Picturing Histories: Historical Narratives in Contemporary Chinese Photography

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Picturing Histories: Historical Narratives in Contemporary Chinese Photography

(Research-based curatorial project shortlist exhibition)

2018.9.7-11.30

Artist: Chen Min, Dong Yuxiang, Li Lang, Shi Zhen, Kurt Tong, Yang Yuanyuan, Zhu Lanqing

OCAT Research Center, Beijing

 

In recent years, photography practitioners around the globe began to break the conventional linear sequence in the construction of photographic texts, opting for a new wave that allows multiple narrative strategies of the real or the fictional. They fuse documents, historical photos, texts, and carefully-constructed images, taking viewers to some times and places in the past, to boundaries that can or cannot be told.

The research project “PICTURING HISTORIES: Historical Narratives in Contemporary Chinese Photograph,” originates from my research work, commission, and curatorial practices in contemporary photography. It revolves around a series of related questions that are concentrated on photography and historical narrative, including but are not limited to the following: Can we use postmodern theories on narrative in the formulation of a set of analytic strategies for image narrative? What does photographic narrative have in common with literary and cinematic narrative and what are the differences? Does the popularity of “photobooks” worldwide play an important role in the current trend of photographic narrative? What are the motives of practitioners of photography in employing knowledge to the“archaeology” of photography? Does the “archive fever” in contemporary art influence practitioners in transforming old photos to art works?

This exhibition will focus on seven cases in Chinese contemporary art that entered historical narratives through photography. By means of exploring histories of individuals and families, historical events, discussing varied historical episodes, or even reflecting on the theme of photograph as a medium of historical narrative, practitioners think of themselves as archaeologists  and pursuit the questions from various perspectives. While revisiting, rewriting, and reconstruct ing history, they develop pursuits of more specific cultures.

 

描绘历史:中国当代摄影中的历史叙事

艺术家:陈旻、董宇翔、黎朗、石真、唐景锋、杨圆圆、朱岚清

策展人:何伊宁

策展助理:蔡昕媛

技术支持:刘志邦

在近些年来全球摄影的叙事浪潮中,越来越多的摄影艺术家不再满足于对于当下现实的纪录,对个人情感的表达或是对媒介本身的探寻,而是利用摄影这一媒介对历史中的个人故事、事件或片段进行探究,时常将档案、历史照片、文字和精心建构的图像融合起来,运用真实或虚构的叙事策略将观者的视角带向过去的某时某地,以及那些能说不能说的边缘。这类以叙事为主要线索的作品打破了传统新闻和纪实摄影中线性的故事讲述方式,而是运用丰富的视觉材料,用多元的叙事策略来拓宽传统摄影在内容和形式上的局限性。

在探索图像叙事领域的摄影实践中,以历史面向的作品占有重要的位置。对历史中个人故事、事件或片段展开的作品既体现出摄影艺术家对历史考察的兴趣和急迫性,同时也体现出历史中丰富的社会、文化环境对于摄影实践所开放的空间。从探索个人和家庭历史,到历史事件,再到讨论历史中的片段,甚至是反思照片作为历史叙事媒介的主题,这些摄影实践者们将自己视为考古学家,纷纷从不同叙事角度切入,在回顾、改写和重构历史的同时,延伸出他们对更具体、广泛文化的追溯。

围绕“描绘历史:中国当代摄影中的历史叙事”为方向的研究计划正是源自我在参与当代摄影的研究、委任和策展实践中,围绕照片与历史叙事的一系列问题而产生,这些题包括但不限于:我们能否利用西方后现代叙事理论来生成一套针对图像叙事的分析策略?摄影叙事与文学与电影叙事的共同点和区别有哪些?全球领域内摄影书的流行对于当下的照片叙事潮流是否起到了重要的作用?推动摄影实践者们调用知识来进行摄影“考古”的原因有哪些?当代艺术中的档案热是否对于摄影实践者将老照片转化为艺术作品产生了影响?

本展览将聚焦中国当代摄影中运用摄影进入历史叙事的7个案例,试图通过对产生这种潮流的原因进行语境分析,考察诸位摄影艺术家所运用的不同策略,并从不同角度来探索摄影在历史叙事中所提供的独特视角。作为研究计划的一部分,展览的同时将通过组织圆桌论坛、与相关图像叙事理论的编译和写作、图片叙事工作坊以及总结性地出版物来推动这一研究地进程。