Issuu on Google+


Cover image derived from: The Half Hitching Post / 半马索, 2005


Yang Fudong 杨福东 雀村往东 East of Que Village

Logan Center Exhibitions Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts University of Chicago


Table of Contents

Curators’ Introduction Monika Szewczyk and Wu Hung

5

Exhibition Checklist

7

About East of Que Village: A Conversation between Yang Fudong and Wu Hung Acknowledgements

18 35

Colophon

36


Curators’ Introduction

Yang Fudong: East of Que Village is a focused solo exhibition of the Chinese film-based artist Yang Fudong (b. 1971, Beijing). Self-taught in photography and video, Yang’s works are informed by a wide range of influences from Chinese scroll paintings through the French New Wave to the independent cinema of Jim Jarmusch. Although initially trained as a painter, graduating from the Art Academy of Hangzhou (now China Academy of Art) in 1995, Yang began participating in an avant-garde discourse in the 1990s and began exhibiting internationally in both group and solo exhibitions in 2001. In 2004, the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago organized the solo exhibition Yang Fudong: Five Films, the centerpiece of which was the second chapter (co-produced by the society) of what has become perhaps Yang’s most well known work: Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-2007). The current exhibition, conceived in conjunction with UChicago Arts’ Envisioning China: A Festival of Arts & Culture introduces new generations in Chicago to the work of one of China’s most original and accomplished contemporary artists. Of particular interest, in the context of the broader festival but also within the mission of Logan Center Exhibitions, is this artist’s multi-dimensional imaginary. Thus, the emphasis in the selection of works fell on the formal, historical, and social range of Yang’s work— itself a reflection of the complexities and contradictions of China’s transforming society. The exhibition takes its title from Yang’s 2007 sixchannel video installation, which presents something of a departure from the artist’s more celebrated motifs. While he is best known for sumptuous depictions of China’s young and urbane generation, evocative of the era of ‘Shanghai noir,’ with East of Que Village (2007) what comes to the fore is another signature aspect of the work: namely, what Professor Wu Hung calls “the transformation of a temporal order into a spatial construct.” Projected on six screens distributed throughout the gallery space, East of Que Village is both film and installation. Its panoramic setup rejects linear storytelling, as it is impossible for the viewer to internalize all six videos at once. While East of Que Village, unlike Yang’s other films, depicts an atmosphere of rural desolation, it is equally connected to the artist’s biography. It takes place in Yang’s hometown, an isolated village in rural Hebei. We see few people save for a funerary procession. The focus of the film, however, is a pack of wild, starving dogs, attempting to survive in this desolate expanse. The film’s atmosphere is one of utter bleakness, mediated by an objective, journalistic style. In contrast to the evolving metropolitan culture depicted in Yang’s best-known films, here we encounter a parallel Chinese reality that continues to exist.

5


The other films in the exhibition, all single-channel videos, span over twenty years of Yang’s career. Like East of Que Village, Yang’s seven-minute, single-channel video The Half Hitching Post (2005) illustrates the growing gap between rural and urban China. Two young men are moving to an isolated village on the Loess Plateau in northern China while a young couple simultaneously attempts to leave it. The human-driven narrative, the landscape recalling classical Chinese scroll paintings, and the costumes—where the business suit and peasant skirt meet incongruously—exemplify the artist’s sophisticated mixing of genres. After All I Didn’t Force You (1998), Yang’s earliest and most free-form film in the exhibition, is an atmospheric (at times lighting-fast) montage, loosely centered on a boy and girl in a city. As the tribal punk percussion of the sound track suddenly gives way to the tropical rhythms of Bossa Nova, we see the role of Fudong’s eclectic ear in forging his atmospheric image of alienated youth. Yang’s first foray into the noir genre, the whimsical single-channel video City Light (2000), also takes us out of the countryside. In the urban environment, identity is un-fixed as a young man and his doppelganger rehearse detective choreographies. In step with Yang’s spatio-temporal investigations, the exhibition moves outside the gallery with the presentation of the short video Siemens “S10” (2003), created in collaboration with Siemens Business Communication Systems Ltd. in Shanghai. Here, twenty of the company’s employees are mobilized as actors clad in matching uniforms, which connect the cast through an intricate network of zippers, forging a type of social sculpture. Yang’s reflection on his own generation, part of an emerging Chinese middle class, here links to a portrait of global corporate culture, reimagined with absurdist delight. Extending the encounter with Yang Fudong’s work, this booklet contains an extensive interview with the artist conducted by Professor Wu Hung. Focused on the central work of this exhibition, East of Que Village, the exchange lends insight into the artist’s working method and worldview. It is printed in the original Chinese with an English translation. * Yang Fudong: East of Que Village is co-curated by Monika Szewczyk, Visual Arts Program Curator at the Logan Center, and Wu Hung, the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and a Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago; with assistance from Lida Zeitlin Wu, Curatorial Assistant for Logan Center Exhibitions.

6


Exhibition Checklist

After All I Didn’t Force You / 我并非强迫你, 1998 Single-channel video, black and white and color, sound, 2 minutes 30 seconds City Light / 城市之光, 2000 Single-channel video, black and white and color, sound, 6 minutes Siemens “S10” / 西门子 “S10”, 2003 * Single-channel video, color, sound, 6 minutes The Half Hitching Post / 半马索, 2005 35mm color film transferred to DVD, sound, 6 minutes East of Que Village / 雀村往东, 2007 6-channel video installation, filmed with HDV, black and white, sound, 20 minutes 50 seconds All works are courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, New York. *

This work is presented on multiple screens throughout the Logan Center for the Arts. All other works are in the Logan Center Gallery.

7


Stills from After All I Didn’t Force You / 我并非强迫你, 1998

8


9


Stills from City Light / 城市之光, 2000

10


11


Stills from Siemens “S10” / 西门子 “S10”, 2003

12 10


13 11


Stills from The Half Hitching Post / 半马索, 2005

14


15


This and subsequent images pp. 18–34 are stills from East of Que Village / 雀村往东, 2007

16


17


About East of Que Village: A Conversation between Yang Fudong and Wu Hung Time: December 23, 2013, afternoon. Place: Shanghai, Changning District Wu Hung (Hereafter WH): Today let’s focus on your East of Que Village. First, can you talk about the process of making the film? This film was made in 2007, right? Yang Fudong (Hereafter YFD): Yes, 2007. Actually, before 2007, having made the second and third parts of Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest, my state of mind during the creative process was starting to change. Seven Intellectuals is something like an abstract film, with an almost utopian feeling. When I got to the third part, I felt a little bit like I was floating in space; it seemed like there were certain things I was unable to grasp. I told myself I should use a different approach. I also wanted to make a film that was more grounded: my approach would involve walking on the earth, rather than being suspended in the air. Actually, this is how you face real life—it isn’t a utopian condition. Even from the beginning, when I was making An Estranged Paradise, I already wanted to make a film about my childhood home.

