Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness
克里斯托弗威廉斯:幸福生產線


Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness

克里斯托弗威廉斯:幸福生產線

The Whitechapel Gallery presents the first UK retrospective of American artist Christopher Williams, one of the most influential artists working with photography and the production and display of images.

Christopher Williams’ recent photographs reveal the unexpected beauty and cultural resonance of commercial, industrial and instructional photography, and also adopts their production methods. Often working in collaboration with set designers, models and technicians, the resulting technically precise photographs recall imagery from 1960s advertising, the Cold War era, as well as the histories of art, photography and cinema. However, closer inspection reveals that flaws and aberrations which would usually be removed in production or postproduction, such as a model’s dirty feet or a bruise on a ripe apple, remain in the final images. Williams also sees the photographs themselves as part of a larger system of display which includes exhibition design, walls, books, posters, videos, vitrines, and signage, and uses these elements playfully within the exhibition.

The Production Line of Happiness brings together over 50 photographs from Williams’ 35-year career, and is on show from 29 April 2015. Five new works never seen before in the UK go on display including a pristine image of a broken Citroen car headlight, an image influenced by British and European Pop art. The photographs are displayed in an architectural installation specially conceived by the artist and inspired by histories of display. Temporary walls come from art institutions in the Rheinland region of Germany, where Williams currently lives and works and are both a reference to and a partial reprisal of a 2009 exhibition at the Bonner Kunstverein made in collaboration with Austrian artist Mathias Poledna.

Each of the exhibition spaces of The Production Line of Happiness are visually and architecturally linked through bright green signage, which references both the colour of the Whitechapel Gallery edition of the exhibition catalogue, and a photograph by Williams of a tile by artist Daniel Buren, which is also included in the exhibition.

 

美國最具影響力之一的藝術家克里斯托弗·威廉斯於今年4月至6月在白教堂畫廊進行他首次的英国回顧展《幸福生产线》,該展覽回顧了威廉斯35年的創作生涯,呈現了50多張重要的作品,包括五張從未在英國展示過的作品,例如《無題(灰色練習)》,展示的是一盞全新的,但已被毀壞的雪鐵龍車頭燈,該作品是威廉斯受到英國以及歐洲波普藝術啓發而創作的。

除了攝影,威廉斯更是善於利用圖像生產及展示來進行視覺遊戲的佼佼者。就如該展覽的展示空間均由藝術家精心設計,回顧圖像展示的歷史而完成創作,攝影作品不再是置於平整光滑的白色牆壁上,藝術家把可移動的展示牆變為裝置與攝影作品結合展示。這些臨時的展示牆都來自德國的藝術機構,一方面暗示著藝術家現正駐居德國,另一方面也呼應了2009年與奧地利藝術家瑪蒂爾斯·波勒納(Mathias Poledna)的合作。

克里斯托弗·威廉斯的攝影創作總是讓人驚喜的,他經常與道具設計師、模特、技術專業人士合作,通過商業攝影、工業攝影又或者是指導攝影的手法來呈現別樣的、甚少被人發現的意外之美,並揭示了其中的文化共鳴。圖像作品呈現出來的精準與冷酷讓人想起了60年代的廣告攝影,還有冷戰時期,藝術、攝影、電影的歷史變遷。若仔細觀察,不難發現藝術家故意保留一些細節上的瑕疵,例如模特髒兮兮的腳,留有碰傷痕跡的熟蘋果等等,這些瑕疵在攝影製作或後期製作時通常都會被處理掉,而在威廉斯的作品裡,這些真實都毫無保留地出現在最後的成片裡。

對於攝影圖像,威廉斯認為這是龐大的展示系統裡的一個部分,其他的元素,如展覽設計、展示牆、書籍、海報、視頻、玻璃櫥窗、標識系統等,都被威廉斯巧妙地運用在展覽之中。例如標識系統,威廉斯就特別利用鮮亮的綠色把視覺和建築結構連接起來,一方面與該次展覽的綠色畫冊相映成趣,另一方面也呼應了由威廉斯拍攝的丹尼爾布蘭創作的綠瓷磚,這些都一一在展覽中得到有趣的展現。

 

Tips 小貼士

展覽場地:Whitechapel Gallery

展覽時間:29.04.2015 – 21.06.2015

更多信息:www.whitechapelgallery.org

 

Text by Qiwen Ke
撰文:柯淇雯