Monday, April 13, 2009

Pret-a-Porter Afrikan

Barthes ' Camera Lucida - Exerpts

Excerpts from Camera Lucida, Roland Barthes

KOEN WESSING: NICARAGUA" 1979 "I understood at once that this photograph's 'adventure' derived from the co-presence of two elements... "

I was glancing through an illustrated magazine. A photograph made me pause. Nothing very extraordinary: the (photographic) banality of a rebellion in Nicaragua: a ruined street, two helmeted soldiers on patrol; behind them, two nuns. Did this photograph please me? Interest me? Intrigue me? Not even. Simply, it existed (for me). I understood at once that its existence (its "adventure") derived from the co-presence of two discontinuous elements, heterogeneous in that they did not belong to the same world (no need to proceed to the point of contrast): the soldiers and the nuns. I foresaw a structural rule (conforming to my own observation), and I immediately tried to verify it by inspecting other photographs by the same reporter (the Dutchman Koen Wessing): many of them attracted me because they included this kind of duality which I had just become aware of. Here a mother and daughter sob over the father's arrest (Baudelaire: "the emphatic truth of gesture in the great circumstances of
life"), and this happens out in the countryside (where could they have learned the news? for whom are these gestures?). Here, on a torn-up pavement, a child's corpse under a white sheet; parents and friends stand around it, desolate: a banal enough scene, unfortunately, but I noted certain interferences: the corpse's one bare foot, the sheet carried by the weeping mother (why this sheet?), a woman in the background, probably a friend, holding a handkerchief to her nose. Here again, in a bombed-out apartment, the huge eyes of two little boys, one's shirt raised over his little belly (the excess of those eyes disturb the scene). And here, finally, leaning against the wall of a house, three Sandinists, the lower part of their faces covered by a rag (stench? secrecy? I have no idea, knowing nothing of the realities of guerrilla warfare); one of them holds a gun that rests on his thigh (I can see his nails); but his other hand is stretched out, open, as if he were explaining and demonstrating something. My rule applied all the more closely in that other pictures from the same reportage were less interesting to me; they were fine shots, they expressed the dignity and horror of rebellion, but in my eyes they bore no mark or sign: their homogeneity remained cultural: they were "scenes," rather a Za Greuze, had it not been for the harshness of the subject. My rule was plausible enough for me to try to name (as I would need to do) these two elements whose co-presence established, it seemed, the particular interest I took in these photographs. The first, obviously, is an extent, it has the extension of a field, which I perceive quite familiarly as a consequence of my knowledge, my culture; this field can be more or less stylized, more or less successful, depending on the photographer's skill or luck, but it always refers to a classical body of information: rebellion, Nicaragua, and all the signs of both: wretched un-uniformed soldiers, ruined streets, corpses, grief, the sun, and the heavy-lidded Indian eyes. Thousands of photographs consist of this field, and in these photographs I can, of course, take a kind of general interest, one that is even stirred sometimes, but in regard to them my emotion requires the rational intermediary of an ethical and political culture. What I feel. about these photographs derives from an average affect" almost from a certain training. I did not know a French word which might account for this kind of human interest, but I believe this word exists in Latin: it is studium, which doesn't mean, at least not immediately, "study," but application to a thing, taste for someone, a kind of general, enthusiastic commitment, of course, but without special acuity. It is by studium that I am interested in so many photographs, whether I receive them as political testimony or enjoy them as good historical scenes: for it is culturally (this connotation is present in studium) that I participate in the figures, the faces, the gestures, the settings, the actions. The second element will break (or punctuate) the studium. This time it is not I who seek it out (as I invest the field of the studium with my sovereign consciousness) , it is this element which rises from the scene, shoots out of it like an arrow, and pierces me. A Latin word exists to designate this wound, this prick, this mark made by a pointed instrument: the word suits me all the better in that it also refers to the notion of punctuation, and becaus;e the photographs I am speaking of are in effect punctuated, sometimes even speckled with these sensitive points; precisely, these marks, these wounds are so many points. This second element which will disturb the studium I shall therefore call punctum; for punctum is also: sting, speck, cut, little hole - and also a cast of the dice. A photograph's punctum is that accident which pricks me (but also bruises me, is poignant to me) . Having thus distinguished two themes in Photography (for in general the
photographs I liked were constructed in the manner of a classical sonata), I could occupy myself with one after the other. Many photographs are, alas, inert under my gaze. But even among those which have some existence in my eyes, most provoke only a general and, so to speak, polite interest: they have no punctum in them: they please or displease me without pricking me: they are invested with no more than studium. The studium is that very wide field of unconcerned desire, of various interest, of inconsequential taste: I like / I don't like. The studium is of the order of liking, not of loving; it mobilizes a half desire, a demi-volition; it is the same sort of vague, slippery, irresponsible interest one takes in the people, the entertainments, the books, the clothes one finds "all right." To recognize the studium is inevitably to encounter the photographer's intentions, to enter into harmony with [them].