关于《雀村往东》: 杨福东、巫鸿对话

时间: 2013年12月23日下午 地点: 上海市长宁区盘湾方舟 巫鸿: 我们今天集中谈谈你的《雀村往 东》。首先请你把经过谈一谈, 这部片 子是2007年拍的吧? 杨福东: 对, 2007年。其实当时在 2007年之前, 拍《竹林七贤》拍到第2 和第3集的时候, 创作时的心态有一点 变化。《竹林七贤》有点像一个抽象电 影, 有点像乌托邦式的感觉。拍到第3 集的时候, 就觉得有点飘, 有些东西似 乎有抓不到的感觉。我说希望换一种 方式, 也拍一个脚踏实地的, 人踩在地 上的, 不是悬在半空中去做这事。其实 这有点像你怎么面对现实生活的状态, 除了乌托邦的一种状态。其实我在最 早的时候, 在拍《陌生天堂》的时候就 总是想拍老家。 巫鸿: 拍《陌生天堂》应该是90年代 末的时候?

WH: Wasn’t An Estranged Paradise made in the 90s?

杨福东: 是1997年。

YFD: In 1997.

巫鸿:《陌生天堂》那个片子里有老 家吗?

WH: Does your childhood home feature in that movie? YFD: No. That was about Hangzhou. People sometimes call the city “Earthly Paradise.” Already at that time, because I had this attachment to my old home, I couldn’t escape the feeling that I wanted to use it in a movie. Gradually this idea developed into East of Que Village. Even today I haven’t forgotten my old home. I hope that one day I can make an even longer film about it. WH: Oh, so, this idea to make a film about your old home emerged very early? YFD: Right. A vivid memory of my old home is actually of the coldness of winter. Everything is black, it’s extremely cold, and everything is covered with snow and ice. Another feeling/impression is of dogs barking around the village. There was that kind of distant barking, either in the night, when you are sleeping, or at dusk. That kind of situation always remains my impression of the countryside.

18

杨福东: 没有。那是杭州, 人们把杭州 叫天堂。那时候因为对老家的感觉, 一 直在心里想着这个题材, 包括慢慢地觉 得老家这个题材要不要去做, 是这样出 来的《雀村往东》。到现在我可能还是 没有遗忘老家, 可能还希望有机会去拍 一个电影, 长的。 巫鸿: 所以这个 (拍老家的) 想法其实 出现很早? 杨福东: 对。对老家一个记忆中的感 觉其实就是冬天的寒冷, 天很黑, 特别 冷, 冰天雪地的。还有一种感觉就是村 子周围的那种狗叫, 晚上睡觉也好, 或 者早上, 天快黑了也好, 那种远处的狗 叫。那种状态是我一直对农村的一个 感觉。 巫鸿: 你的老家在哪儿, 是河北吧?


杨福东: 河北香河。

WH: Where is this village? In Hebei, right?

巫鸿: 你在那里住到多大?

YFD: Yes, in a county called Xianghe.

杨福东: 小时候住过。因为我父亲当 兵, 常在外面, 我母亲是随军家属, 有 时候会把我扔到老家一段时间。实际 上, 在我母亲当随军家属之前, 也带着 我小时住农村。我对农村的印象全是 那种冷, 冬天穿着棉裤跑来跑去。

WH: How old were you when you left?

巫鸿: 在那里住的久吗? 杨福东: 没有, 因为当时很小, 我也记 不住具体时间, 估计可能是几岁的时 候。但是我有印象。有时候 我母亲 会说很多我小时候的事, 我没有印象 的事。比如她会说小时候带着我看大 驴、大马, 说我会问那种神奇的问题, 比如为什么人上厕所擦屁股, 马为什么 不擦屁股。 巫鸿: 香河有什么亲戚? 杨福东: 是我父亲的家, 我爷爷奶奶都 在。其实我姥姥、姥爷就在隔壁一个 村, 也就差两里地。因此老家的话实 际上是两个。一个叫阎寺, 一个叫雀儿 院。北方人发音是巧儿院。我把雀儿 院简单称为雀村, 麻雀的村子。那时候 公路没有像现在那么复杂。一个村子 前面往往有一条路, 两个出口, 一头往 东, 一头往西。有时候下雨天, 这条路 泥泞了, 一头出不来了, 但是可以从那 边绕过去, 开拖拉机绕过去。所以当时 给这个作品起名字的时候, 我觉得 “往 东” 有点像个 “出口” 的意思, 是个透 气的地方, 人来人往都从这儿走。

YFD: I lived there when I was a child. Because my father was in the military, he was rarely home, and my mother went with him. They would sometimes leave me in my childhood home for periods of time. Come to think of it, even before my mother began to follow my father to the military base, I was living with her in the village. My impression of the countryside is entirely of the bitter cold, and running around in cotton pants during the winter. WH: Did you live there long? YFD: No. Because I was very young then, I don’t really remember the exact amount of time. I would guess I couldn’t have been ten yet. But I still have strong impressions. Sometimes my mother would talk about events from my childhood that I don’t remember at all. For example, she would talk about how, when I was little, she brought me to see donkeys and horses, and I asked strange questions like, “Why do people have to wipe after they go to the bathroom but horses don’t?”

巫鸿: “透气” 是个挺有意思的概念。 杨福东: 其实我希望拍出这种感觉。这 个村子几十年, 或者百八十年, 其实人 来人往都离不开那个村口, 东口西口, 都离不开这种出和进。所以 “雀村往 东” 这个名字就有点像是包含了几十 年的变化。这可能是后话了。我希望 可能将来拍一个关于香河的长篇。其 实关于这几十年的人来人往, 都是从这 个村口出去的。有的人挣到钱了回来 了, 有的人探亲回来了, 有的孝敬家里

WH (laughing): What relatives did you have in Xianghe? YFD: My father grew up in Xianghe. My grandma and grandpa [paternal grandparents]. Actually my maternal grandparents lived in the next village over, only two miles away. Therefore, there were actually two “old homes.” One was called Yansi, and the other was called Que Er Yuan. Northerners pronounce it “Qiao Er Yuan.” I simplified

19


“Que Er Yuan” into “Que Village,” meaning “Sparrow Village.” [Que means “sparrow” in Chinese.] At that time, roads were not as complicated as they are today. Often there would only be one road in front of each village, with two exits, pointing east and west. Sometimes on rainy days, the road became wet and muddy. You couldn’t go out in one direction, but you could make a loop from the other direction in a tractor. Therefore, when I was trying to find a name for the film, I thought “East of” implied a kind of passageway, a place for air to pass through. People come and go through this same passage. WH: “Air passing through” is quite an interesting concept. YFD: Actually, I really hope I was able to capture this feeling on film. In over one hundred years, nobody in the village has been able to avoid this passageway—either eastward or westward, coming or going. Nobody can detach themselves from this sort of exiting and entering. Therefore, the title “East of Que Village” encompasses changes over many years. Actually, everyone coming or going over the past few years has to pass this passageway. Some people earn money elsewhere and then return to the village. Others come back to see their relatives. There are those who come back to pay respects to their elders. But some men, even in their forties or fifties, have stayed in the village doing manual work in the fields. This is of course a superficial understanding of Hebei villages, but the existence of many villagers is exactly like this. At that time, around 2006 or 2007, I was thinking of taking a break from Seven Intellectuals, especially because we were faced with the task of making the fifth part, which involved returning to the city. The change in my state of mind at that time was very subtle. For several years I had been making Seven Intellectuals according to plan, but when I had almost reached Part 5, I couldn’t determine how I would envision returning to the city. So in January, I went to film my village home instead. In the future, I hope I can make a longer film about Xianghe.

