Issue 26 : 末日棲居
Dwelling in the Apocalypse
在本期中，謝佩君深度描寫美國藝術家克利斯迪安．馬克雷（Christian Marclay）與亞瑟．賈法（Arthur Jafa）各自運用現成影像蒙太奇的創作，傳遞著影像生產中戰爭、暴力的末世預警，這兩件於今年威尼斯雙年展中受到矚目的錄像作品，同時反映著本屆「願你生活在有趣的時代」這個對現今世界充滿各種不確定性的喻義主題。陳儒修則從影史開展的歷史性一幕—「火車進站」—指出電影發展的開端與災難的關聯、災難電影與現實經驗的糾葛，以及電影本身所造成的歷史性災難。
In the face of unpredictable days ahead, have we drifted even further away from the “poetic dwelling” the German poet Friedrich Hölderlin so poignantly described? Disasters and wars, lies and scheming - the ambitions and desires that plague the human world never cease to expand, making it harder to imbue the presence of humans with a sense of poetry. As the threat of conflict in global politics rises to its highest level since the Cold War in 1953, where the “doomsday clock” stays at two minutes to midnight, we are closer than ever to the end since World War II. How do we possibly survive on this land as the apocalypse closes in?
Shiga Lieko’s dream-like imagery creations reflect her perception of life and death after living through the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. In her latest work, Human Spring, Shiga attempts to recover the sense of nature and self that lies within all humans but has since been forgotten and buried. She does so through the use of imagery that flows like a stream of consciousness, presenting a picture of meditation on human nature and survival itself. Lin Yu-Chih’s Asongcalledformosa is a private songbook he created on a long travel home, filled with songs like that of his hometown and its people, the industrial area and the desolate coast, and memories of his father being recruited by the Japanese army to serve in Southeast Asia. These images taken over the course of decades are published for the first time, singing the love and sorrowful songs of this island that the traveler hums along to as he set out on his journey. Yuan Goang-Ming has been working with video installation since the 1980s, and his work illustrates a sense of uneasiness towards daily life. From About Millet’s The Angelus and Out of Position created at the end of last century, to more recent works such as City Disqualified, Landscape of Energy, Dwelling and Everyday Maneuver, a sense of our past and last days permeates his creations, the message of which is drifting afloat in the modern social space that has been dehumanized, until the world can finally take no more.
In this issue, Hsieh Pei-Chun describes in great detail American artists Christian Marclay and Arthur Jafa’s works that consist of found footage, and are warning of war and violence. Their works received much attention in this year’s edition of the Venice Biennale as they reflected the metaphorical theme of the Biennale that hints at uncertainties in today’s world, “May You Live in Interesting Times”. On the other hand, Chen Ru-Shou draws a connection between movies and disasters, the entanglement of disaster films and real-life experience and finally the disasters brought about by filmmaking itself.
Japan’s era name change from Heisei to Reiwa this year is symbolically significant both for her politics as well as her culture which have also entered a new era. Chang Shih-Lun takes a look at the post-war transformation in the external images of Emperor Hirohito since his “Declaration of Humanity” in 1946, analyzing in detail the memories of history and cultural politics that followed Japan’s imperial system. Furthermore, the Photobook Making Case Study segment features a rare behind-the-scenes look at printing work with Himeno Kimi, founder of AKAAKA, a Japanese art book publisher.
Since March this year, we have been co-organizing with C-LAB the Afterimage of History: Photography History Narrative Workshops, a series of workshops led by artists and imagery researchers, promoting the critical thinking of contemporary meaning and creativity in the history of photography. In this issue, we are featuring an excerpt from artist Kao Chung-Li’s lecture in his Imagery Machine workshop, in which he spoke about the principles of visual imagery, and revealed the ways art and literary creations responded to photography and visual perception. (Kao also created a concept called “chù/shìh tóu bù jhào siàng shù” (tangibility of touch/sight head phase-image making method), a method to illustrate the perception of touch and sight in image creation, inspiring new ways to approach photography and visual history.) We will be featuring more content from the workshops in future issues. At the same time, we will also be organizing a forum on photography history, and we look forward to your participation.