1992-2009
访谈人:李振华
被访者:蒋志 www.jiangzhi.net
整理:高飞
校对:李振华

时间:2009年4月23日
地点:蒋志望京家中
1992

李:我们还是先从92年开始聊吧,从你的油画开始。
蒋:我觉得没有必要吧。

李:你觉得为什么没有必要?因为跟你现在做的没有关系?
蒋:那个时候是对当代艺术完全没有概念的,完全是一个傻乎乎的美院学生。

李:受到画册的什么影响,或是什么人的影响,还能记的起来吗?
蒋:记不起来了,我对现在很多艺术家的名字都记不住,别说以前了。

李:你觉得那个时候的美术教育和你现在要做的工作之间有什么样的差异。
蒋:在学校就还好,那时候都是去学校看书,老师教的那些基础课在考学前基本就没有问题了,能考进来的基本都没有问题,可能在学校会进一步的提高吧,但是我觉得也没有太多提高的必要。

李:那你平时上课干嘛呢?
蒋:我觉得版画系挺好的,除了平时上课外,你比如说铜版或石版其实就上一两天课,那一两天课也是教你如何磨石头啊,如何滚油墨啊,就完了,然后一两个月都没有事情。

李:你除了平时做版画以外,很显然这是手工创作,版画和绘画的界线有是什么呢,因为我到现在也没有看过你的版画作品。
蒋:95年我毕业的时候有一组版画(创作)。

李:毕业的时候做的,那之间有没有做版画?
蒋:有,就是专业课的作业嘛,科目课都有作业。

李:91年你刚入学,那段时间据说是以邱志杰为首的?
蒋:对,他是高年级师兄。

李:怎么那时候他就为首呢?
蒋:我也搞不清楚,那时候他已经是三年级了,可能在他周围已经形成了小圈子。学校对面还有一个餐厅,开学(入学)的时候 ,我那么大了,我爸还从老家送我去学校,然后我跟我爸在学校对面的小餐厅吃饭,我和我爸是在一桌,突然就来了一群人,在另外一桌吃,然后就看到其中有一个人在滔滔不绝地说,基本上所有的人都听他说的,哈,那时候那种气度不凡的气质我还是蛮欣赏的。不是说领导气质啊,是一种博学的,有心气的。

李:他们在讲什么呢?
蒋:忘了,那时候我懵懵懂懂的,有可能在说他的大玻璃(作品)吧好像。后来他做大玻璃的时候,我们帮他填色,在画好的轮廓里面填一些什么颜色啊。当时就这么认识的,那时候他在看什么书都推荐给大家,之前我也没有怎么接触到那些书,就觉得是一种新的视野。

李:当时在看什么书?
蒋:罗兰巴特,游牧主义啊,福柯等,好像还在看俄罗斯形式主义什么的。

李:后来他(邱志杰)去北大去和陈嘉映学习是什么时间,95年?
蒋:对,95年之前。

(观看蒋志的毕业创作)
李:这个就是你的毕业作品是吧,你现在还留着吗?
蒋:有,都皱巴巴的,

李:我觉得什么时候去把它好好的裱一下,非常好的作品,
蒋:我觉得这个技法现在还没有人会用(开玩笑的)。

李:是吗?
蒋:那个时候我是偶然碰到这个技法,像铜版你很难做出这样的效果的,就想用什么办法能让我省点事,那是时候在美院的显影方式是很不靠谱的。

李:怎么讲?
蒋:就是这种技术在美院没有这种条件,没有在铜板上显影的那种条件。

李:浙美当时已经很好了。
蒋:对,都是那种传统的工具。

李:比如说什么样的工具?
蒋:那时候做的那种所谓的显影,就是图片用复印机复印后,复印上面有一层碳粉,把那层碳粉压在铜板上,就留下浅浅的一层影子,再去腐蚀,那种就很不靠谱,很模糊。

李;那不是很有特点嘛?
蒋:是很有特点,其实适合那种中国画那种破破烂烂(意象)的那种感觉。

李:版画在90年代,应该技术上已经很完善了吧?(你通过新的)完全的显影方式,然后把它做的更好,很具像。
蒋:对,我觉得有条件的话倒是没问题,版画技术,说到底就是一种印刷术。

李:版画阶段就没有再持续吧,等于是毕了业就没有再做这个东西是不是?
蒋:没有。

1996

李:96年你好像在写小说,让我觉得有点不可思议,怎么从版画一下就跳到写小说,太没有什么关联了。
蒋:其实是从小就喜欢写东西,我觉得那时候也是跟中国的大气氛有关系,那时候好像所有的人都在写东西(我觉得是),要不就在写诗,要不就在写小说,因为80年代确实是这样的。

李:80年代是有这种情况的?
蒋:对,80年代刚好我是十几岁的时候。

李:那时候欧宁已经是诗人了,他在写诗歌。
蒋:毕业以后也没有什么要做艺术家的感觉,北京那时候也没有什么展览,大家聚在一起就喝喝酒、看看国外的一些资料什么的,还没有开始做作品,当时就想找一种方式来创作吧,就找写作的方式,因为这个不需要钱。

李:96年你就来北京了吗?
蒋:95年下半年我就来北京了,一毕业就来了。

李:但是你在北京待的时间好像很短吧?
蒋:对,待到98年底。

李:那时候怎么没有选择去上海呢?因为上海90年代初当代艺术也开始了,已经有画廊了,你有没有想过在艺术这条道路上进入更职业的层面呢?
蒋:98年的时候我还不知道有画廊。

李:是吗,那怎么就跑深圳去了?让我以为你一直是深圳艺术家。
蒋:因为一毕业找的工作就是在深圳,那个杂志社,比较搞笑的是我跟深圳那个杂志社说我可以来上班了,社长跟我说你赶紧过来啊,说你到深圳机场然后我们会给你去北京的票,到那边你去开一个会,我说这个经济上有点不合理,为什么不直接去北京就完了,干嘛去深圳,那么南北来回干嘛呀,那时一些生活用品都已经寄到深圳去了,我说还不如从这边直接去北京吧,他们说那也是,那你就去吧。我以为开开会就走了,到那(才知道)其实也不是开会,他说还是希望你在北京做个记者站,这边会和朝阳区政府在联络,他们会提供你一个小房间,你就先在那里搞记者站吧,然后这几年中就没有回过深圳。

李:但是他们是支付你工资的,然后呢?
蒋:那时候的工资相对于毕业生来说,还是相当高的。

李:是嘛,有几千块?
蒋:没有几千块,那时候朝阳区的领导干部的工资才五百多六百多。

李:96年的时候你一个月赚多少钱?
蒋:那个时候工资有一千二吧,后来,一个老校友在国外接到一单活,做高尔夫球场的平面图,做成铜版画,因为在国外做很贵,他拿到国内做的话就能赚个差价,就是给我们做,每个月能赚个五六千吧。

李:那很赚钱啊!
蒋:当时就给他们做那个高尔夫球场的平面图 。也没做多久,三四个月吧。

李:用蚀版做?
蒋:铜版。

李:你在96年到98年你在北京就一直在写东西了是吧?作品没有怎么做?
蒋:其实从96年下半年就开始做了,在97年初就做完了那个《屉中物》(摄影作品)。

李:那个时候我总觉得你好像是摄影和录像同时发生的,但是录像是不是因为技术的原因和技术手段的限制没有在那个时期开始?
蒋:录像?开始拉,97年同时进行的。

李:96年你做摄影,97年你做录像?
蒋:没有,其实是96年买了一个相机,记得是跟邱志杰一起去逛的潘家园,96年底买的那个相机,然后试着拍,97年做了几件作品,录像是差不多(同时)开始的。

李:当时摄影在技术没有问题,技术比较完善了,96年、97年你用什么东西拍录像?当时你用的什么机器(型号)?
蒋:是家用录像带的那种,好像是用松下M-9000拍的《怀疑物体》和《飞吧、飞吧》(1997)。

李:当时为什么会想到用录像这个媒介呢?因为那个时候找机器也不太容易吧。
蒋:找机器是很不容易,确实。那个时候可能有两个朋友的影响,邱志杰那时候很热情的在推动录像艺术,还一个就是和杨福东那时侯他去上海之前的一两年,我们常常在一起瞎聊,他天天都在聊胶片和他做电影的梦想,有这种影响,很自然的就会想到用这种方式去做。

李:那你觉得你做摄影和录像的差别是什么?有没有存在什么差异或是之间存在什么关联?
蒋:我觉得都是很自然,没有考虑到他们有什么差异,就比如说拍那个《飞吧、飞吧》是很难用静态的东西去做的,自然就会想到用一个动态的影像。

李:就是说静态的传达的联想和动态的传达的联想有不一样的地方,有的时候比如说你看一个录像作品的时候是不是感觉用一张摄影就可以表达它呢?尤其是看到很慢的那种,是不是一个静帧就可以?
蒋:这个时候就看作者是不是要时间这个概念,时间的元素在里面,也许是一帧,但是需要时间性。

李:《飞吧、飞吧》需要这样一个时间跨度吗?
蒋:从一开始飞,最后落到枕头上,它还是有一个过程的,不是一张照片可以完成的。

李:你觉得摄影是不能被取代的?
蒋:对。

李:你觉得不能取代的是时间上的跨度,那内容上呢?比如说看一部录像的时候,有叙事的表达或者是对叙事的联想,这里存不存在对叙事的延伸呢?
蒋:你说叙事延伸是什么意思?

