圣愚:约瑟夫•梅勒戈德个展

Josef Mellergård exhibition poster

圣愚
——瑞典艺术家约瑟夫•梅勒戈德个展及现场艺术

展览简介:

约瑟夫•梅勒戈德(Josef Mellergård)是1985年出生于瑞典的艺术家,他曾于1999年至2002年随父母在昆明住过四年。他后来于2012年9月重返昆明,进驻昆明创库艺术社区TCG诺地卡画廊,在此工作三个月以后,为大家带来名为“圣愚”的展览。
圣愚,又译颠僧、佯狂者,是俄国东正教的特有人物,他们通常是浑身污垢、半疯、半裸体的游民传教士,脚上甚至套上脚镣。梅勒戈德将古老的圣愚、先知和今天的行为艺术家放在一起,产生令人惊讶的对比效果。
在展览作品中,梅勒戈德把俄国圣愚文化、旧约先知文化、当代行为艺术、以及宜家产品说明书、电脑程序、世界预言等,跨历史跨领域的各不相干的事物风格综合在了一起,形成驳杂奇异的面貌。最终以灯箱、电脑程序、录像、说明书、现场表演等实验艺术方式来呈现,向公众展示一个尖锐而愚笨、混乱却按部就班、无聊却意味深长的矛盾现场。
展览将于2013年1月5日晚8点举办开幕酒会,展览开幕期间将安排一系列精彩的现场行为艺术表演,我们邀请您拔冗出席展览开幕,参与互动。展览及表演免费参观,该展将持续到3月9日。

展览信息:

策展人:罗菲
展览开幕酒会:2013年1月5日晚8点
展览时期:2013年1月5日至3月9日(周日及春节期间关闭)
展览地点:TCG诺地卡画廊,创库艺术社区,昆明市西坝路101号
电话:0871-64114692
网址:www.tcgnordica.com

艺术家自述“圣愚”

文/约瑟夫•梅勒戈德
翻译/罗菲

“圣愚”一词来自圣保罗的文字。早期基督教传统的沙漠教父和其他圣徒表现像神圣或圣洁的愚者。他们用令人震惊的、非常规行为来挑战约定俗成的标准,传达预言,或以此掩饰他们的虔诚。

尤其在俄罗斯东正教传统里,圣愚文化非常普遍而重要。在俄国,红场旁的圣巴西尔大教堂(Saint Basil’s Cathedral)的命名也是由圣愚瓦西里(Basil the Blessed)而来。这位圣愚有着古怪反常的生活方式,他入店行窃,将赃物分给贫苦人。他羞辱守财奴,帮助真正有需要的人。他裸体行走并用沉重的铁链把自己坠住。他斥责俄国第一位沙皇伊万雷帝(Ivan the Terrible)忽视教堂及对待无辜者的暴力行径。有意思的是,在圣瓦西里的葬礼上,伊万雷帝甚至亲自前来为他做护柩人,扶灵至公墓。

也许会有人说,圣愚行为会引来失控局面或没有安全感,有争议。圣愚能够在不害怕失去社会地位、经济手段或会众地位的情况下,来批评会众、掌权者和社会。因为愚者,根据其定义,并不需要这些作为基础。

东正教的圣愚和沙漠教父们更直接与旧约先知发生关联,他们展示怪异行为,看上去像是愚蠢具有象征性的先知行动。比如以赛亚,露身赤脚来回走了三年(赛20)。耶利米把他的缠腰带藏在旷野里,让其自行腐败(耶13)。还有以西结,他刮掉自己的胡子头发,用剑砍碎其中的三分之一,烧掉另外三分之一,将剩下的三分之一在风中吹散,还拔刀追赶(结5)。

当然还有许多在基督教语境之外的与圣愚平行的角色。比如八世纪伊朗的苏菲•玛喇嘛提斯(Sufi Malamatis),或者印度的阿瓦杜塔(Avadhuta)(译者注:包括日本的一休,中国的济公等)。这里有一个玛喇嘛提斯的故事,当他进入一座城的时候受到民众热烈的欢迎崇敬,他们想要陪伴这位伟大的圣人,但在行进的路上,他公开地以非法的方式小便,因此所有人都离他而去,不再相信他有极高的精神地位。这是为了避免制造一些狂热信徒来围绕他,同时指出,重要的是个人而非公共的敬虔。

像圣愚一样,沙漠教父和旧约先知使用非常规方式来传递他们的信息。在当代文化中,是否有另一群人,他们也使用相似的方法来行动,挑战约定俗成的规范,在某种程度上传递了预言呢?在这里区分先知行动和预测未来之间的区别非常重要,一般而言先知并不讲未来,他们并不是看看茶叶渣,然后讲点未来。他们指责有些事情出错了,必须予以归正。今天,如果不是行为艺术家,那谁又是我们这个时代的先知呢?当艾未未故意失手丢下一个汉代的古陶瓮到地上,陶器摔碎的哐当响声穿过历史,落到了先知耶利米摔破瓶子的脚下(耶19),他们两者都在述说他们各自时代的问题和麻烦。

