2019年2月11日 星期一

鄭美玲教授評論 多歧:2017阿川國際行為藝術節 Prof. Meiling Cheng Reviews on Multiversity: 2017 ArTrend International Performance Art Festival

Multiversity in Practice: 
2017 ArTrend International Performance Art Festival
By Meiling Cheng

Converging Divergent Worlds:
Three artists were caught in an arms' race, each with teeth sinking into a neighbor's forearm. This performance's score stipulates having three people standing in a circle and each stretching one arm out to the adjacent person for the person to bite into the arm. The performance's duration is determined by the participants' physical stamina regardless of the pain (Kueh 2018). The performance ends when either one of the three entangled in the action stops the biting. As cocreators of this interlocked bodywork, Bite (Yao, 2017), Kueh Peh Gān, Tsai Hsinying, and Ma Ei expressed their endurances differently. Kueh, slightly red-faced and with brows tightly knit, looked resolute in biting into Ei's right forearm, while his right forearm was locked in between Tsai's teeth. Stoic and with saliva dripping out of her lips, Tsai's relentless biting was matched by what she endured from Ei's teeth. Meanwhile, Ei had shifted from low moaning to laborious and muffled screams. The trio's romance lasted for about ten minutes, when Kueh released his bite. An intimate group hug closed this aching action. [Photo 1]
Bite took place in the Asir Art Museum in Tainan, Taiwan, as part of the concluding workshop presentations in Multiversity: 2017 ArTrend International Performance Festival (6-12 November 2017), curated by performance artist Yeh Tzu-Chi. The festival began with a three-day performance course led by the Indonesian performance art master teacher Arahmaiani Feisal, (who goes by "Arahmaiani"). Arahmaiani required the closing collaborative performance to involve three people in a team. This restriction enabled the conception of Bite
An acute inquiry into the dynamics of interpersonal politics, Bite embodies the paradox of collaborative agency, when anyone in the team must agree to compromising one's individual will for the sake of collective consent. In retrospect, I find the piece especially prescient, as it anticipated the complex inter-institutional negotiations that would affect and sustain the festival. The ways that Kueh (from Hualiang, Taiwan), Tsai (from Pingdong, Taiwan), and Ei (from Yangon, Myanmar) came together and viscerally impacted one another in an invasive embrace indicate the festival's general circumstances, with participating artists, from more than six countries and several Taiwanese cities, congregating in Tainan on behalf of producing and sharing live art. While there was no clash of wills among artists throughout the festival, there were certainly memory imprints, like bite marks, seared unto our observing minds via the osmosis of mutual artistic exposure. 
In addition to the Asir Art Museum, the public exhibition of Multiversity occurred in Tainan's "321 Art Village," a government-conserved site of "historical ruins," which used to be the residential compounds for the colonial Japanese army and, more recently, was converted into a tourist-friendly cultural and art colony. A centerpiece of 321 is a public artwork, shaped like an intricate cage. In 2000, a fire burned off about 3,600 square feet of real estate inside the compounds. To revitalize the Village, the Tainan City Cultural Agency commissioned Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto to install this large cube (9 meters in length for each side), a geometric, white-painted, airy and permeable enclosure composed entirely of wrought iron window bars and frames donated by Taiwanese citizens (see Tainanlohas.com, 2016). The structure frames an earthy lot like a rudimentary arena theatre, surrounded by a remaining brick wall, assembled glassless window-frames on three sides, and constructed wooden side-stages. [Photo 2]

The Village's typographic diversity and overlapped layers of histories provide an iconographic paradigm for the festival's theme, "multiversity," which Yeh chose as the English translation for her Chinese festival title: "Duo qi," literally meaning "multiple divergences." To me, the term "multiversity" conjures up the scientific hypothesis of the "multiverse," poetically rendering the festival as a space-time conjunction in which divergent "universes"—sampled by individual artists—converge. Multiversity participated in the emergent global circuit of live art exhibitions, which serve as countercurrents to the much more endowed and better attended international contemporary art biennials and triennials. These festivals often combine performance art workshops with live art exhibitions, fulfilling their roles as temporary civic centers for creative pedagogies. This phenomenon signifies an additional connotation of "multiversity" as a subcultural "university." The alternative prefix for "multiversity" accentuates its educational efficacy from its multiple sources of learning, by converging international artists. The people who gather for the occasion may well experience the performances as viscerally impactful as the unpredictable intensity of sharing certain bite marks with their fellow viewers.
During its open exhibition period (9-12 November 2017), Multiversity presented 15 commissioned individual performances, two public talks by Meiling Cheng and Arahmaiani, and an improvised group performance. Most pieces ended in 20 minutes, with a few durational pieces that lasted for three hours. Four thematic trends emerged in this live art show. 

Politicized Bodies
The festival began with a bang. Carrying a knife and a mop, Ma Ei, in a bright red dress, with a red swaddling girdled across her swelling abdomen, led us spectators into the "arena stage" within 321's white cube installation. Startlingly, Ei knifed into her red pouch and swirled her body around to spread the red pigments from her pregnant sac. [Photo 3] She then frantically used the mop to draw concentric circles on the ground, bloodying the earthy stage with red pigments, while churning up a storm of dust. Periodically she paused in stillness like a red statue arrested in rapturous premonitions. [Photo 4] Having ensconced herself amid a red flood, she kneeled down to behead the mop. When her onerous action didn't pay off, she began pulling the strains of "hair" off the mop, as if balding the mop would compensate for her inability to decapitate this traditional instrument of janitorial labor. Ei ended the action when the mop barely had half a head of hair left. 
Ei related this piece, Still in the Present (2017), to her ongoing work on feminist issues. Like the mop, her common props include many domestic objects, those traditionally associated with "women's labor" (Ei 2017). For her, performing live art is to "take the mind off the pain," while making her pain "into a painting," with the red color indicating blood and sorrow (Ei 2017). Since abortion is illegal in the majority Buddhist Myanmar, Ei's pregnant pouch, sliced open by her knife, emerged as a feminist indictment of Myanmese women's lack of control over their bodies. Given Ei's Myanmese identity, however, I could not but also perceive her body as a metonymic double for her country's body politics, which has been devastated by its ongoing ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya Muslims. Although the artist was wary of my interpretation, the pathos and fury of her performance spilled out of her feminist container to spell out a human rights catastrophe. 
If ethnic/religious politics is a suppressed subtext in Still in the Present, it is the spring motor that powered the performance "phonograph" of German artist Felix Roadkill's Songs of the Murdered (2017). Roadkill asked all the spectators to go outside of the low walls bordering the meadow surrounding the white-cage installation. From a distance, we saw him standing in between two ropes hanging from near the top of the nine-meter-tall cage and, almost inaudibly, whistling a song. He then abruptly dropped his body sideways to hit the ground. [Photo 5] Picking himself up, Roadkill ran through the meadow and climbed over the low wall to join us outside. He wrote on a red gate: 

Title: Songs of the Murdered
A-Side
1) intro
2) MOSSUL IV
B-Side
1) HOMS VII
2) outro

