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【评论】美学的瞬间性

——评论人Sylvie Samani

2016-06-17 16:19:46 来源:艺术家提供作者:Sylvie Samani
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  这篇的目的是呈现观察的渐进过程,尤其是当我们面对呈现在眼前的画作所体现的这种瞬间性和其永恒性的对比时,提升我们对于这种瞬间性的宽容态。一幅以素人面带固定(严肃)表情为核心的油画看上去是静态的,但实际上也许不是。我们相信的,我们实际认为的,和我们被动认为的,三者间存在着差异。确定性的核心,如同我们的议论一样是瞬间性的。

  在开始我们的议论前,有必要对看似静态的场景和完全静止做以区分。看起来是静态的或者不动的,比如这幅画里的人物平静的表情和所处的空旷的场景表面上没什么联系,但这里的画面并不是静止不动的。人物的手指在指引观者的注意力,着打破了静止不动的感觉,因为手指的动作代表着与外界的互动。天空上散落的云彩代表代表外在力量呼应人物内心的感受。因此,我们区分不同类型的场景动态,因为每种场景提供不同想象解读和对画面内容信息逐渐理解的过程,这种解读的程度取决于观者本人。

  在这幅看似简单的人物和纹身背后,蕴含着丰富的信息,即,生命是瞬间,人物肖像本身的复杂行决定了每次观察都有新的感受。

  写实手法(一些荷兰油画的自画像里有这种手法)同带有神秘感的胳膊内侧的纹身结合,不是一种怪异,而是一种耳目一新的形象,介于肖像、寓意和意境之间。充分了解这种风格油画的新形式的关键在于,需要对变化性的观察进行持续性的评估。

  因此我们在想,是该把注意力先放在人物上,还是在纹身上?因为纹身对人物的影响是主导性的,虽然这里人物姿态缺乏豪迈感,但也丝毫不影响观者对这种寓意进行猜想。诚然,纹身是想象的一部分,它同人物和观者均形成互动。这里面存在一种永恒的动态关系,在画面人物看纹身时她指引观者的参与,当观者跟随人物的目光时,他被带到了画面里去。观者被置身于纹身、和表情不明朗的人物这两者间。在这种对画面的解读时引发的动态性,打破了画作最初给人的静态不动的猜想。

  观察的瞬间性会影响对画作的解读,而且每次观察后的解读一定是不同的,这取决于观者本人对于他在某个特定瞬间对于所看到的产生的思考和理解。我们的目的是分析这样的信息如何通过画作体现出来,如何诠释表达的寓意,即便是一幅画作紧紧反映在一个短暂的瞬间一个人物戴着一条搭配她着装的项链。画作的内在力量会使我们每次在观察时的想法感受都会所有不同。

  进一步说,每次观察都需要观者进入一个沉思的过程,看着画作里的形象,理解和感受经历着变化。这样的画面,其意义的永恒性,不因我们在看到它反映的简单存在性而产生的瞬间思考,而受到影响,也不因我们在观察中赋予画作的特定含义解读,而受到影响。

  人物形象的目的是什么?

  这个主题似乎是象征性意境的一种现代代表,没有宗教性的含义。意境在西方艺术里通过非持久性的事物表达,比如残羹余饭,依旧新鲜的水果和花朵,骷髅和散落的骨骼,乐器,或是一本打开着的书提醒人类的知识。所有这些事物被随意放置、或者技巧性的堆放在一个暗色背景下的桌子上,制造一种刻意的混乱。有时候,是一个上了年纪的、消瘦的隐士,他的手放在骷髅上。描绘老者和生命遗留这样的概念,这是包含教育意义的,基于犹太和基督教对死亡的确定性,提醒人们:丰富是无用的。有些意境构思,体现在对空间的安排,通过对角线,一方面强调物品的堆积,同另一方面空旷的空间,这样强调对比性,向观者传达反差的感觉。

  人物指出去的手指似乎是证明了一种假设,我们正在观察一种改良版的哲学层面的意境,这种意境采用了一种形式和内容的创新。这种意图在观者看来有很多不同之处。例如描绘时重彩被混合型的柔性代替,同赤裸的空旷背景形成矛盾反差,这种背景是通过开放和非常规性构图的纵向性来实现的。

  诚然,柔性和赤裸是彼此连接的,这种连接是有意义的,因为我们持续的观察会证明这点。画面的人物引导观者注意纹身,这种指出去的手指姿势经常在文艺复兴时期的油画和后来的油画中看到,这证明了画家曾经学过西方艺术。值得辩论的一点是,晴朗的天空主导整个画面,但因为天空没有剧烈的变化发生,并未因这种对画面的主导性而干扰画面,这样处理方式也并非中性的,因为天空包围着人物,却没有挤压到她。