当然,他们的受命是不一样的,但他们的方法却一样,他们的信息出人意外的一致。他们脱下他们的衣服,刮掉他们的胡子,在动物粪便上做饭,把自己绑在另一个人身上一年,遭遇权力、偷盗,他们让自己挨饿,在旷野徘徊,让暴力临到自己身上。他们测试自己的极限,测试社会的极限,在巨墙上跟恋人说再见,抨击国家象征,以此为社会不公、贫穷、仇外等危险带来希望。他们指向陈旧的文化规范,和即将到来的麻烦。

这个展览基于实验性的想法,关于艺术作为预言,艺术家作为先知。作品包括制造预言的电脑程序,成为圣愚的说明书,树脂玻璃,灯光,声音,及现场表演。

相关文章《约瑟夫访谈:在你所在之处深挖》

Sacred Fools
Swedish artist Josef Mellergård solo exhibition

Curator: Luo Fei
Exhibition opening: 20:00, Jan 5th, 2013
Exhibition Period: Jan 5th – Mar 9th 2013 (Sundays and Chinese Spring Festival close)
Address: TCG Nordica Gallery, Chuangku, Xi Ba Lu 101, Kunming
Tel: 0871-64114692

Sacred Fools

By Josef Mellergård

The term Sacred Fools derive from the writings of Saint Paul. The Desert Fathers of the early Christian tradition and other saints acted the part of sacred or holy fools. They employed shocking, unconventional behavior to challenge accepted norms, deliver prophecies or to mask their piety.

Especially in the Eastern Orthodox tradition is there a great prevalence and importance of the sacred fool. In Russia, the St. Basil Cathedral is named after Basil the Blessed, a sacred fool that adopted an eccentric lifestyle of shoplifting and giving to the poor, to shame the miserly and help those in need. He went naked and weighed himself down with chains in a rebuke of Ivan the Terrible for his violent behavior towards the innocent. So influential was Basil that Ivan the Terrible himself was one of the pallbearers that carried Basils coffin to the cemetery.

It could be argued that the sacred fool acts as a factor of quality-control or a failsafe; the sacred fool can criticize the congregation, those in power, and society in general, without fear of losing social status, economic means, or position within the congregation because the fool, by definition, does not have any of these things to start with.

The sacred fool of the Orthodox Church and the desert fathers are directly connected with the prophets of the old testaments, many of who demonstrated strange behavior and performed seemingly foolish symbolic prophetic actions. Like Isaiah, who walked around naked and without shoes for three years, Jeremiah who hid his loin cloth in the wilderness where he let it be ruined, or Ezekiel who shaved off his beard and hair only to chop a third of it with a sword, burn another third and spread the reminder of the hair in the wind.

There are other parallels to the sacred fool outside of the christian context, like the Sufi Malamatis in the 8th-century in Iran, or the Avadhuta in India. There is a story of a Malamatis who was hailed by a large crowd when he entered a town, they tried to accompany the great saint, but on the road he publicly started urinating in an unlawful way so that all of them left him and no longer believed in his high spiritual rank. This was done to avoid the creation of a cult around him and to point to the importance of the personal not public piety.

Just like the sacred fools, the desert fathers, and the prophets of the Old Testament used unconventional methods of conveying their message so does another group in contemporary culture act in similar ways to challenge accepted norms and in some ways deliver prophecies. It is important here to distinguish between a prophetic act and making predictions of the future. The prophets generally did not tell the future, they did not look in tea leaves and tell fortunes, they pointed the finger at something that was amiss and that needed to be righted. Who if not the artist, and especially the performance artist is the prophet of our times? When Ai Weiwei smashes the Neolithic urn against the ground, the sound of clinking pieces of porcelain echo through history and land at the feet of Jeremiah where he smashes his clay pot, and together they speak of the troubles of their times.

For sure the mandate is different but their methods are the same and their message is surprisingly often in tune. They take of their clothes, they shave all their hair, cook food on animal droppings, bind themselves to another person for a year, confront the powerful, steal, are actively inactive, starve themselves, wander through the desert, let violence befall their own bodies, test their own limits, test societies limits, say goodbye to a lover on a great wall, cut up national symbols to bring light to social injustice, poverty, the dangers of xenophobia, pointing to obsolete cultural norms and the coming troubles ahead.

This exhibition is based around the thought-experiment of art as prophecy and artist as prophets through a computer program that makes predictions of the future, instruction manuals for sacred fools, plexiglas, light, and sound.

related interview: Digging where you stand

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