Roadkill asked if anyone still owned a vinyl record. "A vinyl record has two sides. A-side has all its hit singles. B-side has not-so-well-known songs, true to the artist's heart. A-side is the face of the album; B-side is the soul of the album." Songs of the Murdered was the album that he wished to share with us. To enact his "intro," Roadkill moved away from us to about 100 meters away and ran toward us in top speed until he almost hit a frightened spectator. For "MOSSUL IV," Roadkill climbed back over the wall and up the white cage until he reached the tied ropes. From his summit, he ignited a firework, which emitted a tiny smoke, and began singing a song. [Photo 7] While I couldn't hear what the artist was singing, I heard a garbage truck with its Beethoven's Für Elise piano sound-track cruising through an outside street. I also noticed an inspector from Tainan's Cultural Agency, who came to watch the performances for any violation of the codes protecting 321 as a designated historical preservation site.
Roadkill joined us again outside for his album's B-side: "HOMS VII." He asked a volunteer to blindfold him and requested two volunteers to hold on to the ends of the ropes tight, while he reversed his route haltingly back to climb up the cage. From his summit, he used the ropes as a pulley system to send us a line of white towels. [Photo 7] Laying the towels on the ground, we found the lyrics from an Irish folk song, "The Lark in the Clear Air," inscribed on them. [Photo 8] Roadkill modified the song's last two lyrics, changing the gender of the singer's intended lover from "she" to "he" and the tentative "would" to the more affirmative "can." When he finished passing all the towels, Roadkill, blindfold on, gingerly climbed down the cage and asked the audience to direct him outside, as he repeated the route back for "the outro." Guided toward the spot about 100 meters away, Roadkill thrust his unseeing body toward us in a run that mixed fright with frenzy. Utterly depending on us to stop his momentum and complete his remaining task, the blindfolded Roadkill managed to return to where he began. He sang out loud "The Lark in the Clear Air" and fell sideways to the ground.
The contexts of a vinyl record and a hopeful love song guided me to approach Roadkill's piece as an ingenious demonstration of an artist's public accomplishment and secret aspiration: they are almost identical, but not quite. This reading, however, cannot solve the piece's many mysteries, including "Mossul," the German translation for the Iraqi "Mosul" and Homs, in Syria. Further conversations with Roadkill taught me the secrets behind his "album" (Roadkill 2017). The two Middle Eastern cities, combined with his climbing to a high place, refer to the ISIS's persecution of gay men by blindfolding them and pushing them off rooftops (see Robson 2015). Over the past few years, Roadkill has "collected, structured, and archived" photographs about these horrendous executions and has used these photographs to create a series of performances as The Murder Series (Roadkill 2018). He presented The Murder Series: Part 6 in Multiversity; it differed from the earlier installments in the artist's exploration of opposing perspectives. Thus, the near symmetry in how Roadkill enacted Songs of the Murdered represents the same scene of persecution as experienced by the murderer, in disguise (as an artist), and the murdered, in blindfold. 
As the gender-modified lyric in the artist's song reveals, Roadkill is a self-identified gay man. His attempt to experience also the perspective of a homophobic murderer is a generous gesture to complete the story he told. In a news report about the ISIS's rooftop execution of a gay man in Homs, the spectators were seen throwing stones at the fallen corpse (Counter Extremism Project 2018). In contrast, the spectators in Multiversity were eager to guide and support the artist's blindfolded persona. To me, this emphasis on the human bonds between a vulnerable performer and his protective viewers is Roadkill's most significant intervention into the murderous scenes he dramatized. The artist's choice of the white towels, meant for washing of the corpses, likewise expressed his compassion for the victims. Roadkill's rendition of "The Lark in Clear Air" was, then, his elegy and memorial for the fallen victims, to whom the artist promised that, as long as he "can," they will not be forgotten by the world.
Roadkill's decision to stage his action on top of the window-frame cage directly alludes to the brutal injustice and "homo-cidal" persecution committed by the ISIS. Nevertheless, by pursuing this plan, the artist risked being stopped during performance. The day before Multiversity's public exhibition, curator Yeh received an oral caution from Tainan's Cultural Agency, prohibiting any artist to infringe upon Fujimoto's public artwork. Roadkill went ahead to climb the cage, even though he conceded by stopping near rather than on the structure's top. While his performance happened without censorship, the interdiction became the initiatory question for Taiwanese artist Yujun Ye's To Do or Not to Do (Zuo huo bu zuo 2017). 
In a plastic orange headgear, over-sized green sunglasses, a silver cape made of space thermal mylar blanket, and a black overall with large blue and red pockets, Ye looked like a mix between a clown, a Commedia dell'arte Pantaloon, and a wizard. With a megaphone at hand, she paced around the white installation's wooden side-stage, reading from a text about the Taiwanese labor law—"Employment Law #46"—regulating foreign workers. [Photo 9] Periodically, she crashed to the floor, as if hit by the law's bureaucratic absurdity, which might prevent an international artist from offering a paid artistic presentation without having first applied for a work permit or being given an official contract. Ye was bitter about this law because she was penalized with a hefty fine when she housed without rent the U.K. sound artist Simon Whetham for an informal artistic residency in July 2017 (see Cai 2018). "Performance artist lives in the moment," Ye declared in both English and Chinese, "in this country, we need a magician to change stone into gold." She fell and fell again. After her manifesto-like protest, Ye asked the audience: "Should I do it or not?" "You tell me . . . should I do it or not? Zuo bu zuo?" "Zuo / Do it!" were the overwhelming audience responses—even when I registered the grim-faced inspector amongst us. Without waiting for confirmation, Ye was already climbing about the installation, but her actions appeared more tentative than bold. Ye survived her climbing without being legally expelled from the cage. [Photo 10]
Besides the interdiction against "damaging" any existing architectural structure, Tainan Cultural Agency also forbids igniting any fireworks inside 321. Roadkill's inclusion of small firework explosions during performance incensed the Agency's inspector. After having tolerated Roadkill's and Ye's violations on Multiversity's opening date, the inspector sent a formal written warning to the curatorial team. This demonstration of the local political power compelled the artistic duo Ali Al-Fatlawi and Wathiq Al-Ameri to change their planned performance, scheduled on Multiversity's second exhibition date. 
Born in Iraq and now based in Switzerland, Al-Fatlawi and Al-Ameri have always performed together, staging their simultaneous parallel actions with both subtle and direct mutual interactions. They had to modify this scheme in Multiversity. The duo's durational performance, Cemetery of the Memory (2017), began with Al-Fatlawi baring his upper body and having their Chinese translator, Yip Zhoong Jin, marking his body with real-time numerical counts of people who died around the globe—a constantly shifting set of live statistics found on the Worldometers.com. Al-Ameri sat on an adjacent chair, wrapping rolls of tapes affixed with plastic military toys (guns, tanks, submarines, soldiers, bomber-planes, etc.) around his own head. Their shared stage was a long alleyway. When his entire upper-body was covered by numbers, Al-Fatlawi stood in front of Al-Ameri and proceeded to use a long brush pen, dipped in the oil that he carried in a bucket, to write a different set of numbers on the ground. [Photo 11] These numbers came straight from Al-Fatlawi's memories about the years when significant personal and world events had affected his migratory paths from the Middle East, to Africa, and eventually to Europe. "Each time I looked back to retrieve a memory," as Al-Fatlawi states in the documentary film about the duo's art journeys, Two Asses in One Underwear (2016), "my personal story changes – because my memories are not stored in the past; they are stored in my body. My body in every second is walking to different physical and mental forms of time" (Al-Fatlawi, et. al. 2016).
The changes in Al-Fatlawi's body became materialized as Arabic numbers accumulating on the ground; these changes were echoed by Al-Ameri's head, ever-inflating with layers and layers of minute military monstrosity. Both artists remained taciturn during their three-hour endurance performance, allowing their protest narratives to be quietly embedded with their corporeal actions. The sheer intensity of their imagistic juxtaposition and persistent labors, however, inspired several spontaneous audience "fan-performances," from walking the numerical lines to prostrating on the ground. [Photo 12] When Al-Fatlawi finally stopped his inscriptions, Al-Ameri stood up and walked across the Art Village to reach the outside parking lot, on which a table covered with a world map was already set up. Monstrous head intact, Al-Ameri sat down next to the table and began igniting tiny fire crackers and throwing them against the world map, burning holes on it. [Photo 13] This image would have provided a finishing montage in the alley for Cemetery of the Memory, had it not been for the landlord's prohibition. What the artists had dug up from their joint mnemonic burial ground was a diasporic world map fractured by random warfare and resulting casualties. 

Inter/personal Rituals 
A tone of reconciliation characterizes the politics of Taiwanese artist Hsu Min Szu's performance ritual, The Unspoken Words of Chung-Ying Tsai (Chung-Ying de xin nei hua, 2017). Fashioning herself as part narrator and part spiritual guide, Hsu invited us to walk inside a rectangular grassy area framed by lit candle stands. She assured us that we were inside a protected arena where we might safely listen to her story, which would move between the spiritual and the real. [Photo 14] Her story focused on the rise and fall of the eponymous protagonist Chung-Ying Tsai, a community organizer who responded to the Kaohsiung city government's call to house the exploding population of street peddlers within a shopping mall. Tsai solicited funding from many peddlers to construct the mall, which enjoyed a year of success, but went out of business soon after Tsai offended a local politician, who retaliated by changing the mall's zoning code, forfeiting its commercial feasibility. When his many letters of complaint failed to impress the government, Tsai misplaced his rage and turned against his original funders, leaving behind many angry letters to those whose livelihood he had inadvertently ruined. Assuming that Tsai felt contrition and psychological turmoil—"unspoken words"—before he died, Hsu's performance aimed to bridge the dead and the living, voicing what remained unsaid by Tsai to each wronged peddler.
The performance's second part unfolded like a semi-séance. As Tsai's surrogate, Hsu moved from one person to the next in a circle formed by audience volunteers, who picked up individual name tags to assume the roles of the wronged peddlers. [Photo 15] Some of us, including myself, became our characters without volition and wept bitterly in our dialogues with Hsu/Tsai; others, including many bemused non-Chinese-speaking international artists, maintained a reverential distance. While almost all of us/the peddlers reconciled with Hsu/Tsai, one participant refused to offer her forgiveness. After the ritual ended, the malcontent participant, presenting herself as a practitioner of the "Family Constellation" therapy, condemned the artist for making a performance that mimicked the therapeutic practice in an unprofessional arena, thus endangering the audience volunteers. 
The protester's indignant response erected the boundary between what she perceived as a "fake" performance and the "real" method of "Family Constellation," an alternative psychotherapeutic system that uses collective role substitutions to investigate one's ancestral family dynamics (see Cohen 2006). Hsu acknowledged her debt to "Family Constellation," a German system in which she was also trained, but she defended her borrowing by arguing that she had changed her source procedures sufficiently for her performance. I initially linked Hsu's piece with an indigenous Daoist ritual; as a former participant in both Daoist and Hsu's events, I experienced similar liminal states wherein my acting and being were intermingled and swayed by the ritual's theatrical mechanisms. My surprise in learning that Hsu's ritual had a German model does not change my belief in her live artwork's legitimacy. In fact, Hsu's transcultural appropriation pronounces an implicit logic in Multiversity, when the trend of glocalization—in which the foreign inspiring the local and altering itself in the process—offers a vibrant source of metropolitan learning.
Hsu exposed her performance to critique because of its adoption of a paratheatrical model that has lately gained popularity in Taiwan. Conversely, three other performances avoided controversies by keeping the provenances of their performance rituals self-contained. 
Taiwanese artist Fang-Yi Liu's Solo for Multiple Perceptions (Wei duozhong zhijue zuo de duzo, 2017) took place inside a courtyard framed by several damaged houses and a mural-sized photograph of an architectural interior—an artwork by Du Meihua from a concurrent photographic exhibition in the Art Village. Like a magician tuning up our senses, Liu moved about in his theatre on the round, interacting with various props that he placed on top of some odd-sized brick columns scattered on the ground. He clashed a stone against a metal key, only to interrupt their resonance with a live broadcast from a radio hidden in his pocket. Now he was licking a splash of mustard off his arm, animating our senses of smell, taste, sight, and touch. Now he was pouring a glass of water into a silver funnel held in his mouth and then spewing out the water like a fountain. Liu's multisensory orchestration reached a high note when a yellow balloon that the artist was blowing up burst, spilling out curry powder in the air. [Photo 16]
The title of Taiwanese artist Wu Shumian's piece, I Am a Cloud (Wo shi yipian yun, 2017), recalls a 1980s popular song, which celebrates the carefree life of a cloud. Wu's opening action, however, mocks such claims of freedom by specifying the gender and weight of a "cloud." In a conservative woman's dress dated perhaps from the 1940s, Wu stood facing us under the door frame to a dilapidated house, penetrated by magnificent Ficus trees. She then moved to the side and climbed out of a window, stuffing her mouth with a plastic object and dragging a huge rice sack behind her to cross into the audience's midst. [Photo 17] She pulled out of her mouth the plastic object, which turned out to be a transparent raincoat, and transferred huge cotton swabs from the sack into the raincoat, creating a human figure. She watered her "cloud" and wrestled with it, as if she tried to shed the weight of moisture in her cotton confinement. Lightened, Wu ended her struggle with a jubilant toss of her humanoid cloud through the air. As a Chinese reader, I recognized that part of Wu's given name—"Mian "—is also the Chinese name for "cotton." The cloud that she released to the air is then also her cotton double, her liberated alter ego. [Photo 18]
Campy humor enlivens River Lin's C'est vrai et vert (It's Real and Green / Zhe zhen lü, 2017), the retrospective French title that this Paris-based artist gave to his largely improvised performance. In a vibrant purple athletic jacket and black shorts, Lin occupied the meadow in front of Fujimoto's white cube and began pulling blades of grass off the ground to decorate his knee-high orange socks. Pleased with his "vert" credentials, Lin struck a series of fashion-model poses, as if he were taking selfies for Instagrams. [Photo 19] He then stepped onto the white cube's apron stage, showed off some minor acrobatic acts, and stuffed grasses into his mouth to chew them. Unexpectedly, he turned his back against the audience and bowed down to flash his bottoms, revealing some half-digested grasses spilling out of his anus. [Photo 20] Lin's flamboyant corporeal action pivots on the homonymic verbal play between two French words: the real (vrai) and the green (vert). He matched the vrai—real, natural, and fresh grasses—with his polyester outfit to create his synthetic vert fashion; he employed his vrai—real, enfleshed human body—as his narcissistic model and proceeded to turn it into a vert/green machine, theatricalizing the digestive act as a quick circulation system: grass in and grass out, his body the super-efficient transmission channel!