李:动态的东西总会让有故事性的联想,静态的东西让你有其他的联想,不太一样。在做动态的作品的时候有没有这种考虑,像讲故事一样,或是说有没有意念在通过这个故事的线索来说。
蒋:我觉得不完全是讲故事,因为动态的东西,是通过时间的连续来完成的,你比如说拍一个人的颤抖,也可以用照片的形式来拍,就是把影子做虚一点,让人联想那个人是在颤抖,比如说局部一些虚的感觉,但是用录像的话就能更清楚的说出来,每一刻颤抖的形态是什么样子的,这个摄影肯定是做不到的,但从一个很小的例子来说,动态的东西有它很微妙的地方,就像杨福东的电影,虽然一个人站在那,移动的很慢,但是还是跟照片是不一样的,虽然那人不动,但时间在流逝,还是有一种东西在不断的传递出来。

李:是什么呢?
蒋:我也说不清是什么东西,但觉得肯定是能大致说出来的,在时间流逝中生成的东西,情感,或内观性的发现和体验……一个凝固的动作在不在时间的序列中是完全不一样的,你当然不能说是一个雕塑。

李:对,刚才我就想说雕塑和绘画的问题,你说的那种对真实的反应,比如说录像会更细致更真实,那你怎么把写实的绘画、写实的雕塑或是很精微的那种摄影区分,我总觉得这里面有一些关联,但是这种关联不是观念或是概念上的,在很多方面是不是因为它的媒介决定的,或者是创造者决定的这个细微的感受,你刚才说的那个颤抖我觉得说的很有意思, 你说在把照片做虚了能感觉到颤抖,而恰恰有些人在做录像的时候有着模拟一个虚化的环境或是空间,或者说有意的把刚才说的真实的东西消解掉,因为在你的《飞吧、飞吧》里面并没有一个人的主题,就像一个幻觉,在这里面是不是在讨论一个录像的表达问题,或者说录像是可以被取代的,在媒介上来说,或者说不用录像,可以考虑使用小说,当别人读的时候有这种感受。
蒋:你刚才说的其实是关于一个作品如何找到一个身体(媒介物)。

李:也有这个问题存在,这也是我一直考虑的一个问题,就是说所有媒介的不可替代性,比如说我们不可简单的说用录像替代绘画,或者是说用图片替代录像,我对这个一直比较疑惑,也一直比较感兴趣。每个媒介都有它非常有趣的特征,这个特征有它的模仿性,好像把其它媒介掩盖了,但是它本身有着自己独特的存在方式。因为这个问题就会涉及到一个艺术家在创作、转换媒介——是因为在这个媒介里他不能完成的时候,才转换媒介,或者说他在很多媒介开始的时候,不同的媒介放射性的表现出不同的愿望,或者说创作理由。
你说的因为邱志杰和杨福东的影响,这个因素肯定存在,我想这些因素不完全可以构成你要用录像或是摄影来创作的方式,还有为什么你要使用这样的媒介?我觉得可能是因为一部分来自你那部分体制——是你的朋友圈,但是在那个时候正有一个外部体制的构成,就是电视机和其它的传媒的东西在慢慢的兴起,是不是也有这样的原因存在。
蒋:其实刚才说的做电影,是很多人的梦想,为什么说杨福东一直有拍电影的梦想,其实很多人都是这样,录像就是提供了这样一个便利,可以让你去实现,而且可以花很少的成本就可以实现(梦想),这是你说的外部条件吗?其实这是综合的,因为这个可以把你以前对画面感和声音的东西表达出来,它比较综合,这里面有很大的东西去让你发挥,这会对你产生很大的吸引力。

李:从内部的角度会去探讨可能性,比如说油画、版画、摄影、录像你会去探讨它的必要性吗,或者说完全没有必要去探讨?
蒋:这个我没有特意的想过,因为我用的时候还是比较自然的,当时可能想到用雕塑,我觉得摄影和录像差不多,无非是用镜头,无非是有这么一个框,是自己相对来说比较熟悉的。你是什么原因让你说到媒体的必要性?工具的必要性呢?

李:因为我会觉得媒介之间会有借鉴和复制的特征存在,或者说当一个媒介出现肯定会有和作者的关系,比如说我一直在拍照片,但照片无法帮助我在某些方面(就比如说你刚才说的那种更写实的讨论),讨论更清晰的东西那只有用影像来完成,但我觉得影像在这方面是摄影的延伸,在这方面它是构成的,有的时候我拍了一段video,可能这个时候更应该是一张绘画,因为在绘画的过程中身体的在场和每天的修改,这个可能让我更感兴趣,我觉得一个创作者以前总是会面对一个问题,是拍照片的你一定要明确你就是拍照片的,是画画的你一定要明确你是画画的,这个问题在90年代或是在85思潮后不再存在了,你可以任意的创作,你也可以用任意的媒介来做你的艺术。
可是这个里面还是应该有一个大的线索存在,就是作为一个作家或是一个艺术家你怎么考虑作为媒介的使用的必要性,是手上呢?还是你说的那种取景框的感觉,我觉得有意思的是,怎么去通过取景框考虑创作的问题,或是通过一块画布,还是通过一块场地,这个就能找到艺术家创作的根源到底是什么东西,比如说我在讨论的是身体的根源,或者我是在讨论别的东西。
蒋:我觉得还是有差异,你刚才说的一个人画一张画会不断的在涂画,在擦去或是在改变它本身就形成了一种动态的东西已经在呈现,是个人差异吧,就是他所要的东西,在影像里面这个人物的表情的变化或是跟周围的事情也好或是周围的景色也好,这样的关系也跟那个是差不多的,它在寻找其中的变化和体验,就从自己的体验来说,你在拍一个东西,这个人过来一点或是过去一点其实跟画画是差不多的,你(被拍摄者或被临摹的模特)是不是偏过来一点,或是头稍微仰一点,或是你这种哭是不是可以用另外一种方式来表现⋯⋯

李:我觉得这个会跟绘画之间会有一个主客关系,因为绘画你(艺术家)是主观的,你不需要跟任何人做沟通。
蒋:我觉得绘画也是在跟材料打交道,用的颜料的物理特性和画布的光滑程度,也要跟这些东西打交道,笔的力度如何去协调这种性质的涂料,画和画者之间的关系,他有他的客观条件是要去协调的。

李:那是肯定的,你作为艺术家要去满足颜料和画布的物理特性,但是你在创作的时候这个物或是那个人当然也是你使用的材料,但是在影像创作的时候,要去对摄影机、场景、人等等妥协的过程,我觉得它的主客观性会不一样。
蒋:你其实是在说摄影的主观性会比绘画弱?

李:对,我会这样觉得,当然我不会说他的主观意识会弱,但是在创作的过程中它会有很多客观发生,会有很多突兀的东西,这个就回到了所谓的状态电影,状态电影充分的说明了创作过程中的所谓客观性。
蒋:我觉得是一个互动的关系,很多时候,在偏离这个轨道的时候,其实是能激发出主观的东西来的 ,有的时候凭着惯性在做,而这个惯性恰好是比较惰性的,其实做为艺术家,有的时候是比较期待这种突兀的东西出来的,可能杨福东也是,这样的话会对他的创作产生刺激,刺激他的思维,会带来一些他以前没有的一些新感受。

李:我想这个互动的话题很有意思,在做绘画的时候或是你拍录像的时候会出现一些场域,会起到相对重要的作用,比如说绘画需要一个相对平静的空间,而在拍摄录像或是摄影的时候,可能需要不同的空间,这两个不一样的空间可能会触发艺术家表达不一样的东西。在做画的时候这个环境触发的某个灵感或是某个因素这种情况可能会很少,这对应你刚才说的艺术家会去期待环境给他带来新的突兀有关。绘画给我的感觉是主观的,而影像的创作恰恰不是这样的,甚至创作会更加依附一些人为的事件。
蒋:外在的事件和你脑海里的事件,其实我觉得这两个事件根本之间没有太大的差异,因为我们看到的事件和你脑海里的其实差异性没有那么大,当然它们有差异,但归根到底是一样的。

李:为什么会这样呢?
蒋:因为人的大脑无非就在处理这些影像或者所谓的事件,就是你看到的东西也是要通过你的眼睛来传递给大脑的,只不过你的那些经验是通过一些别的刺激形成的,就是说所形成的机制是一样的,形成的所谓的工具是一样的。很多艺术家为什么会在艺术上有突破,可能是有意识的在大脑里面形成突兀的东西,而有些人可能需要外在的原因,比如说一些场景或是风景,或者说是通过突发事件来刺激,也有很多情况是可以通过自身大脑来达到的。你刚才说绘画的人会比做动态影像的人所遇到的场域或是突兀会不一样吧?

李:可能会少一些。
蒋:我觉得不会少,我觉得他们之间是差不多的,你在外部条件下遇到的场域和你在内部遇到的场域归根到底是差不多的。

李:但我觉得内部世界是一致的,作为一个个体你不管场域如何变化,你总要做出判断和选择,是油彩还是光效,还是人都似乎要做出选择。而我在讨论的是,在外部世界完全是不同的,也就是不管你的内部场域是否一样,但外部场域对你的触发是不一样的 ,这种场域给你带来的影响是非常不一样的。
蒋:我觉得还是看这个人心里面想什么东西,还不是说外部的东西真的作用那么大,比如说两个人坐在船里面看两岸的风景,他们看到的风景和画面是完全不一样的,有一个人可能在想着很可怕的事情,一直在冒汗,而另外一个是很悠闲的。他们所看到的东西是不一样的。