人回来了。有的大小伙子40、50岁了 还是在村里干活务农。这是个对河北 农村很表面的理解。但是很多农村人 的生活, 或者称为生存都是这样的。那 个时候, 2006年和2007 年的时候, 就 想到离开《竹林七贤》, 特别是因为那 时候马上面临着要拍《竹林七贤》第 5集了, 主题是重归城市。那时候我的 心态变化是很微妙的。我每年在按部 就班的拍《竹林七贤》。但是拍到5的 时候, 我不能确定重归城市是什么状 况。1月份就去拍老家这个题材了。 巫鸿: 是在拍《竹林七贤》第5集以前 拍的这个? 杨福东: 对。 巫鸿: 那就等于是在《竹林七贤》系列 中插进去的? 杨福东: 对。这部片子看起来会有纪 录片的感觉, 但是我个人认为是个 “伪 纪录片”, 因为其实有设定情节。影片 里出现了一个主角, 就是那只瘸腿的小 狗。当时正好找到这条狗, 也算是半即 兴, 可以围绕它去做。这里出现了一个 叙述关系: 这条小狗可以依靠在 一个 老人的家里, 有时候也会在村子周围 玩, 或者和其它狗混在一起。这样它就 变成了一个主角。像是一个在很小时 候腿就瘸了的小狗, 面对着真实的现 实, 看他怎么生存下去。像是一个关于 这只小狗的儿童片。为什么说还是有 一个电影的感觉? 因为其实这里是有 角色扮演。有点像是纪录风格的一个 电影, 也有点像叙事的记录电影。那里 边狗的生存状态, 也可以说是人的生存 状态。

WH: So you made East of Que Village before Seven Intellectuals, Part 5, right?

巫鸿: 所以在风格上, 你这部片子和 竹林七贤》拉开了距离?

YFD: Right.

杨福东: 有点像是回到真实生活。然后 是, 其实有点像面临着一些残酷的东西, 或者说是在真实状态里面怎么去理解 生活。也可能谈不上具体的生活, 而更 多是生存的体系。有点像是小时候的 印象, 因为小时候对农村的印象, 家境 很简单: 大家过的就是非常简单的生活, 就是劳作、休息。就是那样活着。

WH: So that means it was inserted between two episodes of the Seven Intellectuals series? YFD: Right. This film at first glance is like a documentary, but I personally see it as a “pseudo-documentary,” because it actually has a pre-meditated narrative. This film has

20


巫鸿: 因为我在农村也住过一两年, 我 能够感觉到《雀村往东》里的那种对 “真实” 的追求, 感觉是很强的, 不管有 没有故事。 杨福东: 就像后来在2008年去山东拍 青·麒麟》 , 还有在河北, 和朋友在谈, 也和村里人聊天, 很多时候谈的就是生 活本身。随便聊天, 也会聊到小时候对 生活的印象。所有这些其实和我们说 的艺术没有什么关系。我有时候觉得 这种感觉很尴尬。 巫鸿: 为什么和艺术没关系? 杨福东: 因为拍他们日常生活的时候, 坐在一起聊天或者吃饭, 我们不会去谈 当代艺术, 我们不会去谈国际上什么艺 术奖。就是家里长家里短。这就是挺 有意思、让人感慨的地方。就是说每 个人的生活都不一样, 是个怎么去理解 的问题。 巫鸿: 按我们做美术史的人的说法, 竹林七贤》和《雀村往东》有不同的 原境,《七贤》是你构造出来的东西, 而 雀村往东》回到了不是你自己构造出 来, 降到地面上的那种环境。 杨福东: 对, 或者说是在艺术层面之外, 把另外一种有意思的东西拍出来。这 个很让人感慨, 就是说你如何面对心里 真正所想的, 或者说是真实, 是你可以 触摸到的, 哪怕是你心里能触摸到的。 这时候我会感到挺感慨。在拍《七 贤》这五年中, 当初的希望是每一年拍 一部。然后这中间出来这么一个作品, 我认为这里有一个挺感慨的地方, 或者 挺有意思的地方, 就是你无法确定最后 这个东西是什么。因为每年你的心态 都在变。你没有剧本, 你每年心态的变 化导致作品的走向。所以这样的话, 也 许是缘份或者什么。 巫鸿: 我能理解, 你做了这么长时间的 七贤》 , 可能有一种需要, 就是怎么能 够回到零点。 杨福东: 其实在2006年拍《竹林七贤 4》的时候, 有一个定位是在乌托邦小 岛生活着, 是个信仰中的小岛。每个人

a protagonist: the little lame-legged dog. At the time, we had just discovered this particular dog by chance. Developing the film around this little dog could be called “half improvisation”. Narrative connections emerged: this little dog could take refuge in an old man’s home, he could run around the village, or he could play with the other dogs. In this way, he became the protagonist. It seems as though this dog was crippled at a very early age. Once faced with his “real life” circumstances, we would see how he survived. It was a little bit like making a children’s movie about this little dog. The reason I say this is that this work has the feeling of a feature film, because it involves the performance of specific characters. It’s a little bit like a feature film in a documentary style, or alternatively, like a documentary film with a narrative. The dog’s living conditions in the film can also be seen as the conditions of human existence. WH: So, in terms of style, did you distance this film from Seven Intellectuals? YFD: It was something of a return to real life. It meant facing something harsh. Or we could also say that it’s about how to understand life as it is in reality. Most likely, we are not talking about a specific life, but about the general system of existence. I think it also captures my childhood memories. In my memory, everybody lived a very simple life: every day all you had to do was work and rest, and everybody lived like this. WH: Because I also lived in the countryside for one or two years, I can feel that kind of pursuit of the “real” in East of Que Village. That feeling is very strong, whether or not there is a story. YFD: It’s just like later, in 2008, when I went to film Blue Kylin in Shandong and Hebei. I chatted with friends and also villagers, mostly about life itself. Just by talking freely, sometimes we got to talking about childhood memories. These conversations actually have nothing to do with what we call “art.” Sometimes I feel a bit awkward about this. WH: Why is there no connection with “art”? YFD: Because when we were filming their daily lives and we sat together chatting or eating, we never talked about contemporary art, and we never talked about international art awards. Everything was about the mundane details of everyday life. This is pretty interesting, and makes me think. It just means each person’s life is different; the problem is just how to understand it.

