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。