Interactive Exchanges
Taiwanese artist Yu Chung-I's Something in Red (Hongse Xunxi, 2017) stakes on interactivity to generate her performance's structure and movements. Covered from head to toe in a red overall filled with countless swollen pockets, the artist entered the courtyard space, slowly circulating among the existing brick columns, while repeating, in a soft drone, her cryptic solicitation for audience participation: "If you wish, you can choose."[Photo 21] Yu's performance persona appeared as a droll mixture between a street peddler, both shy and persistent in calling out her wares, and a mobile vending machine, with a singular pre-recorded invitation message. The first volunteer approached the artist and pulled out from a pocket a red fabric strip inscribed with a command, "Sing a song." More volunteers followed and pulled out candies to eat, strings to tie up other people's feet, scissors to cut those strings—all with pre-inscribed instructions. I was ordered to stand on a brick column, when I observed the most elaborate audience response from an international fellow visitor, who used a red lipstick to improvise a micro-narrative on a dilapidated bathroom wall. His story retraced an encounter with a lady in red in a far-away land, "and she said to me, write something in red. But I would much rather have been fed." [Photo 22] 
The mythic contribution from an audience participant aptly sums up the contradictory power dynamics underscoring Something in Red. In the artist's solicitation, she emphasized the audience's "choice" in joining her performance; yet, for those who had "chosen" to participate, the artist had already prescribed the kinds of tasks to be accomplished. Although the piece depends on audience participation to proceed, the audience is still subject to the artist's partial manipulation, which pre-formulated the ensuing activities. There is an energetic tension between the artist's submission of full authorial control and the participant's consent to co-create and expand the artwork. In this sense, Something in Red shares conceptual kinship with the Fluxus scores, when Yu's costumed body doubles as an enfleshed file cabinet, containing an array of Fluxus-like instructional cards for others' voluntary reenactments. 
As Yu designed her costume with a form-fitting style, we could not but touch her body when we sought to retrieve an item from her pocket. This tactile intimacy translates into the affective contents of Something in Red. Similarly, tactile intimacy prevails in artist-cum-curator Yeh Tzu-Chi's In & Out (Jin yu chu, 2017). Yeh invited the audience to join her in sharing a moment of collaborative intimacy with only one rule: find a bodily connection with the previous participant and remain in that position until the performance ends. She launched her connective chain by simply lying on the grass. Pretty soon an ouroboro-like sculptural ribbon formed by voluntarily assembled human bodies appeared. As participants, we remained still on our meadow stage, letting the wind, the smell of earth, clouds, rustling leaves, and sunrays caressing our entangled shadows. [Photo 23] Before our immobility turned anxious, Yeh rose from her repose and threaded her body through the little crevices left in between layered body parts, thus touching each participant on her way out and signaling the end of her participatory corporeal installation. Temporary bonds through chance encounters; ephemeral unions dissipating with shifting circumstances; affective tactile intimacy reinforced by the artist's corporeal presence: In & Out searches for communion and annotates mortality. 
Yeh's piece features the diversity of her participants briefly linked via performance art. Conversely, Yuzuru Maeda's Green Bubbles (2017) demonstrates momentary alliance by using an artificial means to produce the semblance of uniformity among participants. Born in Japan and now based in Singapore and New Delhi, Maeda has, for more than a decade, engaged with daily music practice in conjunction with what she called her "Zentai Art Project." Zentai, meaning full-body tight suits in Japanese, features colorful nylon and spandex blends of full-body tight-suits, covering even the wearers' entire heads (Maeda 2017). Maeda brought a trunk-load of green Zentai suits for her audience participants. As the volunteers erased their external features by enclosing their bodies within the Zentai "envelops," Maeda also suited herself up in green for her hypnotic violin recital. [Photo 24] Her participants' camouflaged heads, torsos, and limbs were mingled together in random formations, cavorting on the floor of the Asir Museum amidst the monumental sculptures and large paintings on display. Maeda's music washed over the museum like ocean waves, while her ever-moving, multi-sized, yet consistently textured, green bubbles floated on their imaginary seabed like a colony of genetically modified coral reefs spliced with cacti chromosomes. Green Bubbles projects a utopian vision of interpersonal integration—however fragile and fleeting like bubbles it is. 
In contrast to the utopian drive behind Maeda's Zentai musicality, Indonesian artist Arahmaiani's Breaking Words (2006- ) centers on the pragmatic paradox of identification, its disintegration, and its absorption into our psyche. Arahmaiani chose to re-stage an interactive piece from her established performance repertoire as her "medium" to understand her Taiwanese audience in Multiversity (Arahmaiani 2017).  With a stack of white porcelain dinner plates, Arahmaiani entered the white-cube space and invited participants to each choose "a word or an idea that's of central importance to your lives" and to write it down in a familiar language on a plate. She initiated the performance by writing down her word, "Kapitalisme," the Indonesian equivalent of "Capitalism." A photographic group portrait taken after we finished this performance segment reveals the "multiversal" range of word choices by this international body of audience. [Photo 25] After this memorial moment, Arahmaiani sampled her second act of by crashing her plate against the brick wall at the far side of the cube. One participant followed suit, before power intervened. [Photo 26] The government representative warned that the brick wall was a protected "historical monument." The rest of us had to throw our plates against the earthy ground. Befittingly, the participant who wrote down "faith" as her existential value gently set the plate down on the earth.
A self-identified Muslim with Hindu, Buddhist, and animist affinities, Arahmaiani's Breaking Words overtly confronts the possession of worldly concepts with Buddhist detachment. All mortal words are but this-worldly delusion—goes the logic of Breaking Words. The artist's word choice—"Kapitalisme"— nonetheless planted this interactive artwork on a political soil. Her action of breaking the hold of capitalism on her life is tantamount to a conceptual revolution. Yet, not all of her participants operate on an explicit political platform. The person who wrote down "faith" and couldn't bear breaking the plate likely identified the word with the spiritual sentiment that she held sacred. For those of us compliant with the artist's intention, however, a psychosomatic interpretation might be feasible. Take the participant who chose "ART," for instance: breaking her plate inscribed with "ART" is precisely how she could accomplish the dimension of art within Breaking Words, which consisted of two interlinked acts (choosing + breaking). This example epitomizes how we assimilate ideas into our daily life: first, we identify the idea; second, we digest the idea, hence eliminating it; third, our cognitive system breaks down the intellectual nutrition in order to absorb it. Breaking Words is then Keeping Words—the very means of making those chosen words our own.