  晴空体现的与人物的相关性在于,人物在一个不确定的地理位置,这个人物大小占据了整个画布(属有限尺寸)的三分之一,这种空间分配的不均衡性,不同于经典的意境作品。进而,也差别于16、17世纪西方艺术中精细的和丰富的意境形态。

  作品呈现了一个年轻女孩的半身站立像,在一个没有明确说明的居所里,表达了其永恒性是在没有具象的空间里。观察到了这个阶段,我们不考虑它是否是空的,但是我们注意到人物不是站在地面上、而是站在没有界限的事物和空白间。她的神态是平静淡定的,但又不同于面无表情,而是喜怒不形于色。她姿态的这种静态和安宁,是显而易见的。人物始终处于沉默,而且并没有注视着观者,而是被她皮肤上的刻字吸引,她很专注,似乎不受外界打扰。

  从观察中,可以看出画家弃用在上面提及的也是曾经必用的一些画法,以便将意图放在唯一的人物上,这里的人物指的是一个穿着轻薄夏装的少女。

  画面结构依靠短对角线(斜线)和少女衣服上的两条开放式对角线(斜线)的相互作用(画面上些许可以察觉到的紧张感),画面的明亮程度通过光和影的细微差别呈现,的对比,增强了对一个亮丽人物形象的艺术敏感度的整体感觉。画家用粉色和蓝色(肩膀上蓝色的影子),可以看到鲁本斯在绘画女性表情时候的感觉,但又少了后者的肉欲感,而是优先体现无暇肌肤的纯粹。画家坚持在画作里体现人物表情上那种珠光和奶油色的柔和质感,这种柔和几乎是透明的(光滑的笔触),这在提醒我们画家曾小心翼翼避免画笔的痕迹。油画的各个层次都是薄且规整的,可以看到对于上光这种技艺的把握程度。进一步说,这种光和影的微妙用度,证明了与西方艺术大师的直接关联性。在精心地描绘画面人物以表达其核心意义的同时,艺术家通过柔和的棕色色调来体现人物松散发亮的头发,增加了作品的神秘感。这种艺术表达的在形式方面的特色,是基于视觉和谐度上的诗意(而不是戏剧)灵感。

  同时,我们注意到画家在画中略去了时光流转或消逝的概念,反而,他想要表达的是少女无暇肌肤和纯洁的面容,她的恒久年轻同纹身表达的生命瞬间性形成对比。

  瞬间性里有纯洁的形式吗?

  经典意境里用百合花代表纯洁,然而,有人认为画面里的女孩作为意境的一种代表或许是具有欺骗性的,这种想法是基于女性经常被描绘成永葆年轻就是一种美。然而,准确地说,这种解读是不完整的,因为纹身使我们超越想象去捕捉未知。对于一个投入到画面意境里的观者来说,他对作品的解读带有对表象下真实的大胆探索,而他的解读是基于一系列瞬间的想法基础上,所以,欣赏后得到的结论不是目标,欣赏的过程才是目标。

  形象是真实的,还是虚幻的?

  画家描绘了一个接受的具体状态,人物表情没有惊讶、反叛或者恐惧。女孩体现了一种“生命是一瞬间”的意境,她的手势体现了用一种柔和方式的去提醒,而不是警告。通过女孩和纹身的信息这种混合的整体,把女孩作为这种意境的代表符合西方艺术表达方式。观者在看到作品时,会首先被她年轻的状态和她纹身表达的深沉意思两者间的对比而吸引。女孩在注视纹身时没有把它的意思吐露给观者,而是与观者保持一种距离。诚然,画家意图着重表达同女孩沉思状态相吻合的一种必要的超然。

  纹身是一种陈述,而且画面意境是准确构建在纹身表达的意思之上的,但如果我们仓促地臆想作品的画面是一种简单的肖像画或者意境的另外一种形式,这种想法是有待商榷的。

  从这个方面而言,我们不禁还是要忠于之前对作品的评估--通过素人代表一种意境,作品人物在沉思,而观者也需要这样的沉思过程。进一步说,既然纹身是一个陈述句而不是疑问句,这强调了在这里质疑或疑问是没有意义的,因为那样的话会干扰观者面对画面的沉思过程。

  然而,人物形象的作用不是描绘生命的消逝或死亡,而是生命的瞬间性和宇宙永恒动态性。画家通过女孩的身体明确地传达了这点。

  当欣赏到了这个阶段,观者受到启发,了解了人物胳膊上面的字为什么不是写在纸上,而是在女孩的身体上。这表明,纹身将同她的身体同在,她没有看纹身,因为纹身已经成为她身体的重要构成部分。她也在告诉观者,她就是纹身意思的代表。类比一下,如同老师身体力行一样。纹身的文字已经不仅仅是文字,而是本身具有了生命。如同书法家在写下神圣的词句后烧掉作品吞食灰烬,以便同这些圣句同为一体。这种做法是超越死亡、与宇宙融为一体的途径。

  我们可以确定的是什么呢?

