战后艺术

在英文语境之下,每每读到对抽象概念的精确的具象化描述的尝试总让令我折服,让我觉得抽象的概念其实原来也并不是那么无厘头的嘛。纽约 Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 2019 年夏季新展 Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection 上一段介绍性文字将战后艺术(postwar art)描述为「一套因战后暴戾与破坏而生的实验性艺术语言」的文字仿佛直击这一类艺术作品的存在目的。

The term postwar art has most typically been used to describe art created in the aftermath of World War II within a North American or Western European context. The advent of the atomic age – initiated by the United States’ bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945-and the atrocities of the Holocaust, perpetuated by Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, challenged artists and intellectuals to invent new languages and forms that could respond to the un-representable. The disjunction between Western ideologies and the realities of violence and devastation led many European and North American artists to embrace non-Western aesthetics and modes of thought.

In the visual arts, abstraction provided an experimental vocabulary with which to signify the magnitude of destruction caused by the war and the gravity of horrors unleashed by the nuclear bomb. It also offered artists an openended approach to envisioning other psychic or emotional states, as a respite and refuge from the harsh realities of the present. Simultaneously, figuration and performance art flourished, as artists sought to portray the radical fragmentation of the body-a result of the violence wrought against it and the environment, the cityscape, and the countryside. Art offered both a critique of and an escape from a war-weary world.

并不是因为创作于 1950–1970 它们才叫做战后艺术。

这样精炼表述之美,大概就是艺术史之美吧。

又到了快乐水的季节

郁达夫在《春风沉醉的晚上》这样写春夏之交的季节:

天气好像变了。几日来我那独有的世界,黑暗的小房里的腐浊的空气,同蒸笼里的蒸气一样,蒸得人头昏欲晕。我每年在春夏之交要发的神经衰弱的重症,遇了这样的气候,就要使我变成半狂。所以我这几天来,到了晚上,等马路上人静之后,也常常想出去散步去。一个人在马路上从狭隘的深蓝天空里看看群星,慢慢地向前行走,一边做些漫无涯涘的空想,倒是于我的身体很有利益。当这样的无可奈何,春风沉醉的晚上,我每要在各处乱走,走到天将明的时候才回家里。我这样的走倦了回去就睡,一睡直可睡到第二天的日中,有几次竟要睡到二妹下工回来的前后方才起来。睡眠一足,我的健康状态也渐渐地回复起来了。

又到了快乐水的季节。

音乐的听众、电视的观众和杂志的读者

在《滚石》(Rolling Stone)杂志的编辑笔下,电视节目正变得越来越像是当代的音乐文化,每一个粉丝群体,在变得越发分裂和孤立。《滚石》2019 年 4 月刊 Editor’s Letter: Goodbye to ‘Game of Thrones’

Game of Thrones had a global reach like nothing before it on TV. When you factor in illegal downloads and streams, the previous season was viewed by at least a billion people — meaning one of seven humans on the planet. “It does things you never expected TV to be able to do in terms of dragons flying and burning up entire armies, and zombies storming down a mountain,” says Alan Sepinwall, our chief TV critic, who has never missed an episode. “It’s viscerally thrilling in a way that almost nothing in TV has ever been before.”

When Game of Thrones debuted, back in 2011, TV was a totally different place. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon hadn’t begun to create their own programming, and the audience for great shows wasn’t splintered across niche genres and formats. It was actually possible (and enjoyable!) to keep up with GoT and other great shows like Homeland, Breaking Bad and Mad Men as they unfolded week to week. Now, dozens of original shows, docs and miniseries are dumped onto streaming services every month, and even the best of them reach smaller, fragmented audiences.

“TV is like the new music, and more than a little tribal,” says Rolling Stone entertainment editor Maria Fontoura. “Everyone has their favorite shows, and people judge each other’s taste by what they’re watching.”

李如一笔下的 Apple News+ 也在让杂志变得越来越像是音乐。《一天世界》博客 Apple News+

苹果最落后的地方是反复讲各种「最好」和「最有创意」。汇集最好的杂志,找最好的创意人来做最好的电视节目。她们没有收到风,最好的时代已经结束了。没有最好,也没有更好,只有各种各样的好。不仅没有最好,甚至最火都已经没有了。已经不再是 for the rest of us 的苹果不懂这个。

百科、博物馆、艺术史:一个微缩的平行世界

之前试着做维基百科类的网站词条的时候,就意识到:那种写完一个词条时的成就感,很大程度上与构建世界的成就感非常相似,只不过这个被构建的世界是个在虚拟空间的平行世界。在这个平行世界中的物件与我们所生活的现实世界的物体的子集有个映射的关系,而这虚拟世界中物体的关系由我们通过超链接编织而成。

今天读 Donald Preziosi 的《艺术史的艺术:批评读本》(The Art of Art History: A Critical Anthology)的时候看到编者 1998 年撰写的开篇文章 Art History: Making the Visible Legible 中提到

Art history and museology traditionally fabricated histories of form as surrogates for or parallels to histories of persons or peoples: narrative stagings which served (on the model of forensic laboratory science) to illustrate, demonstrate, and delineate significant aspects of the character, level of civilization, or degree of social or cognitive advancement or decline of an individual or nation.