The Sites Speak
Interactivity and site-responsive sensibility have undergirded all performance artworks in Multiversity. Two performances, however, hinge so radically on site-specificity that the event locations become indispensable foils to the performers. 
Taiwanese artist Banana's piece TABATA references the high-intensity cross-fit interval training program, first developed by the Japanese sports educator Izumi Tabata. Thanks to YouTube, Tabata has become a fitness fad in Taiwan, claiming that one needs only to take                              four minutes per day to exercise the "Tabata Protocol" in exchange for a slimmer and fit body with no restricted diet in tow (Banana 2017). Banana's performance incorporated both the Asir Museum's site, which has a stone-paved garden separated from the gallery by a large glass window, and a Tabata trainee's wishful thinking, accepting gluttony as inconsequential vis-à-vis the rigorous Tabata Protocol. Turning the glass window into her electronic interface, Banana stood in the stone garden next to a bucket of fried chickens, hamburgers, and a big bottle of Pepsi Cola, while her Tabata trainer, performed by Tsai Hsingying, appeared among us the audience inside the gallery. [Photo 27] A private sphere (with the artist in isolation) and a public arena (us as the wired online world) were symbolically marked; this spatial design also worked in reverse to pose the artist as a screened spectacle. [Photo 28] As the sound-track "Tabata" blared, with a timer tracking the Tabata Protocol (20 seconds of intense workout, followed by 10 seconds of rest), Tsai improvised various exercise routines for Banana's fervent imitation. During each ten-second interval, Banana moved swiftly to stuff herself with fast foods, even to the point of nausea. Banana's frantic performance lasted 15 minutes, nearly three times over the typical Tabata protocol. The artist's theatrical excess—both in striving to attain an ideal body and seeking instant rewards that end up negating the efforts—hilariously mocks the irrational zeal feeding any internet sensation and social mania. 
A line of audience was formed outside a condemned century-old house in the Art Village, waiting to attend Taiwanese artist Lin Liangyu's three-hour durational performance, Waiting for a Cup of Coffee (Deng yibei kafe, 2017). Lin stipulated his performance as a one-on-one private engagement, with indeterminable duration, between the artist and a viewer inside the ruined house. Since there were other performances happening elsewhere in 321, I skipped the initial waiting and returned as Lin's last guest. The approaching dusk cast the derelict house in an ominous gloom, heightening its risky mystique. The flashlight held by Lin's assistant helped me cross the threshold, a wooden plank bridging a cavernous foundation, leading to piles of plasters, broken doors, and dusty wall papers. In the midst of these debris stood the artist behind a table set up with an assortment of coffee-making equipment. [Photo 29] While I waited mesmerized by Lin's intricate procedures from grinding coffee beans to boiling the aromatic coffee in a tripod flask, he told me a recent commercial trend in Taiwan that favored remodeling decayed historical buildings into upscale tea houses. The shambles that we now inhabited together appeared to be a candidate for that trend. "The acidic taste of the coffee," said Lin, calling me into mindfulness, "matches the acidic smell of the house." Even a wreckage had its full store of sensory stimulants.
I huddled around the lit warmth of Lin's coffee stand and mused about the history of the Art Village as a colonial establishment of the Japanese forces. How does one celebrate a country's histories—in a place like Taiwan—fragmented by successive colonial invasions? Does one contest its injustice by a nativist turn toward the indigenous roots, by selecting certain pasts as authentic and others as the oppressors' impositions, or by assimilating all those colonial traces as transcultural symbionts for the country's hybrid identity? I half-anticipated hearing a deep throbbing voice chanting out unforgotten regrets from the walls, which slanted toward me like a host of melancholic Japanese ghosts. Here I was immersed within a mnemonic membrane of this Village, becoming one of its memory cells.

Irretraceable Encounters
As a live art writer, I consider it my privilege and obligation to recall a piece in as many details as possible so as to empower others, those who were not there to see the performance, with sufficient traces to reconstruct the vanished artwork. In performance critique, the oft-cited doxa—"You just have to be there"—stresses the irreplaceable multi-sensory presence of a time-based artwork and presumes the impossibility of representing this complex presence in recording documents. My quixotic longing confronts this fidelity to an embodied past by placing my trust in the virtuality of common imagination, hoping to leave enough branches, pedals, crinkly leaves, rhizomatic roots, and wizened seeds so that future gardeners might grow the tree back—even if they can only approximate the lost tree. Given my belief, it's ironic that I shall resort to the rhetoric of embodied presence to treat Multiversity's concluding performance.
"Encounter," an improvisational performance technique that the German artist Boris Nielslony has developed with "Black Market International," was introduced to Yeh Tzu-Chi when Nielslony participated in the 2009 ArTrend performance festival (see Yeh 2009). Nielslony stresses that each performance made through the "encounter" of artist-participants operates on "a principle of open cooperation" (liveartwork, online). Indeed, "open cooperation" was the reigning principle for the "multiversal" encounters that characterized Multiversity's group performance, which included not only those who had presented solo pieces in this festival, but also students who had taken the performance workshops, plus some spontaneous audience volunteers. The performance happened on 321's largest meadow. A few props were scattered on the grass; these tables, chairs, baskets, tapes, and yarns, besides the existing ruined architecture and climbable trees, became the multicentric nodes that attracted impromptu actions. Any live gesture, however fleetingly made, extended performance energies like invisible threads to bind other simultaneous actions into a chaotic fractal structure. My two eyes were not enough to follow all encounters at once, torn between contingent attractions and curious surveys. I could not but give in to my mortal limits. 
What did my own encounter with "Multiversity-in-Practice"—the name I gave to this festival's culminating performance—teach me? It inspired me to let go of my urge for Borgesian omnipresent descriptions and my hubris to ever be an enabler for others. "Just be there," thus spake the Art Village! I was simply another sentient body experiencing being alive, playful with relaxed engagements, watching others doing the same. [Photo 30]

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( The original text is published in TheatreForum, issue number 54.  原文刊載於 TheatreForum 期刊第54期,文長12頁,附圖20張 )











2019年1月16日 星期三

相聚寶藏巖


Solo Performance


Adaw Balaf   


Kim Yeonjeong


Ye Yujun


Group Performance

                             
Ding Yu-Chung, Ting Liping, Pawel Ge, Craphone Liu, Ye Yujun, and Yeh Tzu-Chi











2017年2月26日,阿川行為群接受丁麗萍邀請,參與她在台北國際藝術村-寶藏巖組織的

CAF e-PHILO系列活動。

阿道 巴辣夫,Kim Yeonjeong,葉育君帶來個人表演。

丁禹仲,丁麗萍,Pawel Ge,劉寅生,葉育君,葉子啓進行集體行為。並有演後座談。

攝影: 陳錦桐, 李家維


ArTrend Performance Group was invited by Liping Ting to join CAFe-PHILO 

series in Taipei International Art Village - Treasure Hill, on 2017/2/26. 

Adaw Balaf, Kim Yeonjeong, and Ye Yujun did solo performance.

Ding Yu-Chung, Ting Liping, Pawel Ge, Craphone Liu, Ye Yujun, and Yeh Tzu-Chi

did the group performance.  

There's an artist talk after the performance.

Photo credit:  Chen Gin Tong, Teddi Li



2018年4月10日 星期二

多歧匯流-表演、錄像、攝影 鄭美玲教授演講稿中譯

                             多歧匯流—表演、錄像、攝影
   
                                                                     鄭 美 玲                                                           
                                                       

前言:

       策展人葉子啟請我來談談“表演”在現場行為藝術活動,錄像,與攝影裡的不同。據我瞭解,她請我講這個主題是想回應台灣與澳門的畫廊和美術館在徵求企劃與競賽時,傾向於把行為表演藝術、錄像、攝影列在同一個項目裏。同時,她觀察到台灣的補助機構偏愛錄像與攝影,甚於行為藝術。以我之見,這些機構策展人的優先考慮,反映當代藝術創作與展覽的一些趨勢。譬如藝術文化轉向電子媒體,以及藝術機構選擇策展多媒體藝術,都是因為這些藝術形式較易於融入跨國藝術展覽網絡的關係。

        因為數位媒體經由網路和其他個別化的通信技術,如智慧型手機,和媒體等等,已廣泛滲入日常生活裏,現場行為表演和以媒體呈現的表演之間的界線逐漸模糊。藉由人們面對面實際接觸的「現場」與人們在遠方經由科技連結,即刻互動界面的「現場直播」已無太大不同。我們身處「後人類」世代,全球化文化趨勢走向於融合與混體,不再是單一獨特與個性徑渭分明的狀態了。在此脈絡下,現場表演與媒體中介表演被視為是一個連續體。傳統認為以圍繞著活生生藝術家身體而發生的行為表演藝術, 在創作上逐漸與錄像、攝影連結。並且也廣泛運用攝影、錄像來記錄其實施過程。