21


WH: Using the words of us art historians, Seven Intellectuals and Que Village have different subjects and contexts. Seven Intellectuals is something you constructed, but Que Village descends to earthly reality, which you didn’t create. YFD: Right. Or you could also say it represents another interesting discovery outside of artistic discourse. This makes me very emotional. It also has to do with how you face what you’re really thinking—or we could say, “reality,” something you can actually touch, even with your heart. At this moment, I feel very emotional. During the five years of making Seven Intellectuals, I hoped I would complete one part per year. But suddenly in the middle, this work emerged, and I felt there was something quite poignant or thought-provoking here. You can’t determine what exactly this thing is. Every year your state of mind changes. Because I didn’t have a script—I never use scripts—these changes caused a reorientation of my filmmaking. If this is the case, it was probably fate, or something like it. WH: It seems that because you had spent so long making Seven Intellectuals, there was probably a kind of need to return to a zero degree. YFD: Actually, when we were making Seven Intellectuals, Part 4, in 2006, one particular episode took place on an imaginary island. Everyone will feel that this kind of isolated island life implies utopia, or “Peach Blossom Spring” [an ancient Chinese story about utopia]. At that time, after shooting this part for more than a month, it seemed like there was something intangible in the mind. It’s like you hoped to fly into the sky and travel like a heavenly horse, but when you start to achieve this freedom, you suddenly realize that you’re not standing on anything to support you. At this point, you’ll reflect and think, “What is this?” It feels like floating in a dream. That type of beauty has a kind of powerlessness. You might think that this powerlessness indicates self-deception. At this point you’ll want to face reality. This “reality” should probably be in scare quotes. It doesn’t mean “real life,” but a kind of feeling of the “real.” Then what will you do? This includes the filming of Seven Intellectuals, Part 5. Because of what we decided in 2003, the theme of Seven Intellectuals, Part 5, is returning to the city, so everyone in the film re-faces their own identities and roles. Making East of Que Village may have been aimed at reflecting a hidden self-identity. Or maybe it was just a breath of fresh air. It left the feeling of Seven Intellectuals behind to create something else. It was very natural to think of making a film in the countryside. Actually, I didn’t deliberate too

22

都会认为这种海岛生活带有乌托邦或 者桃花源的意味。那时候拍了一个月 出头, 好像感觉有一些心里的东西抓不 到。像是你可能向往着飞到天上, 然后 可以天马行空。当你觉得自己也有点 像是天马行空地去做一些事的时候, 你 忽然发现你脚底下是没有着力点。这 个时候你会反思, 觉得这个是什么? 然 后有点像在梦境里飘在空中, 那种优美 带着一些无力感。你会觉得这个无力 感, 也许是指示出存在着的一个自我欺 骗。这时候你就要面对现实, 这个 “现实” 可能应该带冒号, 不是指真实 生活,而是一种对 “真实” 的感觉。然 后你该怎么办? 包括拍《竹林七贤5》 , 因为按照在2003年定好的大方向, 第5 部的主题是重归城市, 每个人重新面对 自己的身份角色。拍《雀村往东》也 许是想反问一下潜在的自我, 或者是想 透口气, 就是跳开《竹林七贤》这个感 觉去做。然后很自然而然地想去拍农 村。没有太多考虑, 当时就想到狗, 因 为想起农村就很容易想到狗。 巫鸿: 所以最开始拍这片子的契机是 狗吗? 片子里也有别的内容, 为什么焦 点是狗? 杨福东: 其实我觉得有时候做作品是缘 份, 从《雀村往东》这个名字看, 那感 觉有点像是很平常的一种状态, 就像是 中午午后懒散的情况下, 狗懒散着, 你 不知道它吃了还是没吃, 出来了在村边 晃。但是有张照片, 拍的是个砖厂, 外 面一只小狗, 有一种挺怪的感觉。作为 那些流浪狗, 它们是散居在村子里, 但又 是无依无靠的, 它们靠村子里人散养。 巫鸿: 是不是有时候也会跑到人家里去, 有时候人们会喂点什么? 杨福东: 对, 这是小时候对农村特别清 晰的印象。而且狗会扎堆, 也会存在 弱肉强食的情况。吃东西的话, 谁的 身体好谁就能抢到。那个感觉是挺自 然的。 巫鸿: 拍摄的过程是怎么开始的? 是不 是到了村子里马上就开始拍? 杨福东: 没有, 现去看景。其实那些狗


都是演员, 是提前安排的。 巫鸿:去了先找狗? 杨福东: 对。其实是找了当地一个贩狗 的人, 让他去收了一些狗, 不同种类的, 像是流浪狗的那种狗。这种贩狗人有 的是在村边那种零散集市上卖狗肉的, 或者是卖狗。 巫鸿: 所以不是完全的纪录片。 杨福东: 对。影片中的狗都是收来的, 收来以后一起圈养了一段时间, 10天半 个月。拍摄开始以后, 用那种叫 “三蹦 子” 的箱式三轮车, 把十几条狗每天带 出去。比如我们拍野狗在荒野里吃东 西的那段, 就是把狗带去散在那儿。贩 狗的那个人会圈养这些狗。那些狗跟 他比较熟了, 然后由他带着一块出去。 他有点像一个狗的管理者, 针对狗的制 片人。有的狗很贼, 拍的时候想方设法 逃跑, 有时候一天丢一两只狗。有些狗 属于挺横的狗。你看他们在电影里掐 架, 有一个细狗, 就是很细的那种, 是 类似于半螯的, 狼狗都打不过它。它其 实是河北农村里抓兔子的猎狗, 它们打 架的时候一下就咬住大狗的脖子, 怎么 甩都甩不掉。看着又高又大的, 未必是 真横的。还有一个有意思的是, 那些狗 贩子因为常年杀狗, 他们身上有种特殊 气息。狗贩子来了, 那些狗就会极其不 安, 会狂叫, 互相通知, 说来了一个杀我 们的人。 巫鸿: 后来那些狗如何去向? 杨福东: 大部分送给村里人了。那条小 狼狗是条瘸狗, 我们放在两三家里, 小 狗自己选去哪家。这只狗后来溜达到 一家院里, 等了半小时没出来, 我们就 走了。知道它住下了。 巫鸿: 这条小狼狗是怎么发现的? 杨福东: 就是跟收狗的人说, 我们需要 一个有点残疾的一个小狗。小狼狗长 得挺好。然后单独拍它在冰面, 小山沟 自己走。挺感人的那小狗。 巫鸿: 一共拍了多少天?