KOEN WESSING: NICARAGUA, I979 “…the sheet carried by the weeping mother (why this sheet?)..."
At the time (at the beginning of this book) when I was inquiring into my attachment to certain photographs, I thought I could distinguish a field of cultural interest (the studium) from that unexpected flash which sometimes crosses this field and which I called the punctum*.
[*punctum: personal significance for a ‘reader’ unintended by the ‘author’. GB]
I now know that there exists another punctum (another "stigmatum") than the "detail." This new punctum, which is no longer of form but of intensity, is Time, the lacerating emphasis of the noeme ("that-has-been"), its pure representation. In 1865, young Lewis Payne tried to assassinate Secretary of State W. H. Seward. Alexander Gardner photographed him in his cell, where he was waiting to be hanged. The photograph is handsome, as is the boy: that is the studium. But the punctum is: he is going to die.

I read at the same time: This will be and this has been; I observe with horror an anterior future of which death is the stake. By giving me the absolute past of the pose (aorist), the photograph tells me death in the future. What pricks me is the discovery of this equivalence. In front of the photograph of my mother as a child, I tell myself: she is going to die: I shudder, like Winnicott's psychotic patient, over a catastrophe which has already occurred. Whether or not the subject is already dead, every photograph is this catastrophe. This punctum, more or less blurred beneath the abundance and the disparity of contemporary photographs, is vividly legible in historical photographs: there is always a defeat of Time in them: that is dead and that is going to die. These two little girls looking at a primitive airplane above their village (they are dressed like my mother as a child, they are playing with hoops) ¬
-how alive they are! They have their whole lives before them; but also they are dead (today), they are then already dead (yesterday). At the limit, there is no need to represent a body in order for me to experience this vertigo of time defeated.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

『影像』Jackie Nickerson:前所未见的非洲之美

来自都市客 · 良品杂志 2009-04-10 09:05:24 查看原文
当非洲一词不经意间飘过你眼前,脑海中浮现出的是什么样的图像呢?乞力马扎罗山顶的白雪,草原上金色的百兽之王,还是瘦骨伶仃的儿童和老人?感谢媒体的神 通广大,竟能让我们对那片遥远的大陆能有如此丰富的了解。然而,第六感告诉我们,在这片人类诞生的古老大陆上,除了动乱和饥饿,也存在一种源自于人的宝贵 精神。幸得女摄影师Jackie Nickerson的一次非洲之旅,让我们看到一个前所未见的非洲。

她这组名为FARM的摄影作品,通过农场劳动者的写真,展示出人体之美、创造之美、自信之美。透过这些艰苦环境的劳动者,折射出一种存在已久而少为人知的 当代非洲精神。在城市里生活的我们,会很容易堕入各种命运设计好的圈套当中,被消极的情绪掩埋。然而,这些在非洲荒野里顽强生活的劳动者们,却通过对大自 然的深刻体验,利用环境,找到生存的意义。通过Jackie Nickerson的镜头,养尊处优的我们,是否也会想起一些失去的精神和感动呢?

Q:Jackie, 请你谈一谈自己的背景好吗?