        由藝術家親身執行的行為藝術,如今已成為全球當代藝術界認可的一個媒介。這個區域的主流藝術機構卻仍偏好錄像與攝影,甚於行為藝術的表演,反映出展覽者的興趣在於展示無需考量特定時間與地點的「物件」藝術作品。正如諾埃爾·卡羅爾(Noel Carroll)所觀察到的,行為藝術和裝置藝術是「根植於特定場地」。然而,「許多國際大展裡的行為藝術卻是以錄像展示,就像很多裝置藝術是以多媒體呈現,納入錄像、攝影、聲音、以及電腦科技」(頁386)。此二現象說明補助機構的算計、考量,他們要展出可以由策展團隊組裝,而不需藝術家本身布展的藝術作品—除非藝術家已聲名卓著,他們的現身可以吸引大批觀眾前來。[圖像1] 瑪莉娜‧阿布拉莫維奇(Marina Abramovic) 的藝術家在此(The Artist Is Present  3月14日~5月31日,2010),阿布拉莫維奇在紐約「當代美術館」的回顧展期間,長時演出的個行為藝術作品,是後者最有名的例子。否則,主流獎助機構可能會認為,與其請行為藝術家製作稍縱即逝的藝術作品,倒不如策展在預算和執行度上都較具優勢的媒體藝術,諸如錄像與攝影。
      這個由我們當代科技取向與資本主義經濟形塑而成的跨國脈絡,即便是現在行為藝術家必須與之協商,以取得創作機會的專業環境。有幾個解決行為藝術家欠缺主流展演機會的辦法:一個是讓行為藝術家從事跨媒材的創作,將稍縱即逝的現場行動結合那些比較可以持久的相關媒材,像是錄像、攝影、聲音錄製和數位作品。另一個是由藝術家本身主動積極的策略,就像阿川國際行為藝術節(ArTrend International Performance Art Festival)所展示的,經由行為藝術家主導努力,啟動與參與另類國際作品呈現網絡,目標在於滋養扶植一個在當地觀眾可觀看的行為藝術創作平台。在台灣,行為藝術節也許尚未能達到像在英國那樣的文化能見度。尤其在倫敦,有一個機構叫做「現場表演藝術發展局」(the Live Art Development Agency[LADA] )專門致力於推展現場行為表演藝術。然而,藉著不斷努力與更多資訊的傳播,我們可以預期行為藝術未來在台灣會有更廣泛的接受度。我想這是策展人葉子啟邀請我參與這個藝術的理由。我可以在現場提供表演資訊與知識的交換,之後我也可以將這裡呈現的行為作品傳播給比在現場觀眾更廣大,更多歧的觀眾裏。

        現在讓我討論關於“表演”如何表現在現場行為、錄像、攝影三種媒體裡。我知道在座有許多藝術家從事這三種,甚至更多媒材的創作。因為我們身處以行為表演為主的藝術,我把這個演講做為對話聊天的啟場,請你們隨時可以打斷我。

表演“於攝影、錄像、及行為藝術:

        這個主題—行為表演、錄像、攝影的相互關係—極端複雜,它比較適合寫成一本書,而非只是一個小時的演講。這三個藝術媒材裡的每一個名稱都有它特定的歷史,龐大的實作,而且彼此之間關係又非常緊密。每個標籤即有自己的定義,同時又是另兩個的補充說明。行為藝術的表演成分不僅注入,並且連結錄像與攝影。而錄像與攝影兩者則又被廣泛使用來見證行為藝術。

      在此三種表演類別中,「攝影」歷史最悠久。攝影的發明,在1820年代,在20世紀初才被承認為是一種藝術形式。早期的攝影被認定與繪畫相(費倫[Phelan],2010,頁50),可能是因為攝影成品的形式特徵是二維平面,就跟繪畫一樣。[圖像 2] 從這張不具名的19世紀的操作攝影(manipulated photograph)看來,攝影初期好像倍受嘲弄。這張攝影暴露了「 拍照」的機械負擔: 一個鐵鉤夾住坐者的頭部,顯然這位攝影模特兒也就是攝影師,而攝影師則被動地在笨重的照相箱旁等待,完全不需要才華或能力,只要知道按快門的按鈕即可。這畫面令我著迷,因為它示範了拍照的表演元素,描繪攝影藝術是攝影師、模特兒、攝影機械技術三者在一場耐心勞力工作中的交相表演。

1960年代初期,美國率先使用可攜式錄影裝置,此產品得以發展是因為「美國軍方在越南實施監控的目的」(艾韋絲 [Elwes],頁3)。儘管如此,錄影科技早已用於電視傳播。[圖像3] 1960年代中期,新力開賣手提錄影攝影機時,錄像成為藝術家創作的媒材,特意牴觸其軍事及商業用途。根據凱薩琳艾韋絲的研究,白南準 (Nam June Paik) 是最早購買新力錄影機的藝術家之一。他第一個作品是錄下教宗保羅六世在1964年的紐約之行。白南準坐在計程車裡,跟著群眾,錄下教宗遊行時他所見到的一切。一小時後錄影因錄影帶沒了而中斷。當天晚上,白南準播放他那捲未經剪輯的黑白錄影帶,而播放的螢幕就擺在播出教宗遊行實況的電視旁邊 (艾韋絲,2005,頁4)。電視廣播,照慣例要先經過無數剪輯、插入畫外音、錄音室的討論、倒敘畫面和插播廣告。而白南準的「真實錄像」方案則記錄了教宗在「真實時間」裡的遊行 (艾韋絲,2005,頁4),一切現象,只不過透過藝術家之眼選擇紀錄,並因錄影科技而使其成為可能。

       1965年,白南準在約翰‧凱吉(John Cage)於林肯中心發表的第五號變奏曲Variation No. 5)上,將扭曲的電視影像錄像作品投射在梅斯康寧漢(Merce Cunningham)的舞群背後,(見強那森·布萊斯[Jonathan Price],2013,零博物館[MiseumZero],網站;威廉·費特曼[William Fitterman],1996,約翰‧凱吉的劇場作品John Cage’s Theatre Pieces,頁128)。[圖像4] 如此,甚至早在錄像機權充記錄行為表演藝術之前,白南準已開創性地將錄像視為單獨成立的藝術形式。不久之後,白南準轉向關注必須用來展呈錄像作品的硬體設備-電視螢幕-將之作為創作裝置藝術的雕塑材料。後來, 他又與音樂家夏洛特.慕爾曼 (Charlotte Moorman)合作,將音樂帶入由多媒體呈現的現場行為裡。生活雕塑電視胸罩(TV Bra for Living Sculpture,1969),一件激流派(Fluxus)的著名行為藝術作品,就是這個脈絡裡深具創造力,且令人愉悅的例子。[圖像5] [幻燈片8=Youtube上慕爾曼演出的片段 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3G3XomkkTPY
] 。

表演」作為「行為藝術,源自於視覺藝術家反叛當時的專業視覺藝術主流,企圖脫離於美國60年代和70年代的視覺藝術圈裡,專家們所認定的單一獨斷的標準:即,以商業化的標準,界定藝術作品必須是可以被收藏的,那意謂著藝術作品必定要有精緻的形式。為堵制這種為錢工作的潮流,表演藝術家從而促進了三方面重疊的發展:(1)以純觀念為藝術,導致露西·利帕德(Lucy R Lippard)呼籲「去物質化」來區分動態的行為與靜態藝術作品的差別,以此解釋觀念藝術和過程藝術的興起;(2) 結合藝術家身體和其他時間元素,譬如,長時表演,即興表演,或與現場觀眾一起形構一件可以被短暫分享,但無法被擁有的時間藝術作品;(3)堅持模糊藝術與生活、美學與政治、藝術家與藝術作品之間的界線。(鄭美玲 Meiling Cheng,2002,頁23)。

在美國,表演行為藝術的先驅出現在1952年由約翰‧凱吉、梅斯康寧漢、大衛都德 (David Tudor)、羅伯特·勞森伯格 (Robert Rauschenberg)、弗蘭茨克萊恩(Franz Kline)、M. C. 理查茲 (M. C. Richards) 共同表演的無題事件(Untitled Event)(黑山大學,Black Mountain College,網路)。[圖像6] 這個活動包括幾個同時發生,但互無關聯的獨立行動—演說、詩歌朗讀、舞蹈、繪畫展示、與投射幻燈片—由表演者在演出大廳內分據不同場域,同時演出。他們的活動僅僅受預定時框架 (preset time brackets),別無其他限制。這個無題事件的第一個紀錄,出版在1965年由麥克‧柯爾比(Michael Kirby)和理查‧謝喜納(Richard Schechner) 約翰‧凱吉的專訪裏 (網路)。然而,許多參與此事件的表演者對演出的重要細節有不同的記憶,他們平行解釋無題事件的演出內容,點出行為藝術稍縱即逝,瞬間轉為歷史,只許參與者與後人多方神話似回顧的特性。這即是表演藝術以純觀念存在於藝術史上的亮點。

       如同攝影與繪畫以及錄像與電視的對立關係,早期的行為藝術,因其形式多圍繞著一位或一群藝術家的現場演出,同時又有觀眾觀賞,類似戲劇,所以多數行為表演者常針對高度發展的劇場反動。目前行為表演藝術界反戲場的態勢已稍稍式微,從1970年代激進的反商品化、反擬真、反娛樂的意識形態轉向到近幾十年來,朝向更劇場化,更多媒體式的演出。