much: at that time, I just thought about dogs. Because when you think about the countryside, you immediately think of dogs. WH: So the movie actually began with dogs? There are other things in the film. Why are the dogs the focus? YFD: Actually, sometimes I feel like making art is a matter of fate. Just looking at the name “East of Que Village,” it conveys a very ordinary sense of life itself. It’s just like after lunch, that lazy feeling, the dogs are lazing, and you don’t know if they’ve eaten yet, but they get up and wander around the village. But there was a photograph of a brick factory, and there was a little dog outside this factory. It created a strange feeling: these stray dogs wandering around the village, not dependent on anyone, people feeding them here and there. WH: Do they also sometimes enter peoples’ homes to be fed? YFD: Yeah. I have a very strong memory of this in the village. Also, the dogs often form packs, and the strong prey on the weak. When it comes to getting food, whoever is stronger will be able to grab it. That instinct is very natural. WH: How did you start the filming process? Did you start filming immediately when you reached the village? YFD: No. I first went to see the setting. Actually, all those dogs were actors. They were picked in advance. WH: You first went to find dogs? YFD: Right. I went to a local dog vendor, asking him to buy a pack of different kinds of dogs, dogs that looked like strays. Some of these dog vendors sell dogs, and others sell dog meat in those little markets outside of villages. WH: So this film is not a complete documentary, right? YFD: Right. The dogs in the film were all bought. After getting them, they lived together for a period of time, about ten or fifteen days. After the shooting started, we used a kind of three-wheeled vehicle with a wagon on the back, which the local people call san beng zi. We took a dozen or so dogs out each day. For example, when we shot the scene with the stray dogs eating in the wilderness, we had brought the dogs there and let them loose. The person selling the dogs knew how to manage them. Those

23


24


25


dogs became familiar with him, and he brought them out. He was like the “dog administrator,” like a special film producer for dogs. Some dogs were pretty cunning and tried to sneak away during the shoot. Some days we lost a dog or two. Other dogs were very fierce and dominant. You see how they fight in the film. There was a skinny dog, that kind of very long and lean dog, half wolf; even the fiercest dogs couldn’t beat it. It was actually the kind of hunting dog people in the Hebei countryside use to catch rabbits. When this dog fights, he immediately bites the neck of the other dog; no matter how hard the dog thrashes, he can’t shake him off. When you see those big dogs, it doesn’t mean they’re actually fierce. Another interesting thing is that because those dog vendors kill dogs yearround, they have a kind of smell. When they arrive, the dogs immediately sense it and feel uneasy and respond. They bark like crazy, communicating to each other, saying, “Someone has come to kill us.” WH: In the end, where did the dogs go?

杨福东: 十二三天。 巫鸿: 用几台机子拍? 杨福东: 就是一台机器, 十二三天, 拍的 还是挺快的。 巫鸿: 是不是先拍狗, 然后再拍其他内 容? 杨福东: 不确定。其实就是有大概的 一些景, 比如荒漠或是河边的地方, 还 有砖窑, 或者是老人家, 或者是中年人 家。有这些景的话, 大方向就有了。以 后就是随着机会。我觉得这是一种拍 摄方式: 只要你开始拍了, 看不见的自 然顺序就开始形成了, 就OK了。今天 我们去河边, 第二天可能去老人家。如 果看到老人家的状态不好, 马上改去河 边拍狗。

YFD: The majority were given to the villagers. That little dog which was crippled—we put him in two or three households, to let him select a family to stay with. He eventually just walked into one yard, and we waited for half an hour, and he didn’t come out. So we left; we knew he had decided to live there.

巫鸿: 那个中间插进去的丧葬队伍。感 觉蛮强烈的。

WH: How did you find this little dog?

杨福东: 是偶然碰上的。看到之后我们 问他们, 在不影响他们、不给他们添麻 烦的请况下能不能拍? 这种丧葬在河 北是很有特点的。人家说好, 可以, 就 这样拍了。

YFD: We just told the dog peddler that we needed a small dog with a physical impediment. The little dog was actually good-looking, so in the film we shot him alone walking on the ice and in a valley. That dog is kind of moving. WH: How many days did you spend shooting? YFD: Twelve, thirteen days. WH: How many cameras did you use? YFD: Just one. Twelve or thirteen days is pretty tight. WH: Did you film the dogs first, and then shoot the rest? YFD: Not necessarily. Actually, I had some general scenes in mind. For example, the wilderness, or some place near a river, or a brick kiln, or the inside of an old person’s home, or a middle-aged person’s home. Once you have these settings in mind, you have a general direction. After that, you do things by chance. I think this is a kind of method of

26

杨福东: 对, 那是周围的邻居出殡。 巫鸿: 是不是偶然碰上的?

巫鸿: 这个作品最后有6个屏幕, 同时播 放。在拍的过程中有没有这个计划? 杨福东: 当时没有确定是六个或者是七 个屏幕, 但是知道应该是多屏幕的, 有 点像在空间里呈现的一个电影。 巫鸿: 我对从时间转化为空间的这个 过程很有兴趣。你说你只用一台机器 拍, 拍的时候肯定有一个时间的线性流 程。这个线性的记录最后转化为一个 空间性的呈现, 因为六个屏幕不是一个 接一个, 而是用6个同时的影像形成了 一个共时的表现。 杨福东: 最后浓缩的时候决定剪成6个 片子。在我的设想中, 空间呈现中有三


个屏幕是表现野狗的。 巫鸿: 每个时刻都有三个屏幕表现野 狗吗? 杨福东: 对。三个屏幕基本以狗为主。 主要是荒野中群狗的生活, 狗与狗争夺 的那种生活。但是也有别的场景。比 如有那只小狗与老人在一起。 电影里 也有其他的中年人的家庭环境。整个 影片其实有点像是包括了村子里面的 老年人, 中年人, 然后还有年轻的小狗, 包括了人和自然的关系。等于是一个 整个的村子, 是一个整体, 一个完整的 主体。具体的形象都是从这个主体里 散发出来的。影片的展示空间因此也 必须是整体的, 这个整体的空间就是这 个村落。

filmmaking. Once you start to shoot, that invisible natural order starts to emerge. Then it’s all okay. Today we can go to the river, tomorrow we can go to an old man’s home. If these scenes are not working, we can immediately change course to shoot dogs near the river instead. WH: The funeral procession in the middle of the film has a very strong impact. YFD: That was the funeral of a neighbor. WH: Did you accidentally stumble upon it? YFD: Yeah. It was accidental. When we saw it, we asked them if we could shoot the funeral procession if we didn’t disturb them or give them any trouble. This kind of funeral procession is very special to Hebei. They said “Okay, you can shoot,” so we were able to film it.

巫鸿: 这个感觉是蛮强的。六个屏幕上 表现的有的是室外, 有的是室内, 还有 街道, 不同的场面被野狗串了起来。

WH: In the end, this work includes six screens playing different channels simultaneously. Had you already planned this during the filmmaking process?

杨福东: 其实这里面有一种潜在的残 酷。

YFD: At that time, there wasn’t a clear idea in my mind whether it would be six or seven channels, but I knew it would be a multi-channel work. It was a little bit like a film realized in another spatial dimension.