A: 这组拍摄并没有事先计划,完全出自于我的个人经历。我在津巴布韦的一个朋友,家里有一个农场。我喜欢那里,但是对融入当地的社会生活仍然有一种束缚感。我 慢慢觉得生活太封闭,开始四处走动,和各种当地人交流。然后我买了一辆小卡车,开始了公路旅行,先后去到南非、马拉维和莫桑比克。几个月后,我决定开始一 些拍摄,重点是在工作环境里的人们。他们那种荒芜的劳动场所触动了我,并开始建立视觉语言来表现他们个人的特征。

A: 非洲总被一种负面的偏见所笼罩,而我的经历与之完全不同。一位莫桑比克的妇女曾说道:“如果你仅仅想告诉世界我们的贫穷,请不要在这里拍照,因为我们并未 感觉如此。”尽管工作和生活压力没有减轻,但他们却从未屈服于环境。更重要的是,他们拥有在西方社会已经失去的一种团体精神。他们明确了解自己是谁和从何 而来,对自我的认识带给他们强烈的表现和自信。我认为西方社会对于农业工作者的怜悯只是自己的一种傲慢。而事实上,农业工作者的团体活动能力非常强,是值 得受到尊敬的人群。

Q:在农场里工作的人们对你的作品有什么想法吗? 你在工作中是如何与他们交流的?
A: 很幸运,大部分非洲南部国家都用英语作为官方语言,所以交流完全没有问题。我开车四处转悠,在有趣的地方停下来并上去搭话,看是否可以进行拍摄。通常第一 次见面时,注意力都集中在交谈上。他们都是和你我一样的普通人。常有的想法就是“人挺好,这人真逗。”我的反应是由遇见的人决定的,大多数在外面遇到的人 都很友善,对我是谁感到好奇。经常被问到的就是“ 你从哪儿?来你是政府人员吗?是不是记者啊? 这些照片会用到什么地方,报纸上吗?”

A: 有大量的正面反应,也有少数针对南非政治因素的批判。但在作品中我只想集中表现真实的个人,从一个不同的角度来看待普通的非洲居民。引用Edward K. Owusu-Ansah的原话就是“Nickerson带给我们对这些人物的注目,是为了崇拜和怜惜 ,而不是怜悯。”

A: 当你在农场附近走动时,并不会马上发现外貌和衣着打扮上很显眼的人,在路上的人多是穿着衬衣、短袖和牛仔裤。但是进到地里,一段时间后,你就会注意到一些 特别的人。他们看起来很贫困,实际上都是有工作的劳动者。这些奇特的衣着完全是为了对应工作环境而制作的。由于他们没有专门的工作服,只能用手里有限的原 材料自己动手加工。他们循环利用农场里的所有废料,只要是能用于保护自己的东西,包括包装材料、食品容器、麻布口袋、背篓,没有任何浪费。照片里的所有服 装都是由穿着他们的人亲手缝制的。每一件都是原创和对应工作的,而且的确是充满着原创性和美感的。

A_ 在开始拍摄的时候,我意识到建立必要的视觉语言来突出农业工人同时亦是现代人的地位。通常媒体对非洲和现代非洲人的报道都是负面的,我想观众从另一个角度看到非洲文化,并接触到其中的美感。他们给自己缝制的衣物不仅实用,而且有独特的亮丽,来自完全的原创。

A: 不管你是在上海、伦敦、东京,还是这个星球上任何地方,总有注重穿着和对其不以为然的两种人。时装设计是一种艺术,充满了幻想和美丽。如果你是从美学而不 是地位的观点来看待它们,那么每个人都可以欣赏的。当然不是任何人都适合穿它,我认为穿着最好是觉得舒适,有助于增强自己正面印象的东西,由此展现真实的 自我。


A:杰出 。

『新视线』 摄影 Jackie Nickerson 撰文 Jeuce

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Sunday, April 5, 2009





因 此,一直有人扬言“全民皆摄影记者”的时代已经到来,也的确有一些权威的纸上媒体大胆地采用一些没有摄影记者去到现场、只有现场民众用自己摄影器材拍摄到 的影像,新闻摄影记者一直依赖的在器材和通讯上的优势渐渐失去,摄影师的专业地位也渐渐动摇,摄影——或者说公众对公共事务的诠释权获得前所未有的普及, 这到底是一件好事还是一件坏事呢?

