TEXT AND IMAGE BY 圖文提供 x JOSH WRIGHT 喬希·萊特
TRANSLATED BY 翻譯 x MICHELLE YU 余小悅
16:20 is a project by the artist and photographer Josh Wright. From the age of sixteen and still at school Wright embarked on an ambitious project attempting to photograph Britain’s Artists in their studios. Now at the age of twenty and having started the first year of his BA in Fine Art, Wright has photographed over 90 of Britain’s most established artists, including 11 Turner Prize Winners. In addition to his role as guest editor for this issue, ART.ZIP have invited Wright to discuss his continuing fascination with the artists studio, whilst also providing an intimate reflection on his projects creation and continuation.
As an artist the studio is most likely the foundation of your creative practice, a retreat from the outside world and most importantly a place to make mistakes, to experiment before bringing that work to the public. Every artist treats that space slightly differently. Over the past 5 years I have visited over 90 artist studios and each one has been different in countless ways. There is no formula to a successful studio, only how it suits the needs of the required artist. It was this unknown that made me visit the artists whose work I admired and document this experience through photography.
With a plentiful array of galleries and artist spaces, London has become renowned as a cultural hotspot. However as property prices rapidly increase artists are having to find ways of adjusting to these upsurges or face moving further out in search of cheap studios and flat rental. Sharing spaces makes the situation more affordable often resulting in exciting hives of activity but it’s not ideal. Charitable organisations such as Acme are a haven for the impoverished artist offering residencies in live/work spaces at affordable rates, however sadly space is limited and despite recent hikes in tuition fees the number of young people choosing to study a degree in Fine art is on the rise. Artist communities often ignite gentrification resulting in a vicious cycle of rising property prices. Two artists that are very familiar with this change are the artist duo Gilbert and George.
聚集著大大小小各式畫廊和藝術空間的倫敦無疑是備受矚目的文化中心，可是隨著房價的不斷攀升、租金的飛速上漲，藝術家們不得不面臨一次又一次的搬遷，找尋租金便宜的工作室，又或者另尋解決方法。合租工作室或許是比較划算的方式，可是很容易變成大夥密集聚會的場地，因此並不理想。像Acme這樣的慈善組織確實為許多經濟並不富裕的藝術家提供了很多租金合理的工作及生活空間，然而，這些有限的空間最終無法跟上藝術學生數量的增長－－儘管學費高漲不下。諷刺的是，藝術家群體往往就是地區的點金之手，帶動房價上漲，而自己卻落得被迫遷離。這種惡性循環週而復始，最突出的代表便是當代藝術二人組吉爾伯特與喬治（Gilbert and George）。
Gilbert and George bought their house and studio back in 1974, originally in a very run down and undesirable location. However, Brick Lane has grown to become one of the liveliest and exciting places in London; known for being a vibrant art and student area and thriving marketplace. On a guided tour of their home studio, George proudly shows off a sign that they’d found one morning, which reads: “Please do not piss on the mosque.” Gilbert and George constantly sample from the area around them: “we feel there is something very typical about this part of London where we live, that it is representative of the world in general and the main thrust of where people are going to.” When I visited, Gilbert and George were busy as ever preparing for a new show at White Cube Gallery. This monumental series comprised 292 individual artworks surveying the frequent violence and absurdity of modern urban life through the repetition of newspaper headlines collected daily over the period of a three-year period. Every facet of their studio was ordered and clutter free, a very different approach to an artist I would meet weeks later.
1974年吉爾伯特和喬治在東倫敦安家並購置了工作室，那時候的東倫敦是一個比較破敗、不受人待見的地區。但是隨著東倫敦的發展，磚巷（Brick Lance）及週邊地區成了倫敦最具活力的地方，那裡有著鮮活的藝術，熱鬧的市集，成為了學生們聚集的潮地，聚攏著各方的人气。在前往工作室的路上，喬治很得意地指向一個標示，他說這是他和吉爾伯特在一個清早無意中發現的，上面寫著：“請勿在清真寺小便。”他們倆滔滔不絕地跟我聊著這一區的變化：“我們覺得這裡非常能夠代表倫敦，甚至是世界的縮影，這裡是人群匯聚的中心。”在我拜訪時，吉爾伯特和喬治一如既往地忙碌著，為白教堂畫廊（Whitechapel Gallery）的新展覽作準備。這個展覽系列由292件作品組成，吉爾伯特和喬治花了三年時間每天收集報紙上的新聞頭條，這些剪報都深刻地反映了現代都市生活裡不斷發生的暴力和荒謬事件。他們的工作室裡每個角落都是那麼整整有條，與我幾週之後接觸的藝術家大相徑庭。
Martin Creed lives minutes away from Gilbert and George, however has a very different approach to studio life. Creeds work has been described as conceptual and minimal and this is certainly emulated within his studio practice, choosing to view the studio as more of an office. Creed’s studio is modest and can only be described as a one bed flat above an Indian restaurant. Consequently very little of Creeds work is made in his studio, instead choosing to paint in his home whilst spending a couple of days of his week in the office dealing with operations. Creed is renowned for producing almost fleeting works that are often deceptively simple and small in scale. The studio is consequently more of a hub of operations organising and arranging, than a place for production. Piles of paper lay scattered across the desk and every possible wall space is consumed by packed shelving or small paintings. This way of working is becoming more frequent however not through choice. Property prices are dictating artists to either stay put and face confinement in a small space or move further out of London. Creed, a studio assistant, a guitarist from Franz Ferdinand and myself are crammed into this small space, making manoeuvring very difficult. Despite this Creed’s jovial character shines through making the room appear like a bizarre setting for a sitcom. It is clear to me that Creed is an ideas man, injecting his work with charm and wit and that rather like a comedian his work is often inspired by encounters and conversations. This dialogue is often a fundamental aspect of an artworks creation offering up a work in progress to critique, be that from another artist, gallerist or trusted friend before it is leaves the realm of the studio and is no longer under the artists control. It is however the constant dialogue involved within an artist duo that has always fascinated me. It strikes me as a weird way of working, full of compromise and dispute. But perhaps this constant debate with ones artistic equal allows for some kind of progressive evaluation that ultimately filters out the good from bad. Jake and Dinos Chapman make work that amuses each other’s sadistic and often juvenile sense of humour. Being brothers you could say they have a natural bond through their upbringing, which makes me wonder how artist duos form. Tim Noble and Sue Webster met at art college and have produced work together ever since. The pair felt isolated from their peers at art school and naturally grew very dependent on one another. Unlike Jake and Dinos the artist duo’s work directly treats their status as an artist couple as the subject matter. In essence they are not just producing objects, their whole life is part of their art. I visited at a stressful time for the pair, their working relationship and marriage had grown so intense that they took drastic action and Tim moved out in order to save the art. The art nevertheless has flourished and the studio was crammed with work preparing for an upcoming show: Nihilistic Optimistic. With high ceiling and white walls the space resembles more of a gallery than the romantic idea of the artists studio.