巫鸿: 不是那种表面的残酷, 而是生活 本身的一种严酷。 杨福东: 对。 巫鸿: 就是那种把衣服都扒光了的感觉, 赤裸裸的感觉。 杨福东: 咱们国家变化很快, 但是农村 还是不一样。在农村里感到的这种残 酷其实上是精神生活的缺失, 生活就是 简单的劳作, 要谈什么 “精神生活” 都 是多余的。但是它又很实在。 巫鸿: 这个片子里的残酷不是悲伤, 不 是 “小资” 式的感伤。很有些史诗的味 道。因为它的残酷无处不在, 不管是气 侯或者土壤, 都让人感到生活的残酷。 它和你的别的作品因此特别不一样。 由于大家对你的其他作品特别熟, 比如 七贤》、《第五夜》等等, 他们在看 这部作品的时候不可能忘掉别的作品, 所以总会感到一种矛盾, 一种张力。 杨福东: 但这不是我的意图。有时候

WH: I’m very interested in the process by which this temporal order is transformed into a spatial construct. You just said you used only one camera to make the film, so there must have been a linear temporal order. This linear record eventually morphed into a spatial display. Because these six screens are not arranged linearly, these six simultaneous images together form a synchronic presentation. YFD: Only during the last step, when we condensed the film, did I decide to split it into six different channels. According to my plan, in this spatial presentation there would always be three screens showing the stray dogs. WH: Are there always three screens showing the stray dogs? YFD: Yes. The images on three screens are dominated by the dogs. Mainly the lives of a pack of dogs in the wilderness, fighting against each other, but there are also other themes. For example, scenes of that little dog with the old man, and also the family environment of other, middle-aged people. The film footage includes the old people in the village, the middle-aged people, and this

27


young dog, so it kind of encompasses the relationship between man and nature. All together, it’s like the film represents a whole village. It is a whole entity. It’s a completed subject. Any given image is part of this subject. The exhibition space of the film must therefore also be a complete whole. This complete space is the village.

很难说是什么东西迷惑你, 或者让你产 生茫然, 是生活本身? 还是你看到了此 情此景? 还是在背后的什么气息? 我 自己觉得是很自然的, 到了那个时候就 去做了自己有感觉的东西, 我不会想得 太多。

WH: This feeling is very strong. Some of the images on the six screens represent outdoor activities, others represent interiors, and still others are of the streets. These different scenes are connected by the stray dogs.

巫鸿: 可能当时你没有特意去想这部 片子和《七贤》的关系问题, 但是回头 一看, 二者的关系也是它的意义的一 部分。

YFD: Actually, there is a kind of hidden cruelty.

杨福东: 其实有时候, 就好像你想去一 个地方, 一旦你决定了, 背着包就走了, 不解释。这个感觉有时候是艺术创作 中最可爱的一个方式。而且在生活中, 你把什么事都设计好了, 预想好了, 但 是生活本身绝对不会按照你想象的方 式走。好像是一个男孩喜欢一个女孩, 在见面以前把所有要说的话都计划好 了, 但是见面的时候绝对和他设计的 100%不一样。这也就是我把这部电 影称作 “伪纪录片” 的意思。

WH: It’s not a superficial cruelty, but the harshness of life itself. YFD: Right. WH: It’s the feeling that you’ve been stripped entirely naked. Stark naked. YFD: Our country is changing rapidly, but not so much the countryside. That harshness/cruelty, the kind one feels in the countryside, is actually the absence of spiritual life. Their lives equal simple manual labor. Talking about “spiritual life” would be completely superfluous. But this kind of life is also very real.

WH: The harshness in this film isn’t tragic. It’s also not bourgeois sentimentality. It has the feeling of an epic, because the cruelty/harshness exists throughout. Regardless of whether it’s the weather or the earth, everything conveys that feeling of harshness. Therefore, this film differs markedly from your other work. The

28

巫鸿: “伪纪录片” 是不是还有另外一 个层次上的含义? 时间上的含义? 虽 然它看来记录的是此时此地, 但如你所 说, 它基本上是建立在你对过去的回忆 的基础上。所以它的时间性不完全是 同时的, 也有追忆的成分。这种时间性 和《七贤》中乌托邦式的想象就更不 一样了。是不是可以用 “重访” 表述 这种时间性? 重访既是现在的一个行 为, 但它的意义在于把现在和过去联系 起来。 杨福东: 有点像。如果谈到记忆, 谈到 童年, 因为时间离得很远, 所以对它的 感觉反而特别近。这也关系到这种所 谓的 “伪纪录片” 或者 “纪录电影” 的 含义, 我觉得它表现的不是回到过去, 而是这个村子, 或者就是这种狗的生活 状态。实际上这些年是一直往前走的, 可能看起来是没有变化的。这个村子 自然而然发生很多事, 人们生老病死, 是很简单的。父母老了, 老年人该照顾 照顾, 死了出殡, 按照村子里的习俗, 该 办的办, 该送走的送走, 人们在现场该 哭的哭, 下一代继续活着。等自己老的 时候, 底下一代替他们哭, 就这样的。 他们没有那么细腻的精神层面。


巫鸿: 电影表现的既是过去也是现在, 其实上删除了时间概念, 就是无尽的重 复, 时间成为一种延续性。 杨福东: 以前上学的时候读到一句话, 叫做 “脸朝黄土背朝天”, 日复一日就 是这样。有的人离开村子了, 可能身份 和经济条件会变化, 但这种个人的变化 跟村子本身是没有关系的。 巫鸿: 这部片子的视觉效果和你的别的 片子好像也不太一样, 有比较粗的颗粒 的感觉, 是经过特殊处理的吗? 杨福东: 没有。感觉 “粗” 可能是由题 材造成的。《七贤3》也拍了农村, 但 是表现的是不同的东西, 不是那种真实 的、残酷的东西。 巫鸿: 这部影片的后期制做用了多少 天? 杨福东: 通常的话拍完素材, 我会先把 它扔在旁边缓两天。我觉得剪辑方式 实际上是一个心里的掂量过程。这里 存在着潜在的一个剪辑, 或者说是一个 潜在的初期剪辑。你看起来不在想这 个事, 其实心里还会想。因为自己已经 大概知道哪些是OK, 或是不太满意的 镜头, 心里就已经有一个大致的方向。 肯定到剪辑的时候会直扎到那些好的 地方, 先把那几个宝贝挖出来。还有我 不是特别喜欢看回放, 我觉得拍摄时候 的印象和记忆很重要, 一定要存在心里 面, 不要随便打开。编辑的时候该看要 看, 但是前面要撑着, 拒绝观看材料。 巫鸿: 片子编完是20分钟多一点, 原来 的素材一共拍了多长?

