⟨ Art ⟩

Your Words Become Mine

Her Own Kind Of System

Words / 文心
Translation / Eric Lieu

如果要選一個詞語去形容眼前這位在英國出生,同時認為自己是美國人的藝術家Sarah Morris,必定是「知性」無誤。她穿著黑色的連身裙,頭髮貼服亮麗,踩著運動鞋,自信而輕盈地走到她的作品中間,準備讓別人看懂自己的創作。還記得她一開始時說到,「有很多人問我是先繪畫,還是先製作影片,還是先做什麼……之類有關次序的問題,其實在我而言,真的沒有什麼先後次序的,因為有太多的作品是同步進行的。只可以說因為我是一個藝術家,所以我什麼形式的創作都會嘗試。」就是由這個清晰而大膽的定義開始,展示出與她的作品同樣強大的表達能力。我頓時感覺自己是一個藝術系的學生,在傾聽教授解釋著她的世界觀,分享她對「說話」、「語言」、「畫圖」等的詮釋,去了解她的個人創作系統。同時,她是一位旅者,把精彩的見聞,及對不同城市的認識包括文化歷史等,一股腦兒地在最短的時間內惡補我的知識。

這次名為《Your Words Become Mine》(你的言語成了我的語言)的展覽展出了兩個繪畫系列及一部長片《Abu Dhabi》(阿布扎比)。在全新的繪畫系列《Sound Graph》(聲音圖形)裏,她邀請了德國製片人、同時為詩人的Alexander Kluge朗讀她2017年所創作,與James P. Carse的書名《Finite and Infinite Games》同名的電影文本,然後把聲音放進軟件程式內,以作為畫作的開始。鮮豔的顏色配以圓點、條紋等把聲音轉化成看得到的東西,甚至令我們聯想到工業與城市的景觀。如果說這個繪畫系列把現代科技的元素充分融入作品,《Abu Dhabi》(阿布扎比)的系列就更加微妙了;其中一幅作品包括了她把這個地方的各項資料組合成QR code,就像把整個地方濃縮成圖像,讓我們窺探有關阿布扎比獨有的資訊。至於長片《Abu Dhabi》,則集合了這個地方的處境與面貌,無數個場景隨著輕快的音樂快速轉換,湊成一個可以不理時序的故事,帶點混亂卻完整。探討官僚體制和權力控制一直是Sarah Morris的作品中經常出現的元素,曾修讀社會與政治哲學的她所關心的從來不止於藝術,用自己的方式及系統描述世界,讓我們從她的視角更了解自己身處的處境。她清楚的指出,我們從來不是旁觀者。

Sarah Morris個展《Your Words Become Mine
日期:現在直至77
地址:香港白立方畫廊(香港中環干諾道中50號地下)
時間:星期二至六 上午11時至晚上7時(開放予公眾參觀)

If I could choose one word to describe the British-born American artist Sarah Morris, it would definitely be “intellectual”. Sarah was wearing a black jumper dress, and her hair smooth and beautiful. She walked confidently in her sneakers into middle of her exhibit. She was getting ready to illuminate the audience on her creations. I still remember what she said in the very beginning: “Many people have asked me whether I began as a painter or as a filmmaker or what I did first and what I did later. But to me, there was no particular order because so many of my pieces were done simultaneously as both painter and filmmaker. I can only say that I am an artist who explores a variety of art forms.” This bold statement accentuated the expressiveness that was present in both her persona and her creations. For a moment, I felt like I was an art student listening to a professor explain her worldview and her understanding of these elements of “speech”, “language” and “pictures”, trying to understand her creative system. Sarah is also a traveler, and she generously shared her experiences and learnings from all the cultures and histories of all the places she had visited. My brain was inundated with a sudden influx of knowledge.

Her exhibition is called “Your Words Become Mine” which showcases two painting series and one film “Abu Dhabi”. The “Sound Graph” series is brand new. Sarah had asked German filmmaker and poet Alexander Kluge to record readings of her 2017 film text which shares a name with James P. Carse’s book “Finite and Infinite Games”. The voice recordings are played at the start of the “Sound Graph” exhibit. The accompanying bright colors, dots and lines create an audiovisual experience that is so immersive that it evokes images of the industrial cityscape. “Finite and Infinite Games” is a painting series that seamlessly integrates modern technological elements. The “Abu Dhabi” series does so as well though on a subtler level. One of her creations on display is a composite of all the information she had on Abu Dhabi in the form of a QR code, a sort of visual microcosm of the entire city. It gives visitors an exclusive look into this city. Her film “Abu Dhabi” is a compilation of the various circumstances and facets of the city. The seemingly countless scenes are played in quick succession with a light but fast-paced soundtrack. This allows her work to be perceived from outside chronological confines. The effect is chaotic yet whole. Elements of power, control, and bureaucracy are commonly found in Sarah Morris’ works. Having studied sociology and political science, Sarah expresses her concerns through more than just her art. She uses her own method, her own system to illustrate our world. She helps the audience better understand where they stand in all of it. She so clearly tells us that none of us are ever just an onlooker.

Sarah Morris “Your Words Become Mine”
Date: Now until July 7th
Location: White Cube Hong Kong (50 Connaught Road Central, Central, Hong Kong)
Time: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 11am – 7pm (Open to the public)