Hermit in the City-Interview with Michael Landy
大隱於市-專訪藝術家邁克爾·蘭迪


Talking of filling spaces, Landy’s studio is starkly empty, apart from a bookshelf, a desk, and a couple of tables with scale models of the museum in Mexico where his exhibition, Saints Alive, which was the culmination of his residency at London’s National Gallery last year, is soon to be restaged. Landy is extremely apologetic, almost ashamedly so, for the lack of typical artist’s mess. “I am an artist though!” he hastens to add, as if a messy studio were somehow a compulsory identifier.

說到“填滿空間”,反觀蘭迪的工作室卻是驚人地空蕩蕩。除了一個書架,一個辦公桌以及几張桌子之外,這裡空無一物。桌子上擺放著一家墨西哥美術館的模型,蘭迪將在這個美術館中再次展出去年他在倫敦國家美術館完成的展覽《聖者永生(Saints Alive)》。蘭迪為他工作室不尋常的整潔空蕩感到抱歉,他還半開玩笑地趕緊補充說“我真的是个藝術家!”似乎,一個藝術家的工作室本應是凌亂、擁擠的。

Landy likes to visit other artists’ studios, in fact. “Seeing other artists’ studios interests me because it’s an insight into the way they work, and some of it is quite intuitive and spontaneous. They’re really messy, though,” he adds, quite matter of factly. Take, for example, Ian Davenport. “We went to college together and we used to live together. He’s a painter, so he used to have paint on him everywhere. He’d come in from the studio and he’d have got it in the car somehow and so it would transfer into the flat.” Then there’s Gary Hume, another YBA, who has his studio just up the road. “He’s another painter, so it’s much more hands on, making things, which obviously intrigues me, but I don’t do that myself. I’m sure they get some kind of satisfaction out of it, though. Maybe I should try!”

事實上,蘭迪非常喜歡去拜訪其他藝術家的工作室。“我對別人的工作室很感興趣,因為我能通過這些了解他們的工作方式,並意識到有時候藝術家們以非常隨意的方式工作。然而他們的工作室真的很亂。我與伊恩·達文波特(Ian Davenport)是同學,也曾經住在一起。他是一名畫家,那時他滿身都是油彩。他從工作室出來,把這些油彩帶到車裡,再帶到公寓里來。”另一位YBA運動成員加里·休姆(Gary Hume)也是如此,蘭迪補充道:“他也是一名畫家,所以他在創作時經常需要親自動手。這非常吸引我,雖然我並不會這樣做。我想,他們在創作的時候一定非常有滿足感。我或許也應該試試!”

ML_Break Down_2001_Installation View

For Landy, the emptiness in his studio is, he suggests, symbolic of the emptiness in his head. At the moment, at least. “One minute it’s full of stuff and the next minute I’m wandering around thinking ‘What am I going to do next?’ And this is the moment you’ve found me in, the moment where I’m not sure what I’m doing. Hence the emptiness. It’s not fun being me at the moment, but if I think about it a lot, I panic.” His work goes through cycles. Currently he is looking back on old pieces he might rekindle. As well as Saints Alive in Mexico, he is also recreating Art Bin for the Yokohama Triennale and is hoping to stage an Acts of Kindness project in Athens.

對於蘭迪來說,工作室的空無象徵著當下他頭腦中的空無。“在這一刻,我腦子里滿是事情,下一刻我又在想,我現在應該去做些甚麼呢?你現在看到的是這樣的我,充滿著不確定的我。這就是為甚麼工作室是空蕩蕩的。現在的我一點也不好玩,但是我經常思考這件事,甚至有些慌張。”他的作品似乎都在經歷著某種循環。目前,他正在回顧過去的作品:除了《聖者永生》在墨西哥的展覽之外,他也將為橫濱三年展重新製作《藝術垃圾桶(Art Bin)》,並希望在雅典創作另一个版本的《善舉》。

“I always start with an empty space,” he explains. “I like that. It partly dates back to when I destroyed all of my worldly belongings. Once you do that, you become very aware of what you have in a space and what you don’t. Before, when I had studios, I just had junk and all sorts of stuff in there and I didn’t really think about it too much. But once I got rid of all of that, ever since, it’s always been like this, where I don’t really like having lots of things around me.”

“我的創作總是從一個空無的空間開始,我喜歡這樣的開始。某程度上,這總與我毀掉我所有的個人物品有關。一旦你做出了這樣的事情,你就能夠確認在一個空間之中你的身外之物都是些甚麼。從前,我在工作室之中堆滿了各種垃圾,而我從未認真考慮過這件事。然而,一旦我捨棄了所有這些事物,我就馬上習慣了這樣的狀態,直到現在。”

Not that he objects to clutter, per se. “I love clutter, just somebody else’s clutter, not my own. I like to think that I have to reimagine myself – not being too pretentious about it – and ask myself what else I want to do. I was reading about Marina Abramović always trying to distil everything down and I think that’s what I’m trying to get to. I am a hermit. I don’t go to the Syrian desert, but I do have to detach myself from the world to a certain extent. I’m not spiritual though. When I destroyed all of my worldly belongings, people obviously said that you could read a spiritual element into it, but I’m not spiritual.”

儘管如此,他並不反對大量物件的堆積。“我喜歡物品凌亂地堆放在一起,只是自己不會這麼做。我傾向於這樣去想:我必須重新想像我自己--不做作地去重新想像自己--並詢問我自己,还有甚麼是我想做的。我最近讀到,瑪麗娜·阿布拉莫維奇(Marina Abramovic)總試圖去蕪存菁,而這也是我想做的。我是一名隱士。我不會跑到敘利亞沙漠與世界隔絕,但是我也在嘗試與世界保持一定的距離。我並沒有宗教信仰。我在毀掉所有身外物的時候,人們常說這有某種宗教意味在這行為裡面,但其實我並沒有宗教信仰。”

Landy’s studio is a very private space. He doesn’t have assistants either. “I once interviewed someone to be my assistant and then I thought ‘What am I going to do with them?’ Do you know what I mean? If they were here now, I’d be thinking ‘Oh my god’ and I think I’d actually end up working for them. I’d become their slaves.”

Even as a child, Landy, who got nicknamed “Blandy” at art college because of his reticence to speak, didn’t like collaborating. “If people used to paint on my area, I’d say ‘No, you can’t do that!’” In the meantime, obviously, he has had to learn to collaborate with people on specific projects and even to take on assistants now and again, but, generally, he prefers to be alone. “Having someone here, at moments like this, it’d be horrible. And also they rely on you to make a living, so no, it’s too much responsibility. I don’t even really want to be responsible for myself, to be honest.”

蘭迪的工作室是一個非常個人的空間,他也沒有雇傭任何助理。“曾經有一次在面試助理的時候,我想:我要拿他們怎麼辦呢?你明白我的意思嗎?如果他們現在在這兒,我會瘋的。我也會想,估計我會變成他們的奴隸,為他們工作。”

在年少時,蘭迪就因為沈默寡言、不合群而被同學們取笑。“如果同學們在做畫的時候闖入到我的空間里來,我會很認真地拒絕:‘不,你不能這麼做!’”當然,他與人合作也常常需要助手的協助,但一般來說,他傾向於獨處。“現階段,有別的甚麼人在這裡工作是一件糟糕的事情。他們也指望著你來生存,所以我不會這麼做,這个責任太大了。說實話,我都不想為自己負責。”