我想起的,是1826年, 摄影术刚刚发明之际,西方的画家们也都有过丧失话语权的害怕。传统写实绘画受到大众离弃,相对于镜像一般的摄影,绘画再写实也难比其“栩栩如真”,于是绘 画只好退出了为人民服务的舞台。但是塞翁失马,焉知非福?现代艺术就是这样被迫诞生的,不再追求肉眼所见的真实、原样复制的真实(这真实本来就值得怀 疑),转而追求内心主观的真实、抽象表现的真实,没有路正意味着万千条路可以走,从此天马行空,转向了更复杂和奇特的表达形式,让艺术的概念大大的丰富 了。传统摄影受到网络传播摄影的挑战,似也应作如是观。

当然,新闻摄影又是一个复杂的特例,它不可能天马行空到虚构事实的地步,不可能变成艺术摄影。但是“真实”这一个基本要求有时真是一把两刃剑,对现实事件的客观记录就是“真实”吗?苏珊.桑 塔格在《论摄影》中早已指出:“摄影师被看作是一个敏锐而又不参与的观察者——一个抄写员,而不是诗人。但是人们很快就发现他们面对同样的事物拍出来的照 片并不一样,那种对照相机提供的图像是非个人的、非主观的、服从于事实的臆断便土崩瓦解了。照片不仅是对事物所呈现的面目的证明,同时也是一种个人的观 看;不仅是一种记录,而且是对世界的一种评价。”

而 现在这些网络摄影师们的身份更加暧昧,他们往往就是事件的参与者本身,同时还成为了身边另一网络摄影师的被摄影对象。他们强调他们照片的“真实”且奉真实 为唯一标杆,但正当“真实影像”以数千数万倍的速度在网络上增长,并且以不设防的自由传播的时候,真实的面孔无比“逼真”,却因为过于靠近、拥有过多的阐 释者而渐渐模糊起来。本来新闻摄影在最近十多年已经在追求多和快上面贴近上述的误区,如果现在还要进一步依从这网络时代的游戏规则,则只会消亡得更快。



去年是一九六八“布拉格之春”事件四十周年,一直以来,我们对这个当年震惊世界的侵略事件的所有形象认识就是寥寥几张寇德卡的照片,是当时三十岁的寇德卡冒险拍下然后偷运出国、隐名发表的。直到去年,也许就是为了纪念,Thames & Hudson出版社会同玛格南图片社出版了厚厚的一本《入侵布拉格:68》,收录了寇德卡当时未能发表的大量照片。


一 九六八年具有哲学意义(研究理想主义和新左派的蓬勃)、社会学意义(研究民众运动的激化)、文学意义(垮掉一代的文学影响达到顶峰)甚至音乐上的意义(迷 幻音乐大行其道),而通过重读寇德卡的摄影,我们还可以分辨出它的摄影意义,在报道摄影中摄影师的自我定位、影像与现实的互相介入、摄影者与被记录者的关 系等许多摄影哲学的问题,在这批照片中都有新的答案。

首 先我们看到一个被迫隐名的摄影师(实际上,在中国当代史也肯定不乏这样的摄影师),他在拍摄开始和进行的过程中已经清楚地意识到这些照片不可能在捷克公开 发表,也不可能在时局未变之前具名流传,这在理论上立马赋予了这些照片一种纯粹的意义:它们因此应该得以脱离摄影者的主观意志、成为客观现实的忠实重现 者。仿佛在新闻摄影和纪实摄影诞生直至六十年代,“客观”和“真实”就是它最渴求达到的终极目标,那么一个被迫摒弃了作者的摄影记录,是否能成为最客观的 记录呢?

理 论上可以,实际上却因为这极端的压抑而走向了反面,这是一个开拓性的反面。寇德卡毕竟是寇德卡,一个摄影师中的思想者。在入侵事件开始之初,寇德卡也像每 一个冲到前线的新闻摄影师一样,坚信“最接近的就是最好的影像”这一定理,他也因此拍出了许多在传统意义上杰出的新闻摄影,越来越逼近的人物在饱和的构图 中仿佛带着猛烈的心跳和急促的呼吸,甚至可以感觉到寇德卡亢奋的手指在快门按钮上颤抖。同时他又力求保持冷静,可以看得出他努力想通过镜头的选择来理解事 件的多方面构成:他在拍摄反抗入侵者的愤怒面孔同时,也拍下了一个苏联士兵弯腰擦去tank上被涂上的法西斯标志时屈辱的脸,也拍下了一个老太太对街上 youxing不理解并且担心平静生活被波及时痛苦的脸……这些都是一个事件的完整矛盾之呈现,一般新闻摄影师只会取其一,一个成熟的报道摄影者会纵览全 部。这里,已经出现了寇德卡这些影像从狭义的新闻摄影向广义的纪实摄影的第一步转化。