雖然行為藝術、攝影、錄像在不同的歷史年代進入藝術場域,其共同歷史是在剛起步時,它們都是藝術界的局外者,然後逐漸進入受歡迎且被認可的中心,而享有重要地位,最後在二十一世紀被吸納入全球性的藝術展覽網絡。此三表演媒材並分享數類傾向:包括與日常生活接近,美學實作,和政治參與的趨勢。攝影與錄像憑藉的是科技介入,而行為藝術則是以接納與結合各種不相干的行為領域為其觀念存在的理由。攝影與錄像兩者是科技的紀錄裝置,使用於不同領域,從日常生活到科學與醫學研究,從犯罪現場調查,到軍事利用與市民監控的目的。根據使用者,攝影與錄像的政治作用可以用來壓制,或用來鼓舞。極權國家可用錄像和監控裝置來控制人民,但人民也可以用同樣的科技來反監控、顛覆與抗衡。對比於攝影與錄像工具的中立性,在美國,行為藝術崛起於民權運動女性主義運動、以及反戰示威時期,就歷史意義而言,採取較為公開反體制的政治立場。

行為藝術、攝影、錄像三種媒材的政治立場不同,直指出藝術作品創作中科技介入的不同本質。錄像與攝影二者,藝術家以相機來創作作品。這種科技機械的出現,在創作過程中引入一種非人力量,即一種額外的後人類視角。相機具有雙重身份: 它即是藝術家的共同創作者,也是觀眾。最早期的行為藝術則是以人文為首,經常把藝術家的身體作為創作材料、媒介和表演場域,科技多以紀錄方式來支持行為藝術,以照相機或錄影機的形式,紀錄它稍縱即逝的行動,確保更多觀眾可以在事後仍能從紀錄影像觀看。1980年代起,越來越多的現場行為結合媒體科技創作多媒體表演。舉例來說,羅利·安德森 (Laurie Anderson) 就是多媒體行為藝術表演的先驅,而且讓其跨界到流行藝術領域。[圖像7] 以她的例子來說,現場表演加上媒體匯流成一個現場行為藝術作品。科技扮演的角色足以和行為藝術家的真身匹敵,形構出整個表演場域、環境和多重感官經驗。

如果我們把「表演」當作是一種較高意識的存在,那麼三種媒材裏都貫穿著表演。在攝影中,表演被捕捉於一個固定的視覺時刻。在錄像裡,表演出現在一段延續的時間裡,而觀眾也能沈浸於較多感官輸入中。為照相機和錄影機而做的現場表演,可被保存,並同時轉譯成一組感官資料,或供立即傳輸,或供未來觀看。因攝影與錄像都以科技操縱,“造假”可以是它們操作的一部分。在攝影或是錄像表面上看到的影像,可能無法重現事件發生時的真實樣貌。在行為藝術裡,就像在生活裡一樣,發生了的行動是不可逆的,而且也不受表演者或觀眾完全控制。它的稍縱即逝換來的是人們面對面相遇時的互動能量。然而,如想保存現場行為,超越其在場觀者的私人記憶之外,仍然得倚賴科技設備記錄表演過程。而此記錄過程通常意味著將現場行為轉譯成攝影與錄像的語彙。

        作為一個表演論述者,我倚賴表演記錄來理解,並評述行為表演藝術作品。誠如我在他處寫過:「要被記住,一個表演必須至少活兩次。第一次,它短暫存在於實際表演中,由表演藝術家和觀眾在一段指定的時間裡,共同見證它的逐漸消失」(鄭美玲,2002,頁26)。 一個表演可以藉由留下各類記錄: 文本、照片、錄像、訪談、新聞、錄音、演出紀錄、相關見證見證人修飾過的說法、檔案收集的部落格和網站,以確保它可能的重生。這些記錄性質的檔案儲存,每種來源都可作為後續再/創造(re/creation)的想像核心。「從那時起,表演有機會在死後,以他人想像虛擬方式,再活一次。它的“來生”存在於那些企圖重新組合,或重新建構它離散肢體的人之心靈/身體/想像中。他們創造出的新作品,我稱之為義肢表演(prosthetic performance),是一個取代和延伸已不存在的源頭表演之替代品」(鄭美玲,頁26)。

        從這個角度看來,所有我們可以從影像中看到的表演,不論是靜止還是動態的,基本上都要經過觀賞者閱讀表演的過濾,由觀讀者建構對此藝術作品及其中介影像的敘事。對攝影作品而言,這樣的閱讀開始並落實於觀讀者與作品的相遇。對錄像作品而言,這樣的相遇需要一段延續的時間,讓觀讀者去經驗作品表演的聲色,動作,景象。而對以攝影或錄像記錄的表演行為藝術作品而言,媒體記錄僅提供斷簡殘篇。這些紀錄, 如同源頭表演存留的“遺物”,其充當經驗入口,讓觀讀者進入之後,重新想像一個在它時他處展現的表演作品,鼓勵觀讀者填補現場演出遺失的細節。無論如何,一件表演藝術作品的閱讀行為都不是第一手的,而是後續追踪來的觀讀者自己 的表演。閱讀表演是一個重複表演,涉及讀者獨自一人與資訊物件的相互交流與沉思。這樣的狀況使得閱讀表演不同於以肉身交流,觀者作者彼此互為主體,參與觀看現場表演的第一手經驗。

       之下,我選了一些靜態與動態影像,讓我們在此時此地,面對面來現場演練我的重複表演。

[圖像8] 伊維斯克萊因 (Yves Klein)的(Leap into the Void 1960) 經由哈利商克 (Harry Shunk) 的攝影蒙太奇合成後的作品,在早期藝術史被當作是行為表演的記錄。

        當我開始研究表演藝術時,我看到法國藝術家伊維斯克萊因從二樓的窗戶跳入空中的經典影像,視其為表演藝術史上的顛峰之作,它甚至發生在「表演藝術」一詞出現之前。這個影像被視為是觀念信仰的超越一躍,明示藝術家願為藝術置自身於險地。克萊因聲稱做了兩次這個跳躍行動。保羅史基莫 (Paul Schimmel)寫到:「第一次,也可能是唯一的一次真正「跳入空無 」,是在1960年1月12日,克萊因從柯列特亞蘭迪 (Colette Allendy) 位於巴黎藝廊的二樓跳下的。柏娜代亞倫 (Bernadette Allain) 見證了這一幕個人私下的演出,同時並且確認當時:「地面上並沒有事先準備好的任何支撐物,以接住藝術家從空中墜落時的身體」(1998, 頁36)。克萊因展示他那隻扭傷的腳踝證明他真的有跳躍與墜落。根據藝術家所述,第二次縱身跳躍飛入空中是在對街的柔道館,他跳到一個墊子上。

        然而我們正在看的照片裡看不到墊子。這張攝影是哈瑞商克的再製品,他重疊處理一系列的照片,營造出克萊因從離街十五英呎高一躍而下,而當時地面上沒有任何支撐物的印象。因為商克小心翼翼拭去他重疊編輯的痕跡,這張照片看起來就像是記錄了一個穿著體面的人,臉朝向空中,模仿鳥兒飛翔之姿。然而,照片有些奇怪的細節破綻:譬如,那間藝術家縱身而跳的房子並沒有窗戶,騎腳踏車從旁經過的人,好像全然不知,或是完全無視於藝術家英雄式的、也許還有些吵雜聲響的行動。即使有這些疑點,這個影像曾經還是被當作是現場行為的記錄。這個事實說明要讓不在現場的人去辨別一個表演行動的真偽是多麼地困難。因此之故,一個沒有親臨現場觀看表演的觀賞者的閱讀表演,也可能成為藝術家名氣的神話製造機。克萊因允許商克重新編輯他的行為表演攝影圖像,並任其在藝術市場裡流通,這意謂現場表演可供藝術家刻意生產出另一個視覺藝術作品。那麼,這張照片捕捉到的隱形表演,就是克萊因的藝術野心,與攝影師商克藏而不見的加工勞動。

       [圖像9] 克里斯柏頓(Chris Burden):櫃中五日之作 (Five Day Locker Piece 1971):攝影作為表演記錄,與其他演出遺骸一起展呈

       這張有9個置物櫃的照片同樣有著潛藏的表演:藝術家克里斯柏頓的身體藏身於第5號櫃子裡。他上面的櫃子裡裝有五加侖的瓶裝水,而他下面的櫃子裡則裝有一支五加侖的空瓶。為演出他的櫃中五日之作(1971年)-這是柏頓在加州大學爾灣分校(UCI)藝術碩士學位的論文製作-柏頓在開始進行把自己關進櫃子裡為期五天之前的四天,就開始禁食 (司侯德,克里斯柏頓超越極限 Chris Burden Beyond Limit,頁195) 。柏頓之後回憶在這五天表演行為裡,許多人來看他,其中有些人甚至向他告解,把他的神隱之身當作是上帝或牧師般地敬仰。

        做為一位以一系列冒險性強、用身體耐受度當作創作資本,開始表演
藝術生涯的藝術家,柏頓堅持表演一定要是「真實的」,不能像「軟趴趴」的劇場藝術那樣作假 (夏波和貝爾 Sharp and Bear,1973, 頁6) 。像克萊因在入空無裡的手段,在照片上動手腳以膨脹演出行為,是與柏頓表演精神相悖離的。不過,和克萊因一樣,柏頓也製作演出記錄,做為他短暫演出行為之後,可展呈的藝術作品。

        [圖像10] 克里斯柏頓的第5號櫃子

       下一張幻燈片是柏頓在加大爾灣分校的置物櫃,貼有一張標籤紀念他於2015年5月10日與世長辭,可見他對年輕世代藝術家的影響力,尤其是對他在爾灣的學弟學妹們。

        [圖像11] 克里斯柏頓,序曲220或110 Prelude to 220, or 110  1971年9月10-12日)
       
       在這個現場表演裡,「柏頓用黃銅手銬腳鐐把自己鎖在石地板上,他旁邊有兩桶水,配有高達220伏特的電壓」(司侯德,克里斯柏頓超越極限,頁195) 。這個作品的危險在於,觀眾可能意外或故意踢倒水桶,導致藝術家遭受電擊。此外,如果水桶裡的水流溢出,「柏頓和/或觀眾都可能遭受危及性命的電擊」(司侯德,頁195) 。

       序曲220或110 突顯了柏頓在極限演出時必須承受的的高危險性。藉由把自己的性命存活完全托付給觀眾的謹慎與照護柏頓明示了現場演出時藝術家與觀眾在倫理和情感上的連結。這種真人互動互依的倫理連結不同於觀眾藉由表演記錄—攝影、文本或網站—而發展出對藝術品的倫理連結。因為攝影照片並不會像藝術家一樣可能因電擊而死!

