ON THE THEATER & PHOTOGRAPHY INTERVIEW WITH DR. JOEL ANDERSON
關於戲劇與攝影 採訪喬爾·安德森博士


ART.ZIP: How do you define a good theatre photographic work? Any particular elements should be included, like costumes, stage design, characters and etc.? Any difficulties in doing theatre photography? Could you pick one or two works as examples? Or would you name any significant/influential theatre photographers?

JA: It’s not up to me! I think the interesting distinction might once again summon this idea of fidelity: surely a photograph might offer a good likeness, might look like a production, but such a photograph might not in itself be particularly interesting. Indeed, it is possible there might be a negative correlation between how representative a photograph is of a particular theatre work and its aesthetic value.

It is impossible to include everything in a photograph, in any case, and photographs of the whole stage are usually quite dull and flat; where- as the eye can move between elements while also seeing the whole, a photograph is fixed. The same problem applies in terms of light: the eye can adjust very quickly to lighting levels, and the eye and brain work together to deal with mixed lighting. Photographs can only be taken at one exposure and with one aperture setting (well, there are obviously composite forms of photography that combine multiple exposures.), so one element will always be privileged. This touches on some huge difficulties with doing theatre photography, technical and artistic. Even if recent technology is used, theatres remain difficult places to work, with poor lighting, issues of physical access, sightlines, etc. But theatre is – as Patrice Pavis has put it ‘photogenic’, so it’s some- times worthwhile. Theatres are also restricted spaces, and it is usually forbidden to take photographs in a theatre (indeed, it is increasingly forbidden to take photographs anywhere.).

There are many theatre photographers I could name, and there is a very varied collection of images taken over the last century-and-a-half. Nadar’s portraits of Charles Deburau as Pierrot remain astonishing – Walter Benjamin (to quote from him again) suggests that early photo- graphs, specifically daguerrotypes, had an ‘aura’ because of their long exposures – he describes them growing, and these portraits I think at- test to that. Etienne Bertrand Weill produced extraordinary images of theatre, and particularly of mime. I have recently been looking at the theatre work of Angus McBean. McBean’s pictorialist approach to photographing theatre is the opposite of the reportage style that replaced it, and it never gained the photographer much acclaim. It is however, an engaging attempt to create images that are as dramatic as the productions themselves, and I think is worthy of new attention. I have also been looking at examples from the large volume of mid- century theatre photography from eastern Europe, particularly Hungary and Czechoslovakia, which seems to draw on theatre as the basis for impressive formal experiments. I am currently researching Chinese theatre and performance photography, and am currently particularly interested in the work of Rong Rong. I have also been looking at the work of Martine Franck, who sadly died last year. Franck is probably best known for her street and travel photography (she was a member along with her husband, of the Magnum Photos). But she was also a photographer at the Le Théâtre du Soleil from its foundation until her death, and took images of the company’s productions. Some of these show the sumptuous sets and costumes of the Soleil in the style of classical paintings, others are intimate portraits of actors in rehearsal, or preparing to go onstage. In terms of performance photography, there is a great deal of extraordinary work by Dona Ann McAdams. In terms of Britain, the work of Hugo Glendinning ranges from stage photographs to much more experimental work with Forced Entertainment. Ivan Kyncl, who died in the mid-2000s, produced some compel- ling images from the British stage.

ART.ZIP:在你看來,什麼是好的戲劇攝影作品?應包含哪些特 定元素(如服裝、舞台設計、角色之類)?戲劇攝影的過程中會遇 到什麼困難?你能舉一兩個作品作為例子?或你能列舉出一些 重要的/有影響力的戲劇攝影師?

JA:什麼是好的戲劇攝影作品,我說了不算。但我認為,其獨特 之處或許再一次讓我想起“逼真度”這個概念:一張照片可以很 逼真,可以看似是一個作品,但是,照片本身可能不是特別有趣。 確實,一張照片對真實場景的體現程度和它本身的藝術價值有 可能是成反比的。

在任何情況下,一張照片都不可能包羅萬象,舞台的全景照通常 是單調乏味的。眼睛可以在看見全景的同時遊走於每個要素之 間,但照片卻是固定的。在光線方面,同樣的問題也存在。眼睛可 以快速適應光線強度,眼睛和大腦協同處理混合光影。但是,攝 影師只可以用一個曝光度和一個光圈設定來拍一張照片(當然, 目前存在一些多重曝光的合成方式),所以總會傾向於某個要 素。這牽扯到了戲劇攝影過程中一些巨大的難關,不論是在技術 上還是美學上。即便是用了最新的技術,舞台仍不是一個容易拍 照的地方,無論是昏暗的光線、攝影師准入許可、還是視線等原 因。但正如帕翠斯·帕維斯(Patrice Pavis)所說,舞台是“鏡頭的 寵兒”,所以有時還是值得一拍的。劇院是受限區域,所以通常情 況下不允許在劇院內拍攝。(確實,現在上哪拍照遇到的限制都 越來越大。)

有許多戲劇攝影師我可以列舉出來。過去一個半世紀,他們鏡頭 下的影像也是精彩紛呈。納達(Nadar)的肖像作品,“扮演皮埃 羅的查爾斯·德比羅(Charles Deburau as Pierrot)”,依然非常驚 艷。華爾特·本雅明(Walter Benjamin)說(再次引用他的話):早 期的照片,尤其是達蓋爾銀版照(daguerrotypes),都因為曝光 時間過長而存在光暈現象。他形容那是正在不斷的完善中,這 些肖像畫證明了這點。 埃蒂安·貝特朗·維爾(Etienne Bertrand Weill)拍下了非凡的舞台照片,特別是啞劇。我最近也觀賞了安 格斯·麥比恩(Angus McBean)的作品。麥比恩繪畫風格般的攝 影手法與後來取代它的那種報告文學的手法截然不同,這並沒 有給這位攝影師帶來太多的讚譽。但是,這是一種勇敢的嘗試: 試著去創造出與戲劇作品一樣有戲劇效果的畫面,我認為這值 得我們重新審視。我也觀賞了東歐大量的上世紀中葉的戲劇攝 影作品,特別是匈牙利和捷克斯洛伐克的作品,似乎認為舞台是 正式試驗的基礎。我目前在研究中國的戲劇攝影作品,我特別 對榮榮的作品感興趣。我也一直在觀賞瑪提恩·法蘭克(Martine Franck)的作品,他去年不幸過世了。法蘭克最出名的可能是她 街景和旅行的攝影作品(她和她丈夫都是瑪格南圖片社的成員)。但她同時也是太陽劇院(Le Théâtre du Soleil)的攝影師, 從該公司誕生起,直至她生命結束。她為該公司的許多作品拍過 照。有些照片用古典畫的手法體現了奢華的場景和服裝,其他則 是演員排練時或準備上台時的肖像畫。在活動攝影方面,當娜· 安·麥阿當斯(Dona Ann McAdams)有許多非同凡響的作品。而 在英國,雨果·格蘭迪寧(Hugo Glendinning)也有許多作品,從 舞台照片,到與Forced Entertainment合作的更具實驗性質的 照片。伊文·肯克爾(Ivan Kyncl,卒於2005年左右),也創作過許 多關於英國舞台的迷人照片。


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