people who know your other works, such as Seven Intellectuals and The Fifth Night, really well will find it impossible to forget these other works when they see this film. Inevitably, they will always feel a kind of contradiction or tension when watching it. YFD: But this wasn’t my original intention. Sometimes it’s very hard to tell what puzzles you. Is it life itself, or a particular theme you encounter, or is it something vague behind it all? Personally, I feel it’s all very natural. When you reach that point, you make what you have real feelings about. I never think too hard about it. WH: It’s possible that at that time you didn’t especially think about the relationship between this film and Seven Intellectuals. But now when you look back on it, this relationship must have become part of the meaning of this film. YFD: It is like when you want to go to a place, and once you make a decision you pick up your bags and leave. You don’t need to explain. This feeling is sometimes the nicest way to go about creating art. Moreover, in life, you can think ahead and plan everything, but life will never proceed in the way you imagined. It’s like, a boy likes a girl, and before he meets her, he plans the entire conversation. But when they meet, the situation will definitely be one hundred percent different from what he designed. This is what I mean by calling this film a “pseudo-documentary.” WH: Does “pseudo-documentary” have another level of meaning? In terms of time? Although it looks like it records this time and this place, just like you said, it’s based on your memory of the past. Therefore, it is not entirely about the present. That is to say, there is also a component of reviving the past. This kind of temporality is unlike the utopian condition of Seven Intellectuals. Can we use “revisiting” to express this kind of temporality? “Revisiting” is a present act, but its significance lies in connecting the present and the past.

杨福东: 我忘了, 应该有十几个小时。 巫鸿: 摄影组包括几个人? 杨福东: 没有太多, 包括我和摄影, 小团 队一共5个人。 巫鸿:《雀村往东》这个作品, 我第一 次在香格纳画廊看就很喜欢, 最近在伯 克利大学又看了一遍, 感觉还是非常新 鲜。 因为这种多屏的电影, 每次看都

YFD: Something like that. If we talk about memory and childhood, because they’re so remote in time, the feelings about them seem ironically close. This is also related to the meaning of this so-called “pseudo-documentary” or “documentary-style film.” I feel that what it represents is not a return to the past. It’s more about this village, or the dogs’ living conditions. In actuality, in past years, the village has been moving forward. It looks like nothing has changed. Many things in the village happened of their own accord. People getting born, growing old, getting sick and

29


dying. This is all pretty straightforward. When parents get old, as old people they need to be taken care of. When they die, you conduct funeral rites. Following village customs, you do what you need to do, and you send away people you need to send away. When they should cry, they cry. The next generation keeps living. When you yourself get old, the younger generation will cry for you. It’s just the way it is. They don’t have such a delicate layer in their life. WH: This film represents both past and present. As a result, it cancels or dismisses the concept of time. It seems an endless repetition, so time becomes an extension into infinity. YFD: I remember a saying from my school days. It goes: “Facing the yellow earth, you carry heaven on your back.” Day after day, this is how things are. Some people have left the village. It’s possible that their status and financial conditions will change, but these kinds of personal transformations have nothing to do with the village itself. WH: The visual effect of this film also seems different from your other works. The images seem grittier. Did you treat them in a specific way?

不一样, 站在哪里, 往哪儿看, 都影响到 视觉感受。一个电影可以看无数遍。 而且这两个展览的的屏幕放置方式也 不太一样。 杨福东: 对。有时候说这种电影是 “展厅电影” 或 “空间电影”, 这种呈 现的有意思的地方是观众的主动权。 其实观众就是第二导演。在展厅里, 有 时候大家看几秒钟, 或者一分钟、五分 钟。其实这个时候每个人都在现场剪 辑你的一个新版本。这个人是这个印 象, 另外一个人肯定是另外一个印象。 比如一个人说狗死了, 另外一个人说我 怎么没看见? 巫鸿: 我看的两次, 6个屏幕分布在四面 墙上。因此无法同时看到全部。 杨福东: 其实有点像村落方位。这6个 画面不应该是一排, 像画卷一样打开。 空间的安排其实有点像农村的现场, 可 能前面是野狗, 背后是出殡音乐声, 不 能窥到所有的画面。

YFD: No. That “gritty” feeling might have been caused by the subject matter. Seven Intellectuals, Part 3 also depicts the countryside, but it represents something different. It’s not that kind of real harshness.

巫鸿: 是一个环境。

WH: How long did you spend on the post-production phase of the film?

巫鸿: 还有一个很有意思的现象: 对你 的作品大家讨论的很多, 最近我又看到 了一本访谈集, 包括了很多艺术和电影 评论家和你的谈话, 但是很少谈到《雀 村往东》这个作品。是不是如此呢?

YFD: Usually, after shooting the basic footage and gathering basic materials, I put it aside for a time. I think editing actually involves a thinking process. There’s a kind of hidden editing, or you could say it’s the hidden phase of pre-editing. You think you’re not thinking about this, but you actually are. Because I already sort of know which parts of the footage are okay and which aren’t, in my mind I already have a rough sense of direction. When you start editing, you’ll definitely go straight to the good parts and first retrieve those gems. Furthermore, I don’t really like to re-watch the footage. I think the initial impressions and memories accumulated during filming are very important. You have to keep them hidden, not put them out in the open. During editing, that’s when you have to look at the footage, but before that you shouldn’t give in to temptation, and you should refuse to watch it. WH: The final edited film is a little over 20 minutes. How

30

杨福东: 如果有几个边, 甚至是不规则 的空间, 那样更好。

杨福东: 是没有什么文字。作品在不少 地方放过。但就是放过而已。有的时 候朋友谈到, 更多的像是读后感或观后 感。有的人看到狗死了受不了, 会泪流 满面, 等等。但对我来说, 那条老狗其 实是条盲狗, 拍时没注意, 从台阶摔下 去了, 才知道它是个瞎子。那个狗三天 后去世了, 挺尴尬的。 巫鸿: 我想知道为什么大家不谈这部作 品? 是不是因为它的记录片风格---实 际上是你说的 “伪纪录片” 风格---和 批评家自己的兴趣不挂钩? 还是和当 代艺术的整体潮流不挂钩?