  画面人物处在灰蓝色空间里,表达了她的孤独感和这种孤立导致的茫然。她的手势代表了从始至终的思考过程,观者也会跟随人物进入思考。该作品像一扇门,进去又打开了多扇门,去探索生命作为瞬间的意义。从这个瞬间到另一个瞬间,构成生命连续性的流动,画面里没有阻隔和干扰。西方传统概念里不认为瞬间性是一种扰乱。静态的画面同女孩不易察觉的思索相得益彰,她在思考宇宙永恒的动态,不是同死亡的关系角度思索,而是对于宇宙体的变化和认知角度在思考。

  诚然,瞬间性并非指变化本身,即,符合既定规律的从一种状态到另一种状态的途径。我们对于女孩形象的解读,转移到对于人们对于生命瞬间性的思索。

  人物同事物的关系通过她脖子上佩戴的红色珊瑚宝石项链(有机材料)来表现。女孩同天地合一。

  进而,我们或许想到女孩所代表的女性化特质,是在提醒宇宙的女性化特质。女孩是一个重要的纽带,纹身既是探索一个永无结束的旅程的主要入口,也是答案,在画面对这个旅程的探索中,没有呼之欲出的对生命的种种疑问,而是使我们自然而然地对时间和肉体的产生了新的思索。

  Sylvie Samani简介

  1957年生,GIA认证宝石家、艺术专家和文化顾问。

  早年在英国牛津大学,深造于英国,爱尔兰文学和戏剧。后在卢浮宫博物馆下的艺术学院一等毕业证毕业,专业博物馆学和作品修复,其毕业论文研究以科学手段检测已故大师们使用帆布和木头支撑。

  西尔维在纽约苏富比的绘画部开始了她的职业生涯,负责研究和开发。

Aesthetic Impermanence

  This paper aims to present an evolving observation and appreciation that confront one another raising our leniency to impermanence, as we question the relevance of the imagery presented to us and more so, its permanence.An image with scarce or no artifact can become an artistic challenge that unsettles our former judgment. Hence, what appearsto be a motionless painting dwelling a plain character showing a set (rigid) expression, maybe is not. There is a disparity between what we believe to be, what we actually perceive and, what we are monitored to perceive.The locus of certainty isas impermanent as our argumentation.

  Prelude to our argumentation, is the mandatory distinction between what seems a motionless scene and inertia. What appears to be at rest,or frozen in an inaudible attitudesuch as the character and the surrounding, is not, despite the placid composure of the character displaying apparently no connection with the bare surrounding.The pointed finger meant to capture and direct the attention of the observer, breaks through that sense of motionless as it permits interactivity to take place. The open sky with clouds scattered here and there, acts as an outside force that responds to the thoughts ofthe character. We therefore, distinguish different types of motion in a scene that offers various interpretative readings ofimagery and content yielding a gradual and measured perception ofinformation,due to its abundance formerly restreintfrom the observer. The richness of informationlies behind the apparent simplicity ofthe character and the inscription-life is a moment–which requires a renewed observation due to the complexity of its iconography.

  Arealistic touch combined to the mysterious inscription is not uncanny but is here,associated to a sleek imagestanding between a portrait,(some vanitas included the depiction of a self-portrait in Dutch painting)an allegory, anda free variant vanity. The full grasp of the significance requires a persevering assessment of the changing observation of what can be considered as a new form in genre painting.

  Hence, we may wonder whether to prioritize our attention on the character, or on the inscription, the latter exerting a dominion influence on the character, albeitan obvious lack of grandiloquence in the gesture, that does not dismiss entirely the hypothesis of an allegory.Hence, the laconic inscription is puzzling,if we consider that fourmere words carry the ability to retain and frieze the attention of the character.Indeed, the inscription is part of the imageryyet, it interacts with both the character and the observer. There is a permanent dynamic between the character reading the inscription, requesting the observer’s involvment, with the observer following the gaze of the character, pulled into the painting. The observer istossed back and forth between the inscription, and the character’s ambiguity.The motion induced by the reading, disrupts theearlier assumption of stillness conveyed by the painting.