李:根据你举的这个例子,说一个假设,比如说我来画两岸的风景,我用几种方式来画,一种方式就是做了小稿,然后回到画室把这个风景默写下来,可是这个时候我们假设有一个突发事件,岸上有人跳河了,这个时候会不会影响这个画家摹写跳河,或是把这个跳河的事情抹掉,还是只摹写风景,因为这个在十六世纪摹写风景画的时候有过这样的现象,艺术家为了获得更好的风景他会把某些建筑物抹掉,他为了要一个更好的风景,但是影像不可以这样做,影像会如实的把这个记录下来,比如说我在拍这个风景,突然间有人跳河这个不是我来决定要不要把他拍下来,而是已经拍下来,这个就是我说的外部因素导致,但是做为创作者,我不想要跳河的这件事肯定会剪掉,可是事实是他没有剪下来,这就是我说的可能影像会触发那种不可知的东西,这种不可预测的影像,而绘画可能会更主观,我觉得这种就是那一个更主观的问题,有的人说纪录片是这个社会真实的反映,当然这个真实也是带引号的,但是在很多方面,在影像上的真实确实可以做到,当然最终还是人来决定,还是终将要变的主观,由人来决定拍什么不拍什么,剪掉什么不剪掉什么。
蒋:其实整体来说我们都是不可知的,就是说可知是符合我们以往的经验或是以往的图像,但是那个风景发生的事情你真的能掌握全部东西?我觉得是不可能的。刚才我说的那句话好像很玄,但实际上很简单,你怎么能彻底的知道那个事情的所有事情(方面)呢?世界是无限敞开的,我们每个人只能各自看到一点点。

李:是这样的,其它方面的影响或是传递,我觉得更像是一种游戏,比如说绘画从签名到微观东西的描写,都是有深意在里面,绘画里的每个因素都可能被推敲的很细致,因为它只有一个静态画面的可能性,来把这个意愿传达出来,但是影像可以把我们假设真实的东西把它记录下来的可能性,因为这两个媒材是不一样的,一种是做为艺术家主观的来记录,把信息放在一张画面里,而另外一种是拿摄像机,我知道要拍什么,我知道我有这个主观性,出发点是主观的,可是当摄像机架在那里的时候就不再是客观的,因为我个取景可能不是通过摄像头来完成,我的取景是通过眼睛、大脑、心灵三位一体来完成,可是摄像机它有画幅的限制,它有时间、取景框的限制,这就是我说的主客观它们的那个关系。
蒋:都有这种现象,那是肯定的。刚才说的场域问题,其实可能就是环境的影响,我仍想说外在世界和内在世界显示的机制是差不多的。

李:那你为什么现在不去做版画、绘画,你现在基本的工作都是装置和带有现场性的,影像、图片这些东西,像你刚才说的肯定说的通,但我想问的是那你为什么不使用那些媒介?
蒋:可能对哦,现在而言绘画更难,就像你刚才说的画画是对每个东西(细节)都要负责任的,每个东西出来的话,你都确认了,都有签名的。影像的话,比如说纪录片是靠事件本身来推动的,有可能说这个影像作品可能比你想要的还要好,它已经在那里,比如说有条狗突然冒出来,你可能意想不到,但恰好是这条狗的出现使这个片子更有意思,而在绘画里面你要负全责,而在纪录片或是影像上没有这么大的责任,我是觉得(创作)很多情况下是交给了运气。

李:或者说交给了不确定,你在做这个东西的时候心里是有准备的。
蒋:对,是有准备。如果绘画能解决这个问题的话,我也想画画,或者我能不负全责,或者说我能负上这个责任,就行了。 我觉得张慧做的挺好,觉得他找到了一种比较好的方式。

李:对你来说《飞吧,飞吧》这个作品,我们刚才说到创作媒介的问题,创作媒介的由来等,下面是关于内容,这样一个作品内容是从你的小说还是一个什么样的思维而来,后来你的一些作品有点像新闻报道式的,或者是说跟社会新闻有关的,伴有社会信息介入的作品。因为像《飞吧,飞吧》这样的作品感觉比较单纯,没有受到这些信息的影响,基本上还是从美院这条线过来的。
蒋:你是问它怎么出现这样一个内容?

李:对,看起来好像有一个叙事,但似乎具体叙事什么,好像又说不清。
蒋:可能跟当时的情况会比较有契合的地方吧,那个时候我刚毕业,确是有这么一种敏感——对未来的问题,对以后的出路问题啊,对人生的拘束,你是不是因为有很多拘束让你达不到自由的状态?像现在就爱考虑那些问题了,那个片子有点悲观的心态,难以挣脱的,不知道在什么地方,我是在这种心态上去做的,所以是在一个简陋的空间,很宿命的飞落在昨天的枕头上,而没有落在另外一个枕头上,没有飞到一片自由的天空,在枕头上有“祝您晚安”,他只能在梦里面去很无奈地幻想。
李:刚才说到新闻报道,你对新闻报道很反感是吗?
蒋:我对新闻报道不反感,毕竟做了那么多年的记者。

李:我说的新闻报道是新闻报道式的 ,因为现在很多作品涉及到很强烈的新闻话题,比如《本⋅拉登》那个作品,给我的感觉是介于艺术和新闻之间的一个东西,因为你有一段时间工作的原因,本身是记者,是不是这个对你的创作有很大的影响,这个是我感兴趣的。
蒋:对,确实很大的影响。

李:《飞吧,飞吧》是一个关注内心自我状态,到后来关注社会现实表达,这个是不太一样的阶段。
蒋:其实我是比较幸运的,去了一个新闻媒体单位,而且这个新闻媒体是关于文化时政的,不是一个时效性很强的新闻媒体,这个东西的对我来说还是一个很好的一个机会,如果是那种纯新闻快速报道的话这个杂志社就会在另外一个气氛里面,你刚毕业一下子就进入一个很坚硬的气氛里面,其实是很难逃脱的,恰好这个地方是文化、艺术、时政合在一起的一个地方……像我们从小受的教育,大学里面对时政是不敏感的,因为政府是不让你参与到时政里面去,你知道的越少越好,但是在媒体里面会知道很多,媒体里面虽然报道出去的很少,其实你所了解的东西是很多的。

李:比如说?
蒋:比如说很多那种群体的抗议事件,经常有稿子过来,但在当时是很少发出来的,还比如说有一些时评的作者发表的关于国家政治或是国际关系的评论,如果不符合政策的话,也是发不出去的,但是我们记者编辑能看到。

李:也就是说你接触到一些大众传媒之外的一些特殊的信息。
蒋:在读这些的过程中是在补课。

李:怎么讲?
蒋:因为你在大学,初中啊。没有接触到社会,而且当时也没有网络,你也不了解一些事件,也不了解真相,在当时也不会用别的方式去解读和思考。当时我们那本杂志是以香港、台湾作者为多,有相当多的好的评论员,在这个过程中学习他们那些思考的角度和深度对我来说是补课。

李:这种看待事物的方式方法在你上学的阶段是不存在的?
蒋:因为在那个阶段是完全没有这种社会学的眼光的,所以现在比较不愿意看到那些好像是针对社会现实的一些作品,我觉得这很简单,已经是被人嚼烂了的,已经变成了一种很主流的社会观点,就像股票一样,很多人去买的时候这个股票肯定烂掉了。其实还是缺乏能独立深入思考的能力,好像整个社会都在关注这个话题了,比如说民工问题,城乡差异问题,都开始做⋯⋯

李:你说这个话题很有意思,也是我最近在考虑的一个问题,当艺术引入社会话题的时候,它给出的角度是不可替代的,要不然就没有必要,这个时候我想你讲一讲你为什么会去拍《食指》这部电影,很显然这是一个很敏感的话题,在另一个层面我们跟食指都有一定的关联性,每当我们读到他的诗的时候,在这两个方面能不能找到一个线索,想听听你的说法。
蒋:当时其实很简单的,有的时候我会跟别人开玩笑,人有某种宿命感,你这个人是什么样的人,你有这颗种子在,你会慢慢发芽,会慢慢的按照这种趋势在长,或者这样说,会寻找一些外界的东西进入你的视野,我还是比较相信这样东西的存在,因为当时食指是个我很感兴趣的诗人,我比较喜欢诗歌,这是一点,还有一点,我比较喜欢神经失常的人。

李:他确实神经失常了吗?
蒋:他是精神分裂,应该75年就精神分裂了。

李:那个时候已经被抓起来了?
蒋:不是被抓起来,是被治疗。

李:有很多说法,有人说是被抓起来关在精神病院。
蒋:我不确定是不是75年,这个要查资料,98年的时候他50岁,他写过很多诗歌,他在艺术方面是个天才,看问题很悲观、很脆弱,但又很强调希望的一个人,所以他的诗一下子就能打动知青,知青在那个时候很苦闷的,但是想有希望,当时他在知青里面(内心)是一个精神领袖,在精神方面是一个感召者,一个感召者在精神方面是强大的,但为什么会崩溃?
为什么我会喜欢精神分裂呢?精神分裂肯定是有某种天才的东西,因为当时我对精神分裂比较感兴趣,精神分裂的人能写出哪样的东西?精神分裂和天才有什么样的联系?