也意识到这种对于平行世界的构建同时也在博物馆学和艺术史学中存在,同样的,在百科构建中也会有类似于博物馆中「策展」(curation)过程的遴选所带来的对世界的一种「负责任」的支配感。

许多玩家在我的世界(Minecraft)等模拟类游戏中也能找到类似的乐趣。

对方法论的讨论实在是件有趣的事呢。

从三维到二维

Robert BringhurstPalatino: The Natural History of a Typeface 第 96 页中准备结束对凸版letterpress)时代的叙述,并开启后续章节对照排photographic)与数字(或桌面)印刷时代的介绍:

Every font in the Palatino family produced through 1962 was three dimensional, intended for use in a letterpress. Every font in the family made after that date was photographic or digital — and was, in either case, designed for a printed page that has no sculptural dimension.

这本书前半部分给我留下最深印象之一部分的,就是这从三维到二维的过渡。几乎完全成长于数字印刷时代的笔者,很难理解三维造字时代铁与火的浪漫——以至于当字谈字畅播客中多次从铅字出发的时候极难做到感同身受。而在阅读《Palatino》一书之时,大量图片给了我真切的印象:不只是印刷品,之前那些“看得见、摸得着”的立方块也是是曾经的印刷产品的一部分。如果从多层的角度讲,像现在的许多字体属性,曾经是通过一层金属体现出来的,当然现在,仅仅剩下了一个一维变化的数字。这个从立体到平面印刷的剧变之后,整个行业的设计师,是整整少了一个维度的限制、也整整少了一个维度的设计需求。

这是读《Palatino》一书给我留下深刻印象的几点之一。当时在地铁上读到这里,就想认真地把它留下来,而不是随着还书把他忘掉。总体而言,不得不说《Palatino》从某种程度上是改变当代字体爱好者认识的极其难能可贵的历史课本。

又读《藤野先生》

刚才在看知乎的时候,又读到鲁迅先生所作的《藤野先生》,感到莫名的难过。

将走的前几天,他叫我到他家里去,交给我一张照相,后面写着两个字道:“惜别”,还说希望将我的也送他。但我这时适值没有照相了;他便叮嘱我将来照了寄给他,并且时时通信告诉他此后的状况。

我离开仙台之后,就多年没有照过相,又因为状况也无聊,说起来无非使他失望,便连信也怕敢写了。经过的年月一多,话更无从说起,所以虽然有时想写信,却又难以下笔,这样的一直到现在,竟没有寄过一封信和一张照片。从他那一面看起来,是一去之后,杳无消息了。

有时候啊,认识的人莫名就断了联系,反过来想要再重建联系的时候,又总觉得唐突的问候,会说不出口,终于还是活在了两个世界了。

从前学语文的时候也没留意过这篇文章里的任意一段;想必作文的时候也不会引用这样「平庸」的文字。如今看来,这才是最真实的感情啊。

对量化评估讨论的又一例

在最新一集《吹响!悠风号》(第 2 季 第 3 集 烦恼的夜曲)的结尾处,黄前久美子与高坂丽奈之间有这样一段对话(摘录自优酷版本的翻译):

黄前久美子:「丽奈你啊,对大赛怎么想?」
高坂丽奈:「为什么要问这个?」
黄前久美子:「在思考一些事情……」
高坂丽奈:「虽然经常有人说音乐没法用金银铜奖来简单评价,但我觉得只有胜者才有资格那么说,演奏不好的人说了也像是酸葡萄。所以觉得最后也只能把它做好。而且,也没那么多让人听到的机会。我喜欢大赛,想看到它积极的一面。」
黄前久美子:「是吗……」

我们都是要有几十年都浸淫在一个量化的评价系统中,而且在支持这个体系与反对它带来的痛苦之间摇摆不定。高坂丽奈这样对体系的支持者是酷的,因为他们能成功;许多量化体系的反对者也是酷的,因为他们勇于揭竿而起。可惜我们无法成为两者之一。

她们在说音乐,她们不止在说音乐。

再读《活版》

I Love Typography 昨天的新文章 The Prints and the Pauper 的摘录了来自 Keith Houston 的新书《The Book: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time》章节 The Prints and the Pauper: Johannes Gutenberg and the invention of movable type, 比较了中西世界中的印刷术的差异,用西方视角重新审视了我们在中学课本里沈括老先生《梦溪笔谈 · 卷十八 技艺》里的的《活版》选段,给人一种耳目一新的感觉。

不过,我最感兴趣的是下面两段

But as enticing as Chinese ink was to calligraphers and doctors, it was a stumbling block for Chinese printers who tried to move beyond simple woodblock printing. Water-based inks did not adhere well to metal, earthenware, or porcelain and produced blotchy, indistinct images.

Another famed Chinese invention bound up with books and bookmaking also proved to be an obstacle to the wider adoption of movable type. Chinese paper was too delicate to withstand the pressure required to form a crisp impression, requiring that printers use handheld brushes rather than firm mechanical presses to impress their paper onto their type. Not only that, China’s water-based ink tended to seep through the paper and made it impossible to print on both sides of a sheet.

在这两段里 Keith Houston 指出了两个我们在《活版》的教学过程中通常不被提及的我国传统活版印刷与现当代印刷术的有趣差异:

  • 油墨的不同:中国的水性墨与金属、陶瓷难易结合,导致印刷不清晰。
  • 纸张的不同:中国传统的宣纸薄而脆,韧性差,难易使用机器快速压制;而且由于采用水性墨会洇到背面导致双面印刷困难。

现在想想当年要是能有印刷相关专业的人,或者是字体排印的爱好者来给当年的我们讲当年的那篇文章可能的确会是另一番风景呢。