傑克和迪諾斯·查普曼兄弟(Jake and Dinos Chapman)的作品帶著小男孩似的調皮，總是拿別人“痛處”來開玩笑。作為親兄弟，從小一起長大的經歷讓他們有著天生的默契，這樣的經歷讓我很好奇他們是怎麼雙雙成為藝術家的。提姆·諾貝和蘇·韋伯斯特（Tim Noble and Sue Webster）在藝術學院求學時相識，自此就一起並肩創作，當時的他們覺得被同伴們孤立，所以自然而然地就變得非常依賴對方。與查普曼兄弟不一樣的是，諾貝和韋伯斯特的作品是圍繞他們兩人作為藝術夥伴的主題來創作的。因此，本質上來說，他們並不是在創作作品，他們的作品就是生活。當我去拜訪他們兩位的時候正值一個很尷尬的階段，他們的關係變得非常緊繃，為了挽救他們的藝術，提姆搬離了工作室。無論如何，工作室裡到處都是作品，為了迎接即將舉辦的個展《虛無主義的樂觀（Nihilistic Optimistic）》，高高的天花板配上雪白的牆，工作室看起來更像是畫廊，而不是一個誕生浪漫想法的地方。
More in keeping with the studios of old, my visit to Grayson Perry’s studios has to have been one of the most unexpected. It was humbling to see such a modest studio for an artist of such stature. Since his 2003 Turner Prize win Perry has become an iconic figure in British art and it was welcoming to see that he hadn’t expanded into a larger space with 2 or 3 assistants hovering about. The space had an air of calmness, a place where one could wile away the hours. He was proud to show off his sketchbook packed full of felt tip sketches for a series of tapestries entitled “The Vanity of Small Differences.” He was in the process of making for a documentary series about British class tastes but the highlight of the trip was showing Grayson reaction my prize for a school art award: his own monograph. He quickly delved into his bookshelf and proudly pulled out his school art award, a book on the Pre-Raphaelites that he was awarded back in 1978. It pleased him immensely that he had become so establishment as to be appropriate for a grammar school art prize. Perry has become known for his heavy involvement in arts education, trying where possible to support student’s efforts, frequently giving talks as well as challenging St. Martin’s fashion students annually to design clothes for his cross-dressing alter ego Claire. Still studying a BA in Fine Art Sculpture myself, the most important aspect of my own studio life is the community. The studios at Camberwell College of Arts are undivided and consequently work by all 3-year groups sits side by side. This results in a very important evaluation process through constant conversation with peers and tutors. Such an array of artwork being made in close proximity creates sensational clashes and rousing debate that can only be found at art school. The intrigue however of the artist’s studio for me is the character, each space unique and often a far better representation than any museum or gallery show.
至於老一輩藝術家的走訪，我拜訪了格雷森·派瑞（Grayson Perry）的工作室，這也是一個最讓我驚訝的工作室：如此盛名之下的藝術家與如此樸實無華的工作室。自從2003年獲得特納獎以後，派瑞儼然成為了英國藝術界的標桿人物，可是他並沒有搬到一個更大的空間去，還是一如既往地與兩、三位助理在溫馨的工作室裡晃悠。他的工作室有種說不出來的平靜，還有一種彷彿能夠忘記時間的魔力。派瑞眉飛色舞地為我展示著他的速寫本，上面畫滿了掛毯系列作品《小差別的虛榮（The Vanity of Small Differences）》的草稿。他還表示他正在製作一個關於英國階級品味的紀錄片。但這次拜訪最妙的是當派瑞看到我獲得校園藝術獎項的獎品的反應，那份獎品正是關於派瑞的專著。當他看到這本書的時候，他扭頭鑽進自己的書堆中，驕傲地拿出他1978年獲得的校園藝術獎項的獎品，那是一本關於前拉斐爾藝術的書。對於自己的專著成為中學藝術獎項的獎品，派瑞高興得合不攏嘴。派瑞對於藝術教育的熱情投入是眾人皆知的，他為幫助學生竭盡全力，為他們授課、講座，讓聖馬丁的服裝系學生為自己創造的虛擬人物“克萊爾（Claire）”設計衣服。