李:你在拍这个作品的时候有没有另外找到关于生存现实,像他这样治疗,他的家人生活上的苦难,在这个方面你有没有兴趣去探究。  
蒋:其实我是拍了他家里情况,拍了他爸爸,拍摄的着重点还是在诗歌上,但如果是现在拍的话肯定会不一样,那个时候感兴趣的是,他那种状态跟诗歌的关系。

李:后来这个作品有没有再拍下去?中间拍了有多长时间?
蒋:没有,拍摄的时间断断续续的。

李:当他面对你的采访或是拍摄的时候,他有没有不配合或别的什么表现?
蒋:没有,其实他蛮能接受别人去和他聊天,常常念诗给别人听。

李:你是在98年做的这个作品,你觉得离他的神化时代远吗?对他来说这种情况他是不是能接受?
蒋:他自己能接受,后来,2003年南方周末对他的一个采访,就说了他的状态,因为这个人还是一个很清醒的人,他说他就是一个疯子,因为他是一个疯子,所以就可以自由地爱干嘛干嘛,从这点来看,他是一个蛮清醒的人。

李:他真的有没有发疯?
蒋:有是有,我觉得是,因为我每次去的时候都不是在发病期间,我听说发病是有的,而且还是蛮厉害的,有的时候会闹,拍的时候会觉得有点不太对头,但我想每个人谈话都会陷入这种意象,比如你我谈话,当达到一种状态,也会脑子发热,那是肯定的,他当时说话我还拍了,但是没有剪进去,就是谈到情感方面或是政治方面就会出现一些莫名其妙的有一些话,比如说他会说:‘你知道我为什么会叫郭路生’,会有一种很神秘的联系,跟国家的秘密有关系的一种联系,在政治或是情感这些话题上就会激发起来。

李:这类型的作品,像是神化类的作品,郭路生的这种片子,更像是对某种精神上的驾御,不存在当代的时效性。
邱志杰说的挺好,他说当时黄永砯做《蝙蝠计划》的时候,那种调研、陈列等,缺少一种飞起来的感觉,当他看到蝙蝠刁着一个缩小的机翼的时候,他说这个作品飞起来了。
刚才说到食指话题,一个是关于精神家园,一个说到是关于当代下的生存问题,这两个话题都有一个“人”,这个“人”是对自我的一种看法,《食指》那个可能更精神性一点,可以是疯子,所以我一无所有,像《香平丽》怎么说呢?
蒋:我觉得是有相同点,精神上肉体上都有一点,我比较关注精神上的东西,肉体和精神的相互影响。

李:《香平丽》是性别上的吗?  
蒋:是啊,它不是在男女两元这个范畴里面的,其实是夹在中间或是说第三元的,那种非男非女的那种。

李:但我觉得像《香平丽》那种强大的——那种对自我身体上的改造,但没有一个强大的精神上的支持的话,就像你自己在自己身上割开一个口子。
蒋:这种在中国来说,他们需要更多的勇气吧。

李:我对这个事也非常感兴趣,我想这里面有一个问题,是这个社会对男性阉割的一种去向,还是关于这个社会向未来的一个走向更平和的一种缔造(改造),我对这个比较感兴趣,因为我也认识这种(变性)人,2000年的时候我认识的特别多。他们就不太避讳这种性别问题,作为男性应该如何?作为女性又应该如何?这个对我震动非常大。其次才是身体上的改造,身体上的改造就会让你觉得是精神上和肉体上双重的紧张感,他们对身份对性别上的看法非常有意思。

蒋:《香平丽》的他们,跟那种读过很多书的,像大学生或是在各个行业做出自己的一番事业的人比,不一样。后者可能是把这个做为一个独立的姿态,对性别政治的挑战。我拍的他们处在社会的压力下,他们不把抗争当成独立姿态而是求生的挣扎,他们的抗争其实还是一种比较被动的、悲剧性的。拍摄完最后吃饭的时候我问他们,如果你们以后的小孩像你们这样,你们会怎么样?他们喝了点酒,就说实话,把他(她)掐死。

李:为什么会这样呢?
蒋:所以说他们没有很强的自觉性,在这个环境里面只能去这样活着,有点像好死不如赖活那种感觉,就是我这样活的话必须采用这样的姿势去活着,更具有悲剧性。给他们的话语权也不会那么多,也不像那种在社会上有一定地位的,他们是属于底层,他们自己也会这样想,说他们是底层的底层。

李:精神上无法找到突破口,所以说只好改造肉体吗?
蒋:其实改造肉体也是在屈服,与其不男不女,还不如做一个女的,再过一点的话就是完全屈服,再赚到一点钱的话我就可以做下面,就是完全屈服完全改造自己。

李:从插入者变成被插入者。
蒋:插入者变成被插入者?对他们来说没什么效,因为他们也没有真正成为插人者,一直是被插入者,在精神上属于被压迫的,不存在转变。

李:说到这个有很多女权主义者认为,按生理来说,男性是插入者,女性是被插入者,很多女权主义者就说当体位改变的时候,这种预设也被颠覆,很多人认为某种(性爱)姿势代表女性完全处于弱势状态,但是有些姿势能使女性处在高高在上的强势状态,它颠覆了简单的被插入者的定义。
蒋:你这样说未免太简单了吧,你把被插入者改成吞噬者,不也一样是一种强势嘛。

李:都可以这么理解,但我想是一种来自对自我的认同感,另外一种是来自于社会的视角中的自我,我觉得存在两种自我,一种是自我眼中的自我,另一种是他者眼中的自我,所以在这个层面上,《香平丽》的影片我比较喜欢,能提供另外一个层面的东西,或是这个东西没有被你说出来,或者是没有直接用话语说出来。有的时候你感觉那是故意的表演,有的时候感觉是真实的,就是那种流露出来的感觉很好,这个好像是其他意义上的纪录片,因为你们两个片子都是借用了纪录片的方法,不同的纪录片是不同的引用,而不是要告诉你这个事件在这个时间发生,或是逐渐在试探或是诱发他们的情感,我觉得这样是可以的,在这相对之后你有没有展开这些?
蒋:没有。

李:麦当娜
蒋:哦,那是《片刻》里面的一个片刻,《片刻》有很多的片刻。我也把这些叫“人的几分钟”。

李:为什么你要做这样一个系列,或者说是不成系列的系列。
蒋:当时去深圳在城市方面它有跟北京不一样的地方,人的密集度和人的相互混杂感比北京要强,北京是有分区的,那边分区的感觉没有这么强,人的密度比北京要高,而且深圳当时很多体制也是比较混杂的。所以很多人去那里,是抱着要成功、要赚钱这样一种愿望去的,他们更会表现出一些本能反应的东西,在那样一个社会的条件下或是制度下的反应。当时我也有点想做有主题的系列摄影,拍纪实摄影的方式,后来还是觉得用活动影像来来说,更能够抓住这个状态,因为是照片的话,确实无法达到我想要的有时间性的状态,你比如说,你呈现一个画面可能还不够,但你呈现第三个画面的时候很有可能会连成一个状态,所以里面拍的东西都不长,有的只有几十秒,大部分也就是两三分钟。那时我想的就是,收集很多人的几分钟。

李:这一系列作品其实我有两个作品不太了解,你有一个作品《木木》,当然也包括你写的一些东西(小说),《木木》中的小木偶到后来的大木木(真人)我觉得这些很难跟我们谈的这些归在一起。《木木》有些自我影射和化身的意味,我想听你谈谈这个作品。
蒋:《木木》在做的时候,确实那时候,社会现实还没有很明确的进入到思考,更多的是关于自己的状态和情感,一开始的时候木木其实是一个孤独的寄托物,因为在旅行的时候可以作为的一个伴侣。拍那些木木照片或象是写作,虽然这种写作不是写字,是在途中制造(创造)一些小的画面,或者是创作一个个小故事来完成,当时基本上还是偏向童话式的,那个时候的状态还是比较单纯。

李:这个作品做了很长时间,很多年过去了,作为伴侣,你现在你有妻子有孩子,作为伴侣木木的身份是否还存在?
蒋:其实到了06年的时候我就再也没有做过了,06年去芬兰,最后一次就在那一年,当然一开始是很单纯,去了深圳以后就没那么单纯,那个时候进了杂志社,那种现实感离你很近,你不得不面对这样一个现实,而且深圳是很难找到一些诗情画意的情景的,更多的是关于建设,关于发展,关于城市这样的东西。

李:你去深圳有没有这种感触,你从学校到北京,又由北京到深圳,是不是也有一个追寻梦想的过程,或者说你为什么去的是深圳?
蒋:深圳我一直想去,就是以前一直没去成,95年选深圳,因为它跟别的地方还不一样,是个独特的地方,所以一直想去。但那个时候假如马上去了可能也不好,深圳也没有多少艺术家在那,没有做艺术的环境。如果我一直在那的话,今天就会变成某某杂志社的主编或是电视台的某制片人,会变成这样一类人,想想也挺可怕的。幸亏毕业之后就在北京了,在艺术方面成长得有点苗头了再去的深圳。如果毕业直接去了深圳,人一直在深圳的话,就可能变成了一个别的生活。正因为没去成,它的吸引力一直还在,98年杂志社被撤消以后,北京那边那个房子要收回去嘛,深圳那边就说你要不要回来,因为在杂志社的安排下,早已经在深圳买好房子了,但我没有看过我的房子是什么样子,就想去看看。

李:这个挺有意思,你从来没有去过深圳对不对,你是从北京直接去,所以说怎么存在一个回来。为什么回来?
蒋:因为我的户口都在那边。

李:这个很特殊的经历是由户口来解决的。
蒋:回深圳那个单位,工作单位和户口都在深圳。

李:你在深圳待到哪年?
蒋:到05年。

李:05年回北京,是住在刘韡那边?
蒋:对。

李:怎么会想到回来,98年去是吧?多少我以为你是深圳艺术家。
蒋:我是一个随遇而安的那种人,不是那种特别想去一个地方或特别想留在一个地方的。当时深圳对我比较有吸引力,而且98年还是有一些客观条件的,比如说房子已经在那了,而北京的住的地方随杂志社撤销也没有了。杂志社撤消以后就面临着一个新的调整,新的工作安排,很多事情就会随着形势就过去了。05年来北京也是这样,之前有几年一直在凤凰周刊工作,05年凤凰周刊杂志社要般到北京来,那时候他们问我要不要来北京,我说不去,他们说那你怎么办,杂志社在深圳那边就没有了,那等于是辞职了嘛,辞职以后呢,刚好我以前在深圳做过一些活动,DV影像一些的活动,那时深圳那边有一个人(做生意的),他想做一个网站,就让我去跟他谈,就说要做一个视频网站,我是一个电脑盲,他说不需要你懂电脑。我说有一种方式,中国有很多年轻的电影爱好者,可以在网上有一个制作平台。很多人可以发剧本过来,导演、演员都可以通过网络来选择,我们给钱他们去拍,再寄过来这种方式。不管会怎样也能让想拍片子的人可以小小地实现一下(梦想),想想我们以前拍短片要找到几千块钱挺难的。这种方式后来觉得这样挺好的,可以对很多人有所帮助嘛。创办这个网站的时候,其实在深圳已经有办公室,什么都有。没几天,他们就说做这个网站其实还是应该去北京,所以,就这样,还是来北京了。当时杂志社搬来北京的时候,我不愿意来,可能还有一个原因,我已觉得不想太往新闻这条路上走了,做一个新闻媒体人,我做不好,跟做一个艺术家还是不一样的。