       [圖像12] 儘管柏頓重視現場行動中的「真實」,他也珍視行為藝術的觀念本質,及其對只能由記錄觀看作品者的潛在衝擊。柏頓記錄其身體藝術作品的典型系統包含攝影記錄、加上一個在他原初現場表演時用到的物件、以及一短篇描述他行動時間、地點和過程的文本。柏頓稱這些物件「遺骸」,是他那已消失的現場行動留下的唯一存物,隱指行為藝術演出過程類似消失與死亡,同時勾憶起天主教取得聖徒身分的語彙。此宗教意涵使得柏頓極限演出時所需的獻身和耐受力,足與聖徒的自我犧牲,折磨肉身的行為,耐力相提並論。

       [圖像13] 克里斯柏頓,伊卡拉斯 (Icarus 1973年4月13日)

       克里斯柏頓的「遺骸」在他的攝影、文本,還有現場作品遺留物之間展呈出一個表演的境界。這是柏頓表演另一個大之作伊卡拉斯的影像,指涉希臘神話中建築師代達拉斯的兒子伊卡拉斯。代達拉斯用柳條樹枝黏著封蠟,發明製作了兩套翅膀,給他兒子和自己以逃離迷宮。代達拉斯警告兒子切勿飛近太陽,以免太陽的熱氣融化封蠟的翅膀。但伊卡拉斯在興奮飛翔中忘了父親的警告,他的翅膀因為太陽的熱氣而融化,最終掉到地面而亡。在柏頓的表演中,伊卡拉斯兩隻翅膀以澆有汽油的兩個玻璃框架代表,引燃玻璃框架的火代表太陽的熱氣,而柏頓撐不住的身體和破碎的玻璃框架則戲劇性地象徵伊卡拉斯的墜落。

         這張附有敘述標題的照片,出版於柏頓原先現場行為表演手冊之中,讓他的理念供給後代讀者再想像他作品的可能性。

       [圖像14] 紐約 (Humans of New York / HONY 2010- ),布蘭登史坦頓(Brandon Stanton)的攝影系列。
       
       克里斯伯頓的「影像-文本」搭將他的現場行為傳達給未能親臨現場的觀眾。這種影像敘述的組合,預視了目前各種社交媒體流行的傳訊方式。紐約攝影師和部落客布蘭登史坦頓即以此形式經營他的圖像部落格。他在2010年開始在網路上發表他命名為紐約的攝影系列,甚為轟動。據此又出版了兩本暢銷書:紐約(Humans of New York 2013)和紐約: 故事集(Humans of New York: Stories 2015)。史坦頓最近在他的臉書上開始紐約: 系列(Humans of New York: The Series 2015),張貼他的人物專訪錄像。現在他臉書上已有超過18,000,000萬人瀏覽追蹤這個計畫。

史坦頓在2010年開始拍照,當時他還是芝加哥的一個債劵交易員。那年夏天他被裁員後,他到美國各地旅行,走到哪拍到哪。他在2010年8月造訪紐約,在街上拍超過600人之後,他決定專注訴說他在這個美國人口最多的城市所拍的人物故事,目標是要拍1萬人的肖像。史坦頓剛開始在他的攝影部落格紐約裡張貼這些肖像,每天只吸引寥寥可數的訪客瀏覽。聽他回顧,紐約點閱率開始起飛是有三個轉折點: 他製作一個臉書專頁作此專題;他透過微博和社網站Tumblr分享作品他從偷拍陌生人肖像,轉而與他拍攝對象互動交流,問他們一些簡單的問題,像是他們的驕傲,懼怕,痛苦,與喜悅 (見史坦頓,2013)。這些相遇擴展他的攝影系列到說故事的模式,每組照片除了肖像攝影,還會加上入影對象所說的話。

紐約的成功證明群媒體的力量,以及人們對於他人的生命故事感到興趣。有幾個理由說明史坦頓的例子和我們的講題有關。當他從攝影師轉為部落客時,並沒有刻意要創作表演藝術作品,但他的計畫本身連結行為表演與攝影,最近又連結到錄像。行為表演發生在史坦頓與他的攝影對象交流互動時; 行為表演也發生在史坦頓的攝影對象在被拍照時與他分享他們的故事時;行為表演又發生在史坦頓選擇拍攝快門及剪輯故事尋找引言時; 行為表演再度發生在讀者遇見這些故事,並選擇與它們互動時,透過社群媒體來參與和分享這些故事。現場行動由攝影師發軔,加入那些自願分享他們人生故事的參與者,再藉由媒體傳播出去。如此行為表演、攝影、錄像匯集一處,使得史坦頓可以取得驚人的觀眾目,而且為他的藝術建立了一個存於網路上的藝術社群。

       [圖像15, 16] 來自史坦頓網站的更多例子。
       
       紐約展示一種動人的表演方式-經由單人組織的集體貢獻,藉由電子媒體和網路的中介表演來感染觀眾,衝擊社會。然而,受大眾歡迎只是測量社會影響力的一種方式。史坦頓對於多樣性社會現象的敏銳度,以及他最近針對戰爭退伍老兵小兒科癌症病患、難民、暫緩遣返童入境者的拍攝人像,全都説出他想要創作可以促進社會正向改變的藝術企圖心。
      
        [圖像17, 18, 19, 20] 蘇珊萊希 (Suzanne Lacy)的「新類型公共藝術」,或社會實作行動藝術。

舉個快例,這張影像是在台灣進行的大規模行為作品:身份認同(I.D. Entity 2004年11月13日),由蘇珊萊希與艾利希娃葛羅斯(Elisheva Gross)、優尼克荷蘭(Unique Holland)和歐亞瑟 (Arthur Ou),還有王弄極 (Nonchi Wang) 和湯瑪斯納許(Thomas Nash )的場景設計,在臺北搭台演出的。總共有160個台灣年輕人參與這個計畫( 見http://www.suzannelacy.com/recent-works/#/id-entity/ )。

       藝術家與參與者的互動演出;表演藝術連結攝影與錄像;由藝術家開啟的大規模通力合作;一個傳播分送藝術作品給多歧觀眾的高效模式;以及追求社會正義的藝術企圖:這些界定史坦頓紐約人系列的特徵,也是洛杉磯藝術家蘇珊萊希長達40年的作品特色。早在網路與社群媒體出現之前的好多年前,萊希大規模的行為計畫已提供現場行為藝術不少吸引觀眾的可行模式,由透過大眾傳播媒體對此事件的報導,觸及在場或不在場的廣大觀眾群。

        [圖像21] 舉例來說,萊希與萊絲麗拉波威茲 (Leslie Labowitz) 共同創作的現場表演作品與憤怒 (In Mourning and in Rage 1977), 是個在女性主義歷史裏,很有影響力的作品。

與憤怒是一場透過大眾媒體傳播的行為藝術事件和紀念儀式。
萊希與拉波威茲以此作品讓大眾注意到當年日益猖獗的對女性施暴之罪行和社會問題。( 萊希網站,<早期作品>  “Early Work” )。這個集體行為表演在洛杉磯市政府前舉行,是一場女性公開集會,重點是為了在1977年12月裡,被「山坡掐人魔」強暴、施虐、殺害的十位婦女聚集哀悼。由一位穿著紅色袍子代表憤怒的女性引導,九位穿著黑衣、面戴黑紗的表演者,循序入場。她們戴著高聳頭飾,站在一起像是指控與哀悼的紀念碑。圍繞著這些哀悼的形體的是一群舉著寫有「紀念我們的姐妹」和「婦女要還擊」巨大標語的婦女們。
       [在萊希網站可以看到這個行為的記錄影像 http://www.suzannelacy.com/early-works/#/in-mourning-and-in-rage-1977/]

