PAUL CHAN

1st light

PAUL CHAN

source: traces-du-sacrecentrepompidoufr

L’œuvre de Paul Chan convoque l’obscurité qui nous enveloppe en dépit de l’illumination gourmande de nos villes. Évoquant notre monde au bord de la désintégration, il célèbre la lumière qui surgit dans le trop de lumière.
Le combat n’est plus la lutte entre le jour et la nuit qui inaugure le Faust de Murnau, mais celui entre la lumière de l’esprit et la lumière des choses. Dans ce théâtre d’ombres, sous les auspices d’un poteau télégraphique dont la forme évoque la croix du Golgotha, on assiste à l’ascension des objets de nos sociétés consuméristes.
Téléphones, I-Pods, scooters, trains entiers montent au ciel, sauvés, tandis que les ombres des hommes chutent, précipitées vers l’abîme, comme les corps suicidés des victimes du «11 septembre» qui tombaient des tours en feu.
L’image, modifiée peu à peu dans le continuum de la projection, porte en elle les prophéties de l’Apocalypse ressassées par les mouvements intégristes américains, et l’évidente disgrâce d’une société qui célèbre son culte matérialiste.

Paul CHAN, 1st Light, 2005,
Installation avec vidéo projection numérique,
14 minutes, dimensions variables
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source: serpentinegalleriesorg

Paul Chan described the series The 7 Lights (2005-07) as ‘hallucinating the seven days of creation from dawn to dusk’. His projections included visions of floating objects and falling bodies that drew on themes of the Apocalypse and Revelation, as well as referencing images and events from our contemporary world. The exhibition title referred to light, and in particular to light that had been ‘struck out’. The tension between the two is central to the artist’s practice. Score for 7th Light (2007) recast the entire series of projections as a musical composition, imagining the tension between lightness and darkness as silence and sound.
Also on show were several of Chan’s single-channel video works. These included an ‘ambient video essay’ on everyday life in Baghdad, four weeks prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq; a film taken in the ‘red state’ of Nebraska after the 2004 US Presidential elections; and a portrait of the activist attorney Lynne Stewart, who was the first lawyer in the United States to be convicted of aiding terrorists. The exhibition was accompanied by the first major publication devoted to the artist’s work.
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source: blogstylebostontv

Paul Chan is a contemporary art genius out of New York, and truly embraces the contemporary interdisciplinarity of art-making, working primarily in multimedia but never limiting himself to one medium. His work has been in many exhibitions worldwide, including solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in London and the New Museum in New York. He is represented by Greene Neftali gallery in Manhattan.
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source: art-ba-ba

第一次接觸 Paul Chan 的作品,是在 2006 年的 Whitney Biennial ,當年展出的 1st Light,可說是該屆雙年展裡其中一件最受注目的作品,他也頓然成為聲名大噪的新晉藝術家。兩年之後,他完成了 《The 7 Lights》系列,現正在紐約的 New Museum (新美術館) 擧行以此為名的個展。這系列作品,是一幕幕的皮影戲,主題裡的 Light 字中間畫了一條橫線,代表著光消失後出現的黑影:飄浮著的汽車、電線、iPod、眼鏡、人物、單車輪、老樹、松鼠等,被投射到地上,有如從天窗上掉下來的剪影,影子又像磁石般懾住了觀眾的眼睛。
1st Light 的背景色彩使人份外著迷,既詭異又瑰麗;鮮艷中帶著悽慽,像一首從大調變奏為小調的奏嗚曲;令人想到 21 世紀初這幾年來多次天變的災難! Paul Chan 又有如一個魔術師,能將最美麗的和最可怕的景像同時呈現!箇中的黑色幽默使我聯想到《綠野仙踪》裡被龍捲風吹到天上的單車、掃把和巫婆。當我靜心再觀察一下,便發現在畫面出現的人影,體態都十分安祥,有些甚至隨著動畫的節奏而變得有點滑稽。但對於不少紐約人來說,直至今天,他們依然將作品裡正在上升或下墜的人體,詮釋為 911 那天從世貿大厦跳下來的人。我想起 Salvador Dali 的 The Persistence of Memory;時間都疲倦了,災難的記憶卻固執地纏繞著見証者的心靈。
Paul Chan 在香港出生,自幼年便在美國中部的內布拉斯加州 (Nebraska) 長大。他一向對政治敏感,曾當過攝影記者,後來更身體力行地成為政治活躍份子。2002 年底,他為了不滿美國準備侵略伊拉克,妄顧法律,飛到正被制裁的伊國首都巴格達,逗留了個多月,體驗當地人民的日常生活。期間拍攝了他們的照片和錄像,回美後將相片印製成以「Baghdad」市名為題的海報。在美伊戰爭爆發前夕,他動員義工將海報從紐約分發到 40 多個州去。他對政治及民生,都抱著客觀理解,主動参與的精神,冷靜地以一個 public intellectual 的熱誠,按部就班地體現出自己的信念。

雖然他認為自己的藝術作品跟政治活動完全沒有關係,但在影像裡面,明顯地充滿了與當今政治焦點息息相關的提示。例如在 5th Light 裡,便可以見到手槍、行李箱、手袋、機關槍從手袋裡掉出來、軍帽、龐大的黑影、快速過鏡的人體……令人不其然想到武力、道德操守與人性之間的矛盾,這都是現時潛伏在美國人集體意識裡迫切的焦慮。
自從由巴格達回來後,Paul Chan 便開始研究宗教與社會之間的關係。在他的作品中,以 3rd Light 最富宗教色彩;從高處投射到地上的三屏影像,仿似教堂裏分別描繪著聖父、聖子、聖靈的彩色玻璃。作品裡的長木枱,是根據達文西的名畫「最後晚餐」裏那餐桌的比例造成的。破碎的、分裂的、充滿了超現實色彩剪影:被咬過的蘋果、破碎的椅子、小狗、飛鳥群…… 經過了枱面再降落在地上;奇異的紫、橙、藍、黄色燈光在背景裡不斷幻變,頃刻之間使人猶如置身在夢境裏!地上微微的反光又將人從光怪的夢境中帶回了現實世界。然後,影子消失了,只剩下燈光,漸變的燈光又將觀眾的思維慢慢地靜化了。
偶然間,我想起了馬致遠的天淨沙:「枯籐老樹昏鴉,小橋流水人家,古道西風瘦馬,夕陽西下……」
**撰文:王在瑩 / 原文刊登於 2008 年 6月12日 《信報財經新聞》
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source: serpentinegalleriesorg

Born in 1973, Paul Chan spent his childhood in Nebraska and now lives in New York. In 1996 he completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Video/Digital Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated from Bard College with a Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video/New Media in 2002. Chan has had solo exhibitions at: Magasin 3, Stockholm; Portikus, Frankfurt and Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, all 2006. He recently presented Untitled Video on Lynne Stewart and Her Conviction, the Law and Poetry at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, Utah, and his work has also been featured in: Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 2004; I still believe in miracles, Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville Paris 2005; 8th Biennale d’Art Contemporain de Lyon, France 2005; and Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 2006.