李:后来网站的这个事情也没做多久?
蒋:其实做了蛮久的,做到了07年6月份。

李:有两年?
蒋:一年多吧,其实是06年底来北京的,12月份。

李:记得我们一起还聊过方案,我做了一个特贵的方案给你。
蒋:后来网站花了不少钱,一千多万,其实按照我的想法来做的话会做的蛮好的,首先是铺开,征集一两百个小组,然后从中精选十几个加大支持的力度,他们这部分人其实可以做些有质量的片子了,再从中发现两三个特别有才华的,慢慢帮助他做长片。其他一般的作者其实支持一两部片就可以了。后来,网站一直保持以量为标准的做法,想做得机会平等,没有瓯别。这样每个月至少要投资二十多个最多三四十部片子,做了有一年半吧,差不多有二十个月吧。这样钱很容易花光,但是没有能真正和精英分子建立合作关系。我的伙伴排斥精英意识,他要做一个完全草根的民间创作平台。我也没办法。

李:400部片子,
蒋:对,400部片子,差不多有200多个小组,按我的想法可以从中选20个小组,这20个小组可以跟电视台做电视剧什么的,再在这20个小组里面选3到5个小组,不断的给他们投资钱,慢慢20万、30万这样投,你培养他们两三年就可以做长片了。

李:这挺像日本的,就是你在拍电视或是电影之前,你可以拍一阶段video,就是家用录像带。
蒋:他们就不想有这段过程,他们觉得中国的形式变化太快了,他们也不想冒这个险。所以选择了普及的路,希望一下子把网站的用户量搞上去。

李:就想很快的套现是吧?
蒋:他们也不是想很快的套现,他们就做好眼前的事情,就想扩大用户量。

李:扩大用户量应该不是你的工作啊,我觉得你应该是内容方面专家。
蒋: 因为他们不接受我的计划,他们就是说还是要投下去,以后每个月要的达到50部,他觉得50部就会有投资进来了,这个不是必然的嘛,后来经济一垮就什么都没有了。就是因为他说达到50部,我就说那不要累死了,我干不了,因为所有的剧本我都要审,每月我要看几百个剧本。到了07年的时候我就说,我不要工资了,但是我还是做最后的质量把关,不每天去公司,让工作人员先看剧本,把还可以的就发来我看。就这样慢慢退出来了,到了6月份就退出来了。

李:07年去你的工作室,那个时候你做了很多硅胶装置,而且你很多展览形态跟你现在这个线索又没有关系,比如说在《NO、NO》展览的时候,唐人、伊比利亚的时候,我发现你展览本身变成一个作品,我有这种感受,感觉这个展览就是一个作品,不能说你的录像是什么,不能分开来看,包括在玛蕊画廊那个展览,变化的字,小羽毛,还有地上观看硅胶的作品,所有说不能把它看成单个作品来看,综合到一起的时候,我到更觉得展览本身是一个完整的作品形态。
蒋:个展本来就会一个独立自足的作品形态。你是问为什么没有清晰完整的线索吧。

李:我觉得你做的展览和你单独创作的是两回事,就好像展览的时候就很难抓到你展览时候的主要线索是什么,单个作品看的时候还是有一个外在的线索,但展览看的时候就成为另外一个系统。
蒋:其实我也在跟一个朋友在谈系统的问题,我们谈的还是挺合的来的,就是说我们都是比较关心的是一个艺术家如何逃离的问题,从这个系统逃开,再逃到一个新的系统,不是想逃到另外一个现成的系统,逃到一个可能不是本来的系统。有一个新系统出来,我觉得这才是艺术家该做的事情,才能保持自己的创造力,讨论了很多,也有关于作品是否强大的问题。你也和我说过,就我的作品其实是很不明确的,它不是一个大作品,强大的作品,像达明赫斯特或是像杰夫昆斯那样,有很鲜明的特点,或是很鲜明的线索的作品。强大的作品其实是让人无法逃脱的,观众也好艺术家本人也好,被它的强大所控制了,就是说你逃离,但确实是无法逃离,发生的情况也确实是这样的,当看到一个强大的作品的时候,只有顺着他的思路,而且只有这个解读方向,而观众很难从这个层面的逃离进入另外一个层面的思考,或是一个感觉。艺术家本人也是,可能就会十几年一直在做这样一个系统的作品,类似系统的作品,我觉得这是一个很大的问题。

李:什么问题?
蒋:最后变成的不是一个创造,而变成了是一种复制,就是在不断的巩固这个系统,它不是一个创造性的活动。

李:这个我是理解的,它是由外部的物(作品)来界定系统,这也是我对你感兴趣的地方,就是很难从外部的物很难解读你内在的精神存在,你刚才说的很准,现在很多艺术家已经把外部的系统转化为内部的系统里面去了,我觉得他的创造力确实是缺失了,如果通过精神力来建造外部的物的时候,我想你还有一种可能性,当这个物已经建成,然后你就不停的建造这个物,那么你精神性的东西就是这个了,十年你都做了这个,固然你很坚韧,在枯燥中找到某种带有禅理的东西,但是难到这就是创造嘛,难道这就是艺术家要做的嘛,当你说到逃离的问题,我觉得这也是一个很有趣的话题,但是前提是你怎么逃离,我更关心的是作为个体,就是蒋志作为你自己,你为什么要逃离,或者说你要逃离什么?
蒋:你只有逃离才能产生新的东西出来,新的问题出来,也就是你才会有新的方向出来,如果你不从这个系统逃离出来的话,你就被它所控制。

李:你说的这个系统是什么,解释一下,你要逃离的这个系统是什么?
蒋:比如说他会变成一个老的问题,或者说是一个老的创造的手法,或者说是一个陈旧的感觉系统。

李:后来我们在网上还说到这个事,就是关于身体的缺席。
蒋:也是一个老的,被沉积化的一个概念吧,很多作品,在那个时候关注这个问题还是新的。其实新的艺术还是没有找到新的,达到这个问题的人其实挺少的,有些人还是在重复别人的问题,而且又出不出来,我觉得这是最可悲的事情。

李:那你最近的问题是什么?
蒋:因为做的东西越来越多,自己就会有一套系统会慢慢的建立,要观察这个系统,要开始怀疑这个系统,要找出它的一些问题,然后不断去思考这些问题,才能产生新的问题出来,对我来说,现在是迫切的。

李:你想没想过要研究这个系统?现在的艺术家跟以前的艺术家相比的话,显然这个时候的存在的艺术系统要比过去多的多,比如说画廊的系统,博物馆的系统,商业的系统,甚至还有别的系统,是不是艺术家要对这些系统要做深入的调查和了解。
蒋:我觉得都得要去想这些方面,它们是如何纠结在一起的,它们如何影响到创作的。有可能的话都是要去想的。

李:我们在网络上讨论身体的缺席,是不是你一直就没有自身的身体去进入创作中,把自我的符号化开始消解掉,也是对逃离的一种指涉?
蒋:因为在哲学上,自我本来就是一个不太牢靠的概念,很早以前邱志杰在一篇文章里也谈到过,说自我其实是一个悖论,你能判断自我是一个真的自我的话,你必须要产生一个自我来观察它,认定它,而这个分裂出来的自我,它由什么东西来判断和认定呢?于是又得分裂出一个自我, 最后发现这个自我是一个悖论,像一个笑话,所以我开始对自己的身体或是自我的东西是不信任的。

李:所谓自己的在场。
蒋:我不信任自己的身体它所产生的反应,所以我一般用别人的身体,像仿真人也就是别人的身体嘛。

李:我想问的是你是不是在故意混淆,因为有很多作品里面你的身体是出现的,或者说是有可能出现,但你故意把它消解,你是怎么处理这样一种情况,做到真正的完全不在场,还是有一定的难度。
蒋:不是很明确,没听明白。

李:显然你是故意的让身体在场,这是为什么?我跟邱志杰很早就讨论过这个话题,就是说艺术家的在场还是有很多特殊情况的出现,讨论到作品,就行为艺术,艺术家雇的人和艺术家本身肯定是两回事。
蒋:所以说我没有做过什么行为,除了拉登那件,虽然出现了自己的身体,但是戴了一个面具的。

李:你故意遮住了自己,戴一个面具,为什么这样做?
蒋:因为我是想跟路人、周围的人有交流,能够直接有体验性的交流,这个是我能接受的,我可以认为我是在扮演一个角色。

李:角色扮演?
蒋:对,因为我在扮演一个乞丐嘛。

李:你07年回北京的时候经济的情况有所好转?因为作品有些买卖?
蒋:对,比深圳当然要好多了。

李:你怎么看这个情况呢?在很多你的展览,我看到图片我就知道是可以被买卖的,录像是可以被买卖的,但很多你的展览,很多作品显然是不太容易被买卖的,你怎么处理这个不是太跟商业系统妥协的时候,总是有些东西存在,我们很难做到不顺应这个商业系统,跟这个商业系统有点妥协又有一点不妥协,这样的情况怎么保有自我,我说的这个自我是自我的独立性。
蒋:刚来的时候,包括现在我自己认为还没有像你说的那么极端,我不排斥商业,但是这个作品要做是因为是我想做,这个是第一考虑的。不是说我就是要做一个不想卖出去的作品,这是另外一种创作思路,但我没有这样的想法。

李:就是你没有分什么样的作品好卖?
蒋:没有,我没有特意去做一个不能买的作品。要不然的话,你不卖不就完了嘛,你可以做一个很能卖的东西,但你不卖不就行了?