随 着事态急剧恶化,过于迫近的影像模糊起来,呈现出仿佛形而上意义的历史之幽灵的面貌,寇德卡在血腥面前经历了震痛,我们可以看到在主观意志的指导下他的镜 头马上具有了道德判断力,一面倒地倾向受难者,这是对新闻摄影的客观原则的第一次反思——当我们具有超越摄影师身份的公民普遍身份、成为受难者的一份子的 时候,什么才是我们要说出的真实?什么时候我们该扔下照相机去抬担架?

如 果我们的摄影师沉溺于其当事人身份的话,那么他和如今上传照片到网络上的网民也会慢慢混同了。然而寇德卡却以强大的自制力出离单纯的悲伤,在画面上这呈现 为:日后成为寇德卡风格标志的分解式构图被自然地用于记录“失败者”的群体,上面每个人物都“离心”朝向不同的方向,同时以情感上的向心力维系那奇险的构 图。这达到了思考表象之下最深处真实的效果,这是带有悲剧精神的画面,在失败的背后,人民开始深思一个民族的命运,他们的思索和摄影者一起如画面的线条向 四周拓展,形成新的空间、新的张力。一种新的报道摄影哲学也从中诞生,摄影者更关心事件深层的心理真实,主观和客观,不过是抵达它的手段。

主 观的介入,是新纪实摄影已经敢于去尝试,而新闻摄影还是刚刚开始的手段——不可否认,网络时代的压力迫使摄影师加速了反思和冒险。我们可以看到,权威思维 中对新闻摄影的“真实”之表达形式的尺度也在放宽,就以被视为新闻摄影中的奥斯卡奖的荷兰世界新闻摄影大赛(简称“荷赛”)的评选为例,今年和2007年爆出的两个大冷门都是强烈挑战传统新闻摄影美学甚至“道德”的,而有趣的是这两个摄影师都来自中国。


更 进一步在观念上挑战甚至颠覆新闻摄影之纪实标准的,是今年获“荷赛”肖像类组照三等奖的李洁军作品《复制战争》,他采取的是新闻摄影之大忌:摆拍,使用玩 具士兵来模拟出历史上一些著名的战争影像记录而翻拍之。这当然从头到脚都不是真实的,李洁军在创作这批照片当初也是把它们作为“观念摄影”实验在纯摄影杂 志发表,但意外的是他竟然“斗胆”把它们再作为“新闻摄影”拿去参加“荷赛”!这既是李洁军的一次观念革命,更是权威摄影评判们最大胆的一次观念革命,后 者看出了在此作品复制和造假背后所具有的真实——网络上一个评论者概括得很好:“在虚拟的战争中/玩偶是人/在真实的战争中/人是玩偶”,这一个真实的观念,确实难以用捕捉自战场刹那的现实影像来表现。

纯 然,上述两者所采取的另类方式,只能说是探索新的新闻摄影语言的两种蹊径,形式狭窄而且存在稚气,却在观念上冲破了固有的樊篱。如果我们的影像实验者们能 再往深度发展,未必不能与寇德卡他们开拓出来的那条崎岖之道相接,寻找出在公共影像泛滥的时代的新的摄影之道。新新闻摄影者这样的选择,表面上看来来自网 络传播影像的压力,实际上却与不满足的摄影思考者们同行,而这些实验,最终又将影响回最普遍的民众记录影像,使已经泛滥的拍照行为具有更多的反思,不止停 留在“我看见了,我拍下了”这动作带来的快感上,好让新闻摄影也好、纪实摄影也好、网络摄影也好,都统一到一个大的摄影思考之中——毕竟,摄影始终也是我 们重新深入认识世界的一个手段。