  The temporality of an observation impacts on the interpretation and is bound to vary, spousing the observer’s inherent understanding of what he perceives and understands at a precise instant.Our purpose is to analyze how such information is released by the painting and deciphered, despite a limited choregraphy resting on a sole character with no specific attribute other than a necklace matching her dress. The inner potency of the painting will modify our perception each time we observe it.

  Further, each observation is meant to entail the observer in a meditation process hence, anchoring the image whilst, the perception and understanding undergo a transformation.

  The image will survive to the impermanence of our thoughts by simply being, and the significance of the image will remainpermanent despite our nomadic observation.

  What is thenthe purpose of the image?

  The theme seems to be a modern representation of a normative vanity albeit, deprived of religious conotation. Vanities in Western art drove attention on perishable matter such as the remains of a meal, a still-life of fruits and flowers, a skull, scattered bones, musical instruments, or an open book recalling human knowledge. All was placed randomly or piled up skillfully orchestrating a deliberate chaos, on a table against a dark background, sometimes limited to the half-lengh representation of an aged and emaciated hermit with his hand resting on a skull. The depictions torn between the representation of an emaciated old man and the remains of still life, had a dogmatic purpose as they were both educational, and a stern reminder of the uselessness of riches, based on the certainty of death (Judeo-Christian belief).Some vanities in their spatial arrangement favored the contrasting pile of objects following a main diagonal (or play with diagonals) as opposed to a bare space assigned to convey a dramatic feel.

  The pointed finger of the character seems to validate the assumption that we are observinga revised philosophical vanity introducing a stylistic as well as content innovation.Indeed, the intention reveals some differences to the observer,such as the absence of severity replaced by a blending softness of depiction,paradoxically in a bare spatial setting with a rather open and unexpected framed verticality.

  Indeed, softness and bareness are linked and are meaningful as our ongoing observation will thrive to demonstrate.The character is inviting the observer to take ownership of the inscription. The pointed gesture is often encountered in renaissance paintings and later on, and confirms that the artist has studied Western art. What remains debatable is the full significance of a dominent, yet undisturbing portion of clear sky showing no apparent malevolent motion, albeit not neutral as it surrounds the character, without crushing her.The relevance of the representation of the clear sky points out the uncertain geographical position of the character, who occupies one third of the canvas (limited scale) and the discrepancy in space allocation differs from classical vanities. Further, the layout keeps afar from elaborate and lavish vanities of the sixteen and seventeen centuries in Western art.

  The composition presents a youth standing half-lenght, in an inhabited and undetermined space which we refer to as a void with no specifics as to its permanence. At this stage of the observation, we do not consider whether it is actually empty or not, but we notice that the character is not grounded and stands between matter and void which shows no boundaries.

  Her composure is still and poised, betraying no emotions, as she remains impervious to emotion display, expressing neither sadness nor joy. Stillness of posture and tranquility of features are made obvious. The character keeps silent, and does not glance at the observer, absorbed by the inscription on her very skin. Nothing seems to distract her.

  The observation points out that the artist dismisses the once compulsory usage of the above mentioned repertoire, to lead the intention on a sole character incarnated by a young girl wearing what could be a light summer dress.

  The construction relies on the interplay of short diagonals (the only perceptible tension in the painting) versus the two open diagonals of her dress. The bright form is modelled by light and shade showing a subtle dosage of one against the other and of contact areas; the regularity of brush strokes betrays the thin layers of paint, and enhances the generic feeling of aesthetic sensibilityof the sleek appearance, and touch of the artist, revealing a saavy treatment of shade. The artist plays with pinks and blues (blue shade on the shoulder) and is reminiscent of the touch of Rubens in his depiction of female’sfair complexion, however deprived here of sensuality in order to grant precedence to the purity of the flawless skin.

  The artist insists on the softness of apearly and creamy colored complexionwhich is almost translucent (smooth brush strokes) and reminds us that the masterwas cautious to avoid traces of brush. The layers of paint are thin and regular, and confess a mastership of the glazing technique.Further, the subtle dosage of shade and light confirms a direct linkage with Western old masters. The artist adds a portion of mystery as to the core meaning of the character depicted with great care, revealed by the softpalette of browns shaping the loose shiny hair. The stylistic characteristic of the artist is the translation of a poetical inspiration(rather than drama) based onvisual harmony.