李:这个也不像你说的那么绝对,我问过一些做画廊的人,我说什么东西好卖,他们说第一是画好卖,第二是照片,第三是录像能不能卖那就不确定,在这样一个情况下,你做录像是不是在商业的可能性就降低了很多,更别说你在做一些大型装置的作品,我真的很难想像谁会去买,对画廊的经营者也确实是,他们是想找好的项目,但是对他们来说确实是一个恶梦,这个东西最终卖给谁真的不知道,所以说艺术家没有那么极端说在作品不卖,当一个作品做出来后必然要进入社会的流通里面去,以物变成钱,以钱变成物的这种特征就已经出来了,但很多的时候艺术家做一个作品被置换在一个标准的展览空间里时,当作品进入社会的层面的时候,它肯定被买卖,不被买卖是有很多种跟这个作品有联系的因素决定,比如说你可以做一个摄影的展览,这个展览可能全是你的摄影,那我感受到这个展览更能卖,就是摄影,但是你很多展览就肯定非常难卖,这个就不是你要卖不卖的问题,而是从一个观者的角度来体会。
蒋:恩,还有就是兴趣嘛,我还是比较喜欢做录像、摄影和装置,这个时候我要做什么样的作品。画廊为什么同意做,那是以前卖的还可以,他们觉得还有点希望,我觉得这点是蛮重要的,如果是你完全真是一个卖不出去的艺术家,那就烦啊,他们就不能接受了,他们心里还是想着也许能卖出去呢!

李:那些装置那后来卖掉没?
蒋:没有。

李:在商业环境相对好的情况下,画廊也在扮演一个冒险者的角色,他愿意跟艺术家来分担这种冒险的快乐,他没有完全的限制你,说我画廊只做绘画。
蒋:这东西我觉得还是要经济基础,画廊要有经济基础,觉得画廊可以拿这段时间来做这样的展览,来支持这样的作品,如果说一个画廊没有这样的经济条件,那就不会做这样的选择。那也不是说要用很多钱才能做出一个作品,我觉得还是有各种可能性去做,就算经济不可能的情况下。

李:有多少可能性,
蒋:这个是非常大的,没法估计的。

李:你今年有几个展览?
蒋:两个或三个个展吧,其实是一个,分两个或三个部分、两三个地方来做。我没有这么大的能力也没有必要去做这么多的展览。
(蒋志修订版本 2009年6月3日)

///

1992-2009 Interview with JIANG Zhi

Interviewer: Li Zhenhua
Interviewee: JIANG Zhi www.jiangzhi.net
Edited by: GAO Fei
Collated by: Li Zhenhua

Time: April 23th, 2009
Location: JIANG Zhi’s home, Wangjing

1992

LI: Shall we start with the year 1992, with your painting?
JIANG: I don’t think it’s necessary.

L: Why you think it’s unnecessary? Because it doesn’t have anything to do with what you are doing right now?
J: At that time I didn’t have any concept of the contemporary art. I was completely a dumb student of CAFA.

L: Are you influenced by any albums of paintings or drawings, or by any people? Can you remember that?
J: I can’t remember any more. I don’t really recall many names of today’s artists, let alone those previous ones.

L: What’s the difference, in your opinion, between the arts education that time and what you are going to do right now?
J: For school is ok. At that time, we all went to school to read. Those basis classes at CAFA were easy for the students. If they were qualified and got accepted by CAFA, those classes wouldn’t be a problem for them. There might be a further improvement at college, but I don’t really see the points of making too many improvements though.

L: So what do you usually do during classes?
J: I personally think the engraving department is pretty good. Except for the normal classes, e.g. for copperplate or for lithograph we usually had one or two days class, when we were taught how to grind a stone or how to roll the printing ink, and that’s it. For the next one or two months we had nothing to do.

L:
J: When I graduated in the year 1995, I made a series of engravings.

L: You did that when for graduation? Did you also make any before?
J: Yes, but only for the classes, as homework.

L: You were enrolled in 1991. I heard, at that time Zhijie QIU was in the lead?
J: Yes, he was a respectable student from higher grade.

L: Why was he in the lead?
J: I don’t know, neither. At that time he was in the third grade. Maybe he already had a small circle around him. There was a cafeteria opposite to CAFA. As I registered, though I was old enough by then, my father came from our hometown and sent me to school. Then we went to this little cafeteria and ate. Suddenly a group of people came in and sat at a table nearby. I saw one of them pouring out words in a steady flow. Basically everybody was listening to him. At that time I did appreciate that kind of temperament. I’m not talking about the temperament of leadership, but of erudition and dynamic.

L: What were they talking about?
J: I forgot. I couldn’t understand totally that time. He might be talking about his glass work. Later on, as he made the big glass, we helped him with the coloring. We filled the finished frame with colors. That’s how we knew each other. He would recommend the books he read to others. Before that I hadn’t known much about those books, so it was a new vision.

L: What books were you reading at that time?
J: Roland Barthes, Nomadism, Foucault, etc. and maybe also about Russian Formalism.

L: When did he (Jiezhi QIU) go to Peking University and study with Jiaying CHEN? In 1995?
J: Yes, it was before 1995.

(Looking at Zhi JIANG’s graduation works)
L: So here are your graduation works, do you still have them now?
J: Yes, but they are all creased.

L: I think you should mount them nicely when you have time, they are all terrific works.
J: I don’t think anybody now has mastered this technic. (joking)

L: Really?
J: I came into this technic accidentally. For copperplate you could hardly make these effects. Then I wondered to how make it easier. At that time CAFA’s development methods were quite undependable.

L: What do you mean by that?
J: That is to say that CAFA couldn’t provide the suitable conditions to develop on copperplate.

L: Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts was already quite outstanding by then.
J: Yes, they all used those traditional tools.

L: What kind of traditional tools for example?
J: After you copied one picture, there was a layer of carbon powder. The so-called development that time was actually to press this layer of carbon powder onto the copperplate, so there would be a light shadow left. The etching came afterwards. This was quite unreliable, because it was real vague.

L: It should be quite unique then?
J: Yes it is. It is more suitable for those Chinese paintings, which want to represent an artistic conception of old and vague images.

L: In the nineties, the engraving was already technically faultless? (Through your new) complete development methods, it grew better and was very concrete.
J: Yes, if the conditions were provided, there should be no problem. The engraving technics, after all, are typography.

L: You stopped making engravings then? After your graduation, you didn’t continue to do this any more, did you?
J: No.

1996

L: What makes me feel incredible is that you seemed to be writing a novel in 1996. How did you come to the idea, from engravings to novels, there isn’t any connections indeed.
J: I have always liked writing, since childhood. I think, at that time it might also have something to do with the general atmosphere in China. It seemed that everybody’s writing something. (At least I think so.) Either poems or novels, because it was true for the eighties.

L: In the eighties, it was really like this?
J: Yes. I was a teenager that time.

L: Ning OU was already a poet by then. He was writing poems.
J: I didn’t feel like being an artist after graduation. There were not many exhibitions in Beijing at that time. When we gathered around, we usually just drank or read some foreign materials. We didn’t start with the creation. I only wanted to find a way of creation, so I found writing, because it doesn’t cost any money.

L: You came to Beijing in 1996?
J: I came here in the second half of 1995. Right after my graduation.

L: But you didn’t stay long here, right?
J: Yes, til the end of 1998.

L: Why you didn’t choose Shanghai, then? In the early nineties, the contemporary art has already begun in Shanghai. There were also galleries by then. Have you ever thought of moving into a more professional phase of art?
J: I didn’t even know galleries in 1998.

L: Really? Then why you moved to Shenzhen? I have this illusion that you have always been a Shenzhen artist.
J: Because the first job I found after graduation was in Shenzhen. It was a magazine office. The funny part was, I told them that I could go to work and the chef editor said I should come right away. They said after my arrival they would give me a ticket to Beijing, and I should be attending a meeting there. I said this was not economical, why shouldn’t I go to Beijing directly instead. Why should I head to Shenzhen first? Why should I shuttle between the north and south two times! But I already had some necessaries transferred to Shenzhen by then. I said, it was better, if I go to Beijing directly. They said that made sense, so I should go from here to Beijing. I thought it was just a meeting, after that I could turn back. But as I arrived I knew that was actually not a meeting, they said they wanted me to set up a journalist station in Beijing and they were contacting the Chaoyang district government. They would provide me with a small room and I should first stay here to set up the journalist station. In the following years I didn’t return to Shenzhen.

L: But you were paid, what happened after that?
J: The salary they gave me was quite much for graduates.

L: Really? Several Thousands?
J: Not that much. The governors of Chaoyang district earned only five or six hundreds that time.

L: How much did you earn in 1996?
J: At that time, one to two thousands. Later on, an acquainted alumnus abroad received an assignment to make the floor plan of a golf course into a copperplate. Because it was very expensive to do this abroad, if he could get it done in China, he would benefit from the price difference. So he let us do it and I earned monthly five to six thousands.

L: It was quite lucrative then!
J: We made the floor plan of the golf course for them. It didn’t take long, about three or four months.

L: Etching?
J: No. Copperplate.

L: Between 1996 and 1998 you were all writing in Beijing, right? Did you do much about your art works?
J: Actually I started in the second half of 1996. Early 1997, I already finished the Drawer in the Matter (photograph).

L: I always thought that, you started with photography and videos at the same time, but for the limitation of technique or technics you didn’t begin with the videos that time?
J: Videos? I started as well, in 1997, the same year.

L: So you did photography in 1996 and videos in 1997?
J: No. Actually I bought one camera in 1996. I remembered I went to Panjiayuan together with Zhijie QIU and bought the camera at the end of 1996. Then I tried to shoot. In 1997, I made several pieces. For the videos I almost started at the same time.

