的失敗中,形成一個屬於我個人的存在方式,打開自己的可能性。