杨福东: 我觉的别人有别人的解读方式, 不可能由作者去灌输给他们思想。还 有我觉得艺术批评简单的说来应该是 一种交流。不管评论家怎么去写或者 说, 一定要有潜在的互相理解。他首先 要去看我这个东西。无论他喜欢不喜 欢, 有没有感觉, 他一定要先看。现在 我觉得很多的批评是在没有阅读、没 有观看的基础上进行的, 因为大家的时 间都太宝贵了。 巫鸿: 随便说说, 像是漂浮在纸上面的 一些词, 和作品本身没有什么关系。 杨福东: 对, 而且很多时候批评家看到 的并不是全部的作品, 更不是在展览空 间中播放的作品。如果一部作品30分 钟长, 如果有一伙人都在场的话, 他可 能坚持看两分钟, 如果没有人的话, 不 到30秒他就走了。这样看到的其实都 是断章取义的作品, 我希望还是能够有 完整的、严肃的观影。

(魏颖记录,巫鸿整理)

long was the original footage in total? YFD: I forget. It should have been a dozen hours or so. WH: How many members in the film crew? YFD: Not too many. Including the cameraman and myself, the whole crew had five members. WH: The first time I saw East of Que Village was in ShanghART Gallery in Shanghai. I liked it very much. Recently, I saw it again at the Berkeley Art Museum. It still feels very fresh. This kind of multi-channeled film is different every time you watch it. Where you stand, the direction of your gaze; all this influences your perception. You can watch the same movie an infinite number of times. Also, the arrangement of screens differs in each of the two exhibitions. YFD: Right. Sometimes we call this kind of film a “gallery film” or “spatial film.” An interesting part of this kind of presentation is the audience’s active participation. In fact, the audience becomes the second director. In the exhibition hall, sometimes people watch the film for a few seconds. Others watch for five minutes. Actually, at such times, everyone is editing a new version of the film in situ. One person has one impression, another person certainly has a different impression. For example, one viewer said after watching the film that a dog died. Another person wondered why he hadn’t seen it. WH: In the two times I saw the film, the six screens were placed on four different walls. Therefore, there was no way to view all the screens simultaneously. YFD: It’s actually something like the space of the village itself. These six compositions shouldn’t be in a row, like a scroll that can be unrolled. The spatial arrangement should be something like the real space of a village. It implies that when you watch this film, these stray dogs are in front of you, and behind you, you hear music from the funeral procession. You can’t see all the images at the same time. WH: It’s an environment. YFD: If the exhibition space had several sides and formed an irregular shape, that would be even better. WH: There is another very interesting phenomenon. There are a lot of discussions about your films. Recently, I saw another collection of interviews, including many

31


conversations between you and art and film critics. But the conversations rarely touch upon East of Que Village. Why is that the case? YFD: It’s true that there isn’t a lot of writing about it. This work has been shown in many places, but that’s all. Sometimes people talk about the film, but what they say or write conveys more of a general impression. Someone wrote that they saw the dog die, couldn’t bear to see it, and cried. But to me, that old dog was actually a blind dog. During filming, we didn’t pay attention until it fell down the stairs. We then realized that it was blind. That dog passed away three days later. It was pretty awkward. WH: I’d like to know why people don’t discuss this film. Is it because this “pseudo-documentary” does not resonate with the critics’ own interests? Or is it because its style doesn’t resonate with the general trend of contemporary art? YFD: I feel that other people have their own interpretations. It’s impossible for the artist to cater to their ideas. Going even further, I think art criticism should be simply a kind of communication. It doesn’t matter how critics write or what they say—there has to be an unspoken mutual understanding. They have to first come and see my work. Regardless of whether they like it or not or whether it speaks to them, they have to see it first. I feel like nowadays a lot of criticism is carried out without serious reading or looking, because peoples’ time is too valuable. WH: This kind of criticism is often casual commentary, like words floating on paper that have little to do with the work itself. YFD: Yeah. Also, a lot of the time, what critics see is not the entire work. Even more so, they don’t see the works actually played in the exhibition space. If a work is thirty minutes long, and there’s a group of people gathered around it, the critic might hold out for two minutes. If there’s nobody there, they’ll leave in under thirty seconds. What people see are actually all these fragments. I hope for films to be viewed completely and seriously. Translated from the Chinese by Wu Hung and Lida Zeitlin Wu

32


Conversation between Yang Fudong / 杨福东 (left) and Wu Hung / 巫鸿 (right), Shanghai, December 2013. Photo: Wei Ying / 魏颖

33


Acknowledgements

This booklet is published on the occasion of the exhibition Yang Fudong: East of Que Village, organized by Logan Center Exhibitions at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, February 28 through March 30, 2014. The exhibition is presented as part of Envisioning China: A Festival of Arts and Culture. The curators sincerely thank: (at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts) Ben Chandler, Computer Resource Manager; Leigh Fagin, Assistant Director of Collaborative Programming and Director of Envisioning China: A Festival of Arts and Culture; Nicole Foti, Events Coordinator; Michael Gibisser, Equipment Resource Manager at the Logan Media Center and chief media technician for the exhibition; Hannah Givler, Logan Shop Manager and her student team; Katherine Harvath, Curatorial Assistant for Logan Center Exhibitions; Mitch Marr, Marketing Manager and his team; Bill Michel, Executive Director; Greg Redenius, Associate Director of Operations and his team; Marcus Warren, Shop Coordinator and Exhibitions Preparator; David Wolf, Associate Director of Arts Technology and Digital Media; Lida Zeitlin Wu, Curatorial Assistant for Logan Center Exhibitions; (at the University of Chicago) Martha T. Roth, Dean of Humanities and the Chauncey S. Boucher Distinguished Service Professor of Assyriology; Lawrence Zbikowski, Deputy Provost for the Arts and Associate Professor of Music and the Humanities in the Department of Music; Judith Zeitlin, William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor, East Asian Languages and Civilizations and Faculty Director for the Envisioning China festival; (At Marian Goodman Gallery) Marian Goodman, Yunsung Hong, Brian Loftus, Rose Lord (at ShanghART Gallery) Fay Yeong, Lorenz Helbling, and Jiang Ling; (at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago) Solveig Ă˜vstebø, Yuri Stone, and Hamza Walker; (at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago) Anthony Hirschel, Sarah Mendelsohn, and Stephanie Smith; (at the UC Berkley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, San Francisco) Dena Beard, Scott H. Orloff, Philippe Pirotte, Lawrence Rinder, and Morgan Wadsworth-Boyle; as well as Fred SchmidtArenales, Simeon Corless, Susanne Ghez, David Giordano, Elizabeth Neukirk, Shane Ward, and Wei Ying of the YUZ Foundation in Shanghai. Special thanks to Yang Fudong.

35


Colophon Authors: Wu Hung, Yang Fudong, Monika Szewczyk Curators / Editors: Monika Szewczyk, Visual Arts Program Curator at the Logan Center, and Wu Hung, the Harrie A. Vanderstappen Distinguished Service Professor of Art History and Consulting Curator at the Smart Museum, University of Chicago. Curatorial Assistants: Katherine Harvath, Lida Zeitlin Wu Proofreading: Lida Zeitlin Wu (Chinese/English), Andrew Yale (English) Translation (Chinese to English): Wu Hung, Lida Zeitlin Wu Design: David Giordano All images courtesy of artist Yang Fudong, ShanghART Gallery (Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore) and Marian Goodman Gallery (New York, Paris). All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise without prior permission in writing from the publisher. Š The artist, authors and Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago. Logan Center Exhibitions Reva and David Logan Center For the Arts University of Chicago 915 E 60th Street, Chicago, IL, 60637 arts.uchicago.edu/logan/gallery

36



Yang Fudong: East of Que Village