L: It was technically flawless for photography at that time. The technics were quite improved and complete. What did you use for videos in 1996 and 1997? What was the type of your camera that time?
J: I used the normal video tapes, the kind what people used at home. The camera I used for Suspect Objects and Fly, Fly (1997) might be Panasonic M-900.  

L: How did you come to the idea of using the media video at that time? The machine was not easy to find, right?
J: To find the machine was really not easy, that’s true. At that time I was influenced by two friends. Zhijie QIU was enthusiastically advancing the video art and Fudong YANG, the one or two years before he set off for Shanghai, we were together frequently and talked a lot. He was talking about films and his dream to make films every day. Under this kind of influences, it was natural to come to the idea to use this method.

L: So what do you think, is the difference between you making photography and videos? Is there any discrepancy or connection?
J: I think both of them are quite natural. I don’t really consider the difference between them. For example, for Fly, Fly it was hard to use static objects to make, so you will naturally think of using dynamic ones like video.

L: So it’s to say, the association static and dynamic conveys is different. For example sometimes you are watching a video and do you think that you could actually also use one photo to express it? Especially when you watch those slow downed clips, absolutely replaceable by a steady shot?
J: It depends whether the author wants the concept of time. If the element of time concept is inclusive, it might be within one shot. But it needs the timeliness.

L: Does Fly, Fly need this kind of time span?
J: From the beginning of the flight, til the end, when it lands on the pillow, it’s a process. And it could not be achieved by a piece of photo.

L: You think photography is irreplaceable?
J: Correct.

L: You think what cannot be replaced is the time span, so what about the contents? Like to watch a video, there are expressions or associations of narrations. Does here exist any extension of narrations?
J: What do you mean by extension of narrations?

L: Dynamic things will always stimulate the association of a story, while static things let you come to other associations. It’s different. When you are making dynamic works, do you have such consideration, like to tell a story, or do you have the idea of telling it according to the clues of a story.
J: I think it’s not totally like to tell a story, because for those dynamic things, they are done with the continuity of time. For example, you could also catch one’s shaking by taking a photo. You make the shadow a little bit vague and shapeless, make people think that someone’s shaking, for example some partial abstract feelings. But if you use videos, these could be expressed more clearly. You could see every moment the shape of shaking exactly. And Photography can’t do this. But let’s take a simple example. Some parts of dynamic things are real subtle, just as Fudong Yang’s films, though a person is staying there, hardly making any movements, it is different from photos. Though he or she is standing there still, the time elapsed. There is something that keeps coming out continuously.

L: What is it?
J: I can’t tell clearly what that is, but it must be able to be expressed in some way approximately. Those things are formed while time elapsed, like emotions, or introspective discoveries or experiences… Whether a clotted movement is placed in the time sequence or not, is totally different. Of course you cannot say it is a sculpture.

L: Right. Just now I was about to talk about sculptures and paintings. The feelings you mentioned about reality, for example, videos could be finer and more real. So how do you identify the subtle differences between realistic paintings and realistic sculptures or photography? I always think there are some kinds of connections between them. But these connections are not conceptual. Are they determined by their media or their creators? The shaking you talked about just now was quite interesting to me. You were saying, to make the photo unreal so that you could feel the shaking. But there are people, who will simulate a virtual environment or outer space while making videos, or to say, they delete those realistic elements on purpose. The theme of your Fly, Fly is not a person; it is rather like an illusion. Is it a discussion about the expression of videos? Or is it to say that videos could be replaced as a median, like we could consider using novels instead, so long as the readers could get the feelings while reading.
J: What you talked about just now, is actually how a work finds its medium.

L: Yes, that question also exists. That’s what I’ve been thinking about--- the irreplaceability of every medium. For example, we couldn’t say that videos could easily replace paintings or pictures could replace videos. I’m a little confused in this, but also very interested on the other hand. Each medium has its own interesting characteristic, which has its own imitability. It looks like that it has buried other media, but it exists in its own unique way. Because it is related to how an artist creates and switches media. When he cannot finish with one medium, he would switch to another.
You mentioned the influences from Zhijie QIU and Fudong YANG, it is for sure. But I’m thinking, only because of this would be convincing enough to explain why you decide to use videos and photographs to create. Why would you use these media? I assume part of it might because of your friends circle. At that time, an external frame was constructed--- the television and other media were rising. Were you also influenced by this?

J: Just now we talked about making films. Actually many people have this dream. We said Fudong YANG has always had the dream of making films, so do others. Videos have provided the convenience to fulfill your dream within a modest budget. Is that what you meant by external frame? This is actually synthesis, because you can express your former conceptions of picture and sound. There’s much room for you to bring your talents into full play and it is obviously very appealing.

L: If we discuss the possibility from an internal angle, for example oil paintings, engravings, photographs and videos, will you discuss their necessity? Or there’s no need for this?
J: I never thought of this expressly, because I used them quite naturally at that time. I might think of using sculptures. In my opinion, photographs are much alike videos. The only difference is that you use a camera for photographs and a frame for videos. It is familiar to me. Why you talked about the necessity of media and tools?

L: Because I think there are similarities between media, where they could learn from and copy each other. Or we can say, the appearance of a medium is definitely related to the author. For example, I’ve been taking photos, but photographs can’t help me in some ways (like what you’ve said about the more realistic expressions). To complete a clearer conception we could only use videos. But I think, videos here is kind of an extension of photographs. Sometimes I make a video, when it should have been a painting, because I’m more interested in the presence of the body and the daily alteration in the process of drawing. I think all the creators were faced with the same question in the past. If you are a photographer, you have to make sure that you just shoot photos. If you are a painter, then it must be clear that you draw. But this problem did not exist any more in the nineties or after the ideological trend in 1985. You can do artistic creations at your will and with any media.
Still, there should be a clear clue inside. As an author or an artist, what do you think of the necessity of using media? For me, it’s quite interesting to know, how to solve the problem of creation through a viewfinder, a canvas, or a field. Because in this way, you can soon find out the source of the artistic creations, for example I’m talking about the origin of the body, or I’m talking about something else.
J: Well, I think it’s different. Just now you said that if one draws a painting, he or she will continue improving it, by adding or erasing something, and in fact a dynamic has come into form during this process. But this is individual. This is what he or she wants. In the videos, all the changes of the expressions of the character or the changes of surroundings are similar to the former; it is searching for the changing experiences. Take the self-experience for example, you are shooting an object, the changes of the position are similar to those of the paintings, for instance, to turn around a bit, or to raise your head, or to consider if instead of crying you can express the feelings in another way…

L: I think there is a relation of subjectivity and objectivity between this and paintings, because for paintings you (as artist) are subjective, you don’t need to communicate with anyone.
J: I think for paintings you need to deal with the materials, like with the physical attributes of the colors and the gloss of the canvas. Furthermore, you have to consider how to use the brush in a proper way to match those attributes. There are also impersonal conditions you have to cooperate with between paintings and the painter.

L: That’s for sure. As an artist you have to make full use of the physical attributes of the colors and canvas. But the object of your creation, be it a thing or a person, is also your material. When making videos, you have to compromise on the camera, the scene and people etc. During the process, I won’t think that the subjectivity and objectivity would be the same.
J: You are actually implying that the subjectivity of videos is less than that of paintings?

L: Yes, I think so. Of course I won’t say that its subjective consciousness is weak, but during the creation process there are many objective and sudden happenings. This is back to the condition movies, which have expressed the objectivity of creation to a full strength.
J: I think it’s mutual. For most of the time, when you are out of the track, it is actually a good time to develop something new. Sometimes you do things according to the inertia, which happens to be inert. In fact as an artist, you would expect those sudden things some time. Maybe it is the same with Fudong YANG, because in this case, it would stimulate his creation and his thoughts, which will bring him something he never has or feels before.

L: I think the topic of mutuality is quite interesting. When you draw or make a video, the territory sometimes will play a relative important role. For example drawing requires a quiet space, while making videos or photographs you may need different spaces, which will lead the artists to different expressions. The inspiration from the environment or some certain elements while making a drawing seldom happens. This has something to do with what you mentioned before, that the artists would expect that the surroundings can bring him sudden happenings. Paintings for me are subjective, however, the creation of videos is not the same, it would even depend more on some contrived matters.
J: The things from outside and the things in your mind, for me, they are not that different at all, fundamentally. Because the difference between what we see and what is in your mind is in fact not that huge, of course there are some differences, but they are the same in the end.

L: Why that?
J: Because the brain processes these images or so-called matters. That is to say, what you see must be sent to the brain through your eyes. Though your experiences are accumulated by other stimulations, the mechanism is the same; the formed tools are the same. That many artists could have breakthroughs in their career may because that they form sudden things consciously in their mind, while others may need some external help, like some scenarios or scenes, or maybe with the stimulations from accidents, in some cases it could be achieved by the brain itself. You said that the territory of painters or those who are making dynamics is different, right?

L: Maybe it would be less.
J: I don’t think so. I think it’s almost the same between the two. The territory you come across from external world and the one you have inside of you should be similar after all.

L: But for me, the internal world is consistent. As an individual, no matter how the territory changes, you always have to make judgments and choices. Color or gloss? You have to choose. What I’m discussing is, the external world is totally different. That is, whether your interior territory is the same or not, the inspirations from the external world would not be the same. The influence it gives you is completely different.
J: I think it depends on what the person wants. It is not to say that the external influence is that huge. For example, two people sitting in the same plane and looking out of the window. The view they have could be completely different. One might think of something terrible and is sweating all the time, while the other is quite relaxed. So the view they have would not be the same.

