Kinetic Art

Jean Tinguely

在Jean Tinguely的世界中沒有靜止不動的事物,一切都會改變流動。對於這位瑞士藝術家來說,一切的作品都在永恆的變動中,他的動能藝術就如他的創作座右銘:藝術就是玩耍,以遊戲玩樂去激發觀眾。


Within Jean Tinguely’s world, nothing is stagnant; everything is variable and fluid. To this Swiss artist, all creations are perpetually in a state of transformation. His kinetic art is in keeping with his motto for creative endeavors: “The relationship of art and play: to play is art – consequently I play. I play enraged.”

The essence of Dadaism lies in the creation of pieces of work by combining readily available items, or discarded products picked up randomly. After the First World War, Dadaism converted broken or worn objects, and those abandoned by the world, into literature, theatre and art pieces using an approach or logic that went against the norm. Tinguely attempted a twist to Dada’s idea of playfulness and random assemblage. Rather than creating art pieces by simply putting together unwanted items, he incorporated kinetic movement into them so that they can emit sounds, move around or even draw. He specialized in collecting discarded metal items, and turned rusted scrap metal deemed useless by ordinary people into interesting kinetic sculptural installations. Resembling moveable abstract paintings, his earlier works were created by combining and rotating geometric shapes formed by iron wires and metal frames. While spinning, the colors of white, black, blue and red on the geometric shapes will be transformed into various color combinations. His later works can even produce sounds or draw. Tinguely advised against being restricted by the shape and structure of a creation. Each part of it can spin in coordination with kinetic energy because only in movement can we find the true essence of things. We are living in an era where nothing is permanent; religions, countries, laws and even buildings which look sturdy and stable will not remain in the same state forever.

Jean Tinguely3

Tinguely像是將轉動奉為金科玉律,但他的「Only in movement do we find the true essence of things」想法中,似乎隱藏對人類視機械為文明推進的諷刺。〈Hannibal II〉是他1967年的作品,這個動能雕塑的一端被固定著,中央的一個大圓輪附在離心軸上,圓輪將是在不停向前移動,卻最終被拉回原有的固定點上。像是薛西弗斯的神話,推了上山的大石最終也必滾回山腳,一切移動前進都是徒勞。

Tinguely saw spinning as his golden rule. He believed that “only in movement do we find the true essence of things”, and hidden in this thinking seems to be his mocking of humans’ belief of machines as advancement in civilization. He created Hannibal II, a kinetic sculpture, back in 1967. Being fixed on one end, it features at its centre a huge wheel being attached to an axis. Despite moving forward continuously, the wheel will eventually be pulled back to its original position. As with the myth of Sisyphus, in which a large rock being pushed uphill will eventually roll back down, every movement forward proves futile in the end.