  Furthermore, we notice that the artist has dismissed to represent alteration or decay of any kind, letting purity prevail in the even features and the skin as mentioned above. Her lack of flaws is an indication that given the impermanence of life, her features are subject to decay at some pointwhich is not promoted here. Her perennial youth contradicts the inscription refering to the impermanence of life.

  Is there a form of purity in impermanence?

  Classical vanities represented purity by the lily flower, but our character makes the usage of objects unnecessary. However, the girl standing as the symbol of a vanity may prove deceptive, based on the female image described as aperennial youth associated to beauty. However accurate, such interpretation is incomplete, as the inscription invites us to transcend the imagery and grasp the unknown. A willing observer may become adventurous in his interpretationbearingan inquisition in disguise, and revise a former appreciation of meaning. Such appreciation being transient as we go along yet, based on a construction of fleeting and impernanent thoughts, which enlighten the path through their hazardous construction. Therefore, the conclusive end of the appreciation is not the goal, but the path itself.

  Is the image real or an illusion?

  The artist is depicting a specific state of acceptance where the character shows neither surprise nor rebellion or fear.The girl embodies a vanity” life is a moment”and her gesture is a gentle reminder, not a warning. Hence, she is theorganic representation of a vanity in the Western sense, with a blending unity between the girl and the message conveyed.

  Her brooding and wandering thoughts are made physical and what the observer perceives first, is the contrast between her youth and the gravity (importance) of the message inscribed which cannot be deleted.Her appreciation of the message is not divulged to the observer, with whom she keeps a distance. Indeed, the artist advocates for a compulsory reserve (aloofness) propitious to her meditation.

  Our hasty assumption of the scene being asimple portrait or another form of vanity, becomes at this stage questionable,despite the fact that the inscription is a statement, and the fact that a vanity relies precisely on an undisputed statement.

  In that respect, we are tempted to remain faithful to our former assessment of the painting being a secular representation of a vanity, and the observer is required to do his part in the meditation process. Further, taking for granted that the inscription is a statement and not a question, stresses the fact that a question is pointless and would cause a delay or a break in the flowing meditation process.

  However, the functionof the image is not describe decay or death, but rather the impermanence of life and the perpetual motion of the cosmos. The artist uses her body as a teaching device (supervinience of the mind and the body), making the painting self-explanatory to some extend.

  The observer at this stage is enlightened as to the reason why the inscription is not presented on a piece of paper, but on the very body of the girl. Her skin replaces paper and welcomes the words, making her skin a canvas within the painting. The inscription lasts for an undetermined time as long as the body that bears it, remains alive. The character does not read the inscription as it it an essential part of her essence. What we assumed at the beginning of our observation does not stand valid since the character does not need to read what she is. Thus, she shows the observer that she embodies the inscription.

  The girl remains unaffected by time as her body has become a vocable, revealing its inner essence a being, with sheer radiance. Such assessment is linked to the belief that the wise teach with their corporeality. An inscription is the mirror of the spirit and recalls the ancient calligrapher’s dream to mould words with life. Words were not just words, but carried a life of their own. Hence, the ritual of calligraphers burning sacred words to swallow the resulting ashes,in order to become One with the words. Such practice was the path to go beyond death and achieve unity with the cosmos and therefore, its life.

  What certainty do we have?

  The character is standing in front of a greyish blue vacuity and her loneliness matches the insulation of her anchorless spirit. The gesture refers to the beginning and the end of the thinking process, that the observer will be undertaking as he proceeds, in his observation.

  The painting is the door to a multitude of doors that the spirit will have to enter in order to grasp the meaning of life being a moment. A moment among other moments pertaining to a continuous flow of life knowing no interruption, no disruption, hence the absence of chaos in the scenography.The impermanence is not seen as a disorder which is a Western conventional conception. Stillnessis in harmony with the invisible motion of her thoughts in a cosmos in constant motion itself which does not acquaint with death but transformation andthe acknowledgement of a cosmic body.

  Indeed, impermanence does refer to transformation itself : the path leading from one state to another, obeying to a defined law.Our interpretation of the image of the girl has shifted to the representation of mankind pondering on the impermanence of life.

  The character’s relation to matter is shown by the red coral gemstone necklace (organic material) which is a symbol resting on her chest.The girl is united both to earth and to the sky.

  Further, we may consider the deliberate character’s feminity as a reminder of the feminine trait of the cosmos.The character is the essential bond and the inscription is both a main entry gate and the answer of a never ending journey where no questions are voiced but generate a responsive renewal,modifying our perception of time and our corporeality.

  By sylvie Samani

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