       正如我們可在錄像記錄裡看到的,這九位黑衣哀悼者,一個一個往前站出來,高聲抗議對女性各種不同形式的暴力。每位黑衣婦女見證之後,圍繞在她身後的婦女們便一同吟詠「紀念我們的姐妹,我們要還擊」。同時,紅袍婦女在哀悼者的肩上披上紅色披肩,將她個人的哀傷轉化成對正義的集體訴求。[圖像22] 這些表演者傳達的訊息令人極度不安;受害婦女人數持續增加,從10位被「山坡掐人魔」強暴和謀殺的受害者,增加到1976年一年內在洛杉磯的4,033位被強暴婦女,再增加到50萬遭受家暴的婦女(見鄭美玲2002, 頁120-21)。這些見證,不單僅是聚焦於口頭抗議婦女受害,同時也提供婦女抵抗受虐的方法,包括提高公共意識,和組織社群行動,以此減少受害者獨處時可能感受到的羞辱。這件以“還我公道”為由的聚集表演,結束於紅衣女的憤怒陳抗,當眾宣稱「我在此代表所有婦女的憤怒。我在此代表婦女的還擊」。

作為一個現場事件與公開的紀念會,與憤怒提供給參與者及現場願意的觀眾們,一個實際且象徵的空間去表達他們相互聯結的情緒。萊希與拉波威茲以吸引大眾傳媒報導為題,來設計表演中各種不同元素,加倍這個一次性演出的潛在社會衝擊力道。表演者的簡短演說,和婦女群隊的重複吟詠,符合提供新聞報導簡易標題;表演者肅穆的姿態形成栩栩如生的哀傷憤怒靜像,完全是為攝影機而擺置的。經由大眾傳媒的導,萊希與她的女性主義團隊的政治性批判找到主流曝光機會,提出強暴的禁忌話題,同時譴責男權社會上厭惡女性的文化趨勢

       [圖像 23, 24] 蘇珊萊希:藉你之手 (De Tu Puno y Letra / In Your Own Hand, By Your Own Hand 2015) ,基多,厄瓜多爾。

       哀悼與憤怒以一個女性聚集一處的表演儀式,揭露和反擊針對婦女的暴力行為。在萊希較近的作品藉你之手中,她擴展此象徵與政治儀式,納入男性,一起為終結施暴婦幼而奮鬥。這個一年計畫在2015年11月25日 “國際終止婦女暴力日” 當天進行,由350個男人在貝爾蒙特廣場(Belmont Plaza)的鬥牛場演出。

「在厄瓜多爾,大約每10個婦女中有6人是暴力受害者,其中只有百分之十的婦女得以逃離暴力伴侶」(萊希網站,<近作> “Recent Works”)。在2012年,基多市政府組織一個名為來自婦女的信Cartas de Mujeres)的自覺意識方案,總共有10,000名厄瓜多爾婦女寫信訴說她們的受暴經驗。萊希受此方案啟發,提議「以這些信件為主製作一個新作品」,並找男性來閱讀這些書信。De Tu Puno y Letra 是這個表演的西班牙文作品標題,譯成英文有兩層意義:在你手中,或 藉你之手。此雙重含義揭露萊希的表演概念:這些女人的書信是在她們手中寫下的;她們的書信揭露的暴力是由罪犯之手所造成的。參與這個方案的男性表演者每一個人都「認養一封(不認識婦女的)書信」。在演出時,他們大聲唸出書信內容。每封他們認養的信都含有書寫者見證的“聲音”。表演者手中握著書信,而他們一起站在的表演現場,又是個鬥牛競技場,受控於人類駕馭動物的暴力史。


        在藉你之手為期一年的準備期間,志願參與表演的男人們參加了「男性與暴力工作坊—由專營家暴教育的非政府組織GIZ裡的提姆克魯潔 (Timm Kroeger) 所設計的課程」(萊希網站)。他們的工作坊還促使安第斯大學(Universidad de Los Americas)醫學院發展出到現在還在適用的家暴課程。當萊希把「市政府部門、非政府組織、藝術團體和教育機構」組織起來,以多面向,且為數眾多的人員參與,以及訓練參與者的延伸課程,在在都發揮長遠影響社會文化改革的深層潛能。許多人被這個極具意義的主題吸引,參與萊希的計畫,志願擔任顧問,製作人,人力開發,與舞台經理,提供他們所長,幫忙設計製作這個現場行為表演的登峰之作。

萊希和她的團隊,因為以男性做為主要表演者,以及沿用鬥牛場為表演場地,飽受眾人批評。我卻認為她做這樣的選擇是精銳的。延攬男性來參與這個他人可能認為是「女性議題」的演出,使得這些男性-以及如此延伸而括的其他男性—必須面對擔任他們自己的道德角色,極力防止更多婦女、兒童受暴。多次的排練和正式演出都可以培養他們對過去受害者,與書信書寫者產生同情心。以鬥牛場作為這個富於感情的演出場地,則使這整個表演事件成為對一個極具充斥雄性侵略場域的驅魔儀式,

       [圖像25] 請看萊希網站上一個6分鐘的錄像記錄 http://www.suzannelacy.com/early-works/#/in-mourning-and-in-rage-1977/


       在市立樂團的演奏聲中,超過1500名群眾貝爾蒙特廣場觀賞這場現場行為表演。這些由協調者迎接,他們負責說明這場事件的交談性本質。根據1000封原始信件,劇本編寫者葛布列耶拉彭斯(Gabriela Ponce)將演出分為四幕。前三幕的演出重點是這些男性唸出關於虐待婦幼、身體創傷,和家庭暴力的書信。「一些在觀眾席的音樂家出奇不意的參與」布魯諾羅川(Bruno Louchouarn) 所編的樂曲,預錄的音樂與現場演出的樂聲合奏。「鬥牛場逐漸聚集成千成百個各行各業,各年齡層的人(也包括許多警察)」;他們閱讀令人心書信,聲音一波波上湧。「逐強的音波,突然被嘎然而止的沈默打斷。此時,在300個男人中,出現了一個白髮蒼蒼的老婦,問說:「為什麼你叫這是愛?」(萊希網站)。

        [圖像26, 27] 第四幕名為<分離>,表演者從鬥牛場退出坐到觀眾中間,每人手持蠟燭,面對著二至三人的觀眾小組,閱讀書信。最後一幕,結束在這些觀眾小組的談話中,熱烈的討論那些來信的「真實」婦女如何能夠逃離她們的生命困境。所有在現場的人—包括協調者、書信朗讀者、觀眾,「藝術家和來自厄瓜多爾、墨西哥、與美國的社會運動者」(見提姆克魯格 [Timm Kroeger],2016,網站)—都參與了這個公共議題的互動論壇。


跨媒體性與多歧匯流

      “多歧”是個較小規模的國際行為藝術節,以聚焦藝術家個人表演,或小群體演出為主。在這樣一個小型創作的場合裏,提到蘇珊萊希大規模,並長時間的集體行為表演,似乎有點違和。我的用意是想提出各種各類與攝影和錄像跨界組合的表演行為作品。從克萊因的虛擬攝影表演記錄,柏頓的個人身體藝術作品和它們的遺骸,史坦頓的攝影敘事表演,到萊希的社會實作表演藝術。這些不同的例子彰顯表演、攝影、與錄像之間相互依存的關係如此之深。而這三個媒體之間頻繁的匯聚,更使得探討它們個別媒體的獨特性變得微不足道。

誠如狄克希金斯(Dick Higgins) 在<跨媒體宣言> (Statement on Intermedia 1966)所言,自1950年代後期,藝術家已經改變了他們的創作媒體,去迎合這個被「大眾傳媒擴散」,被「電視和電晶體收音機」改變的世界。在21世紀,我們可以再加上數位電子科技藝術形式,社群媒體,手機和穿戴式科技的衝擊力。回應這些不斷的變動,藝術家已將各式媒體與其傳統形式絕裂,如此,使研究單一媒體本質如何的論訴,成為「僅只是純粹主義的參考點[…],只在被當成評論工具時才有用」(網路) 。以希金斯的邏輯,表演行為藝術只能走在一個「跨媒體的路徑上,以強調媒體之間的對話」為主,而非存在任何單一媒體裡成就自我亮點。從這個角度來看,要分析現場表演,攝影表演,和錄像表演的不同,比較是學術鑽研,而無法實際探究當前這個充斥著混種表演(hybrid performance )的藝術領域。

如我們當代世界已經承認性別認同存在於一個所有可能性的光譜裡,我們也可以把行為表演、攝影、和錄影之間的關係,視為在互相干擾,卻又彼此跨界滋養的光譜裡增長茁壯。現場表演和攝影、錄像一樣,不再以「人」為主體,因為「活生生」和「人性」這些觀念,都是由經驗構成的,趨於不斷被重新詮釋。我們的身體愈來愈和科技義肢,機器假物,螢幕與身體界面,軟體與硬體交纏不已,導致我們如無科技的幫助,幾乎無法運作日常生活。我們甚至到了可能被那些非人類的智慧機器所掌控,甚至欺騙的地步。

然而,正因為我們日常身陷依賴科技的生活,以及在工作上例行的與網站、電郵溝通的這個事實,切切彰顯了表演作為現場藝術的價值。越來越私人化與商品化的世界裡,現場行為藝術讓藝術創作過程與呈現公眾同時發生,製造出一個藝術家與觀眾相遇的時空,催生一個即時的公共場域。並且,像《多歧》這樣的一個國際行為藝術節,其實就是一個縮小版的地球村。它成為各種想法、態度、行為,即興能量,與人際關係的聚集地。從表演的發軔、到開展、到消失,行為藝術提供了一帖濃縮良藥,讓藝術家和觀眾體驗到活著的奧秘,在此時此地,無法預測、脆弱無比,但卻可彼此分享。



                                                                                            翻譯  陳淑芬      訂正修稿  葉子啟, 鄭美玲




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