L: We could put your example forward as a hypothesis. For example I want to draw a picture of the shore, I could do it in several ways. One is, I could draw a sketch, and bring it back to the studio to finish it. But we imagine that at this time, an accident happened, for example someone jumps into the river. Will it influence the painter? Will he also draw this, or simply ignore it and still only draw the scenery? Because this happened in the 16th century, when the artists wanted to present a better view, they would rather erase some other buildings. But for videos, this couldn’t happen. They will record this completely. Like when I am filming the shore, and suddenly someone jumps into the river, it isn’t up to me, whether to record this or not, because it is already on the tape and has been recorded. This is what I meant by external factors. But as a creator, if I don’t want the accident, I will of course have it cut off. But in fact, I didn’t cut if off. This is what I said about those unpredictable things that video may bring along. Well, paintings could be more subjective. I think it is a question about being more subjective. Some people say documentary films are a real reflection of our society. Of course the “real” here is quoted. However, in many aspects, videos can really achieve this. But of course it is determined by man, which means that it would be subjective in the end anyway, because people decide what to film and what not to, and what to be cut off, and what not to.
J: Actually, generally speaking, we are all unpredictable. The so-called prediction is according to our former experiences and images. But can you really memorize all the things happened in that view? I don’t think so. What I’ve said just now sounds recondite, but in fact it is easy to understand. How could you know all aspects of one thing? The world is boundlessly open. Each of us could only see part of it.

L: That’s true. Other fluencies and passes on to me are more like a game. For example, the signature and minor descriptions of paintings both have profound meanings inside. Every element of a painting could be examined and studied in detail, because there’s only one possibility for this static expression, while videos could have the possibility to record those things, which we believe to be real, because these two media are not the same. One records the subjectivity of the artist, puts all the information within one picture, while the other is to take a camera, knowing what to shoot. I know what I want to film and I know that I have this kind of subjectivity. So the start point is subjective. When you hold the apparatus, is no longer objective, because to find the view it is not through the camera, but through my eyes, brain, and heart together. But the camera knows its own limitation. You have to consider its size, timing and viewfinder. This is what I meant by the relation of subjectivity and objectivity.
J: They all have this phenomenon, that’s for sure. The territory question we talked about just now is, in fact, the influence from outside. I still want to say that the mechanism from external and internal world is more or less the same.

L: Then why you don’t go engravings and paintings now? Your works are almost all about apparatuses and on-site. Videos and pictures, like you mentioned, should all be available. But I want to ask you why you don’t use those media?
J: Maybe you’re right. Paintings are more difficult for now. Like you said, to paint you have to take responsibility for every single detail, because you sign at the end. For videos, like documentary films are getting forward with its own. It is possible that the video is even better than your expectation. It is already there. For example, a dog comes out suddenly, you might not have thought about that, but just this could make the film more interesting. In paintings, you have to take the full responsibility, while for documentary films ore videos you don’t have to. I think, in many cases the creation depends on luck.

L: Or to say depends on uncertainty. When you are doing this, you’re inner-prepared
J: Yes, there must be some preparation. If paintings could solve this problem, I would want to draw, too. It would be fine if I would not have to take the full responsibility while I could. I think Hui Zhang does this well. He has found a good way.

L: Just now we talked about the creation medium and its origin. Now we should focus on the contents. For you where did you get the idea of Fly, Fly, from your novel or anywhere else? Some of your later works look a bit similar to news report, or about social news. There are social elements inside. Because for works like Fly, Fly the feelings you have inside are quite simple and not influenced by those information. Basically it’s the style from CAFA.
J: Are you asking why it has such contents?

L: Yes. It looks like a narration. But what exactly it tells is also hard to recognize.
J: Maybe that suits the circumstances at that time quite well. I just graduated that time and did have a sensitive feeling about the future and life. I was thinking if I was being too restrained, that I could not reach freedom. Now I’m also enjoying thinking about these questions. But Fly, Fly is a bit pessimistic, hard to get rid of and feels lost. I did it in this way. So it is in a simple room, kind of like destiny that it lands on the pillow of yesterday and not on the other. Neither does it reach the sky of freedom. On the pillow it says “Good Night!” meaning he could only save his illusions for his dreams.

L: We talked about news reports just now. Do you dislike it?
J: No, I don’t. I had been a reporter for several years after all.

L: By saying news reports, I mean the method of reports, because now many works includes hot discussed news topics. For example your Laden, it makes me feel like something between art and news. For quite a time you were a journalist, does it have much influence on your creations? I’m quite interested in this.
J: Yes. It does influence me a lot.

L: Fly, Fly focuses more on the inner conditions and later on the social expressions. These are two different phrases.
J: In fact, I am very lucky that I went to a news media company, which is mainly about culture and policies, not much about prevalence. It was a good opportunity for me. If it were a sheer news reports editorial office, the atmosphere would be totally different. And if you went into a quite difficult place right after graduation, it is actually hard to get away. But this place happened to be a mixture of culture, art, and current happenings… it is similar to the education we had when we were small. In colleges we are not sensitive to the current events and policies, because the government would not have you involved. The less you know, the better. But if you are in the media, you would know much more. Though only a tiny bit has been reported, you could get to know much.

L: For example?
J: For example the collective demonstrations and protests. We received relevant articles quite often but hardly published any. Another example is, some critics wrote comments on national policies or on international relationships. If they failed to meet the policy, it wouldn’t be published either. But we as journalists could read that.

L: That is to say you could reach something special that massive media wouldn’t report.
J: While reading is like making up lessons.

L: Why?
J: Because when you were in high school or in college, you didn’t get in touch with the society. The internet that time was bad as well. You couldn’t know much about the reality and about the truth. But in that condition, you would also not think other way round. At that time, most of our writers came from Hongkong or Taiwan. We were not lack of good critics. In the process, to learn their thinking angles and depth is to make up lessons for me.

L: This way of thinking didn’t exist when you were in the school?
J: Because at that time there was no conception of sociology at all. So now I’m not so willing to see those works about the social reality. In my opinion, it is too easy and has been repeated thousand times by others already. It has become a mainstream of the social opinions. Like to buy shares, if too many people buy the same kind, it must go bad then. Indeed it is lack of the ability of independent thinking. The whole society has focused on those topics, like laborer problems, city and land divergence…

L: This topic is really interesting, and it’s also a question I’ve been thinking of recently. When art enters the social topics, the angles it offers, are irreplaceable. Or else, it won’t be necessary. Now can you talk about why you filmed Firefinger? It is obviously a very sensitive topic. To some extent, we are all connected with Firefinger somehow. When we read his poem, is there a clue for both to find? I’d like to hear your opinion.
J: It was actually quite easy at that time. Sometimes I would joke with others, say that people all have a sense of destiny. You are like a seed, which would grow and sprout up slowly and continue developing in this way. Or we can say, you will find something from the outside world and let them into your vision. I would believe this, because Firefinger was an interesting poet to me at that time. I like poems quite much, this is one thing. The other is, I like people who have disorders of consciousness.

L: Does he really have disordered consciousness?
J: He’s schizoid since 1975.

L: He was already arrested by then?
J: Not arrested. He was treated.

L: There are many versions about this. Some say that he was arrested and locked in a psychiatric hospital.
J: I’m not sure if it was 1975 or not. I have to check. In 1998 he was 50. He had written many poems and was really a genius in art. He was pessimistic and frail. But he stressed the hope at the same time. So he could move those educated youth right away. The educated youth at that time didn’t live a happy life. And Firefinger was like an inner leader for them. He was strong enough to inspire them. But why did he break down? Why would I like people with disordered consciousness? I assume schizophrenia is something that genius would have. At that time I was quite interested in what schizoids write and their connection with genius.

L: When you filmed this, did you find other reality about living? For example about his treatment, his family and difficulties? Do you have interests in this?
J: I actually filmed his family, his father. I focused on the poem. But if I film it now, it would be totally different of course. At that time I was interested in the relation between his condition and poem.

L: Did you continue it? How long did it take?
J: No. The process was intermittent.

L: When he was in front of you or your camera, was he uncooperative or something like that?
J: No. He could talk to people quite well and he would often read poem to others.

L: You made this in 1998. Do you think that it is far away from his legendary age? Can he accept this?
J: He could. South Weekend interviewed him in 2003 and reported his condition, because he was still conscious. He said himself that he is a nut and because of this he could do whatever he wants. From this point, he was quite conscious.

L: He didn’t go mad?
J: Sometimes. At least I think so, because every time I went to visit him, he was okay. I heard he had onset some times and even quite serious. Sometimes he lost control during the filmmaking. But I think every one might fall in this situation while having a conversation. For example if we continue the conversation between you and me, till a point, we would also feel headache. That’s for sure. I even filmed his talk, but I didn’t mix it in the film. However when it came to emotions or politics, he would say something strange, like he would say: ‘Do you know why my name is Lusheng GUO?’, you will feel that it’s very mysterious, maybe it has some connections with the national secrets that would be inspired when it comes to emotional and political topics.

L: This type of legendary works of Lusheng GUO is more like a control of the spirit. It doesn’t have any temporary prescriptive effects.
Zhijie QIU said it well. He said the surveys and exhibitions Yongbing HUANG made as he began with his Bat Plans are lack of the feeling of flying. When he saw the bat carrying a decreased plane wing, he said the work is flying.
The subjects about Firefinger just now are about our mental hearth on the one hand and about the temporary living problems on the other hand. They are all about “human”, which is a way of looking at oneself. Firefinger could be more mental, it could be crazy, so that I have nothing at all. But how would you explain Our Love?
J: I think there are similarities, both physical and metal. I focus more on the mental stuff and the interaction between body and mind.

L: Is Our Love about the gender?
J: Yeah. But it’s not male or female. It something in between or a third field, that is non-male and non-female.

L: For me, the huge transformation on the body in Our Love must base on a strong spiritual support. Or else it would be like cutting yourself with a knife.
J: They need more courage to do this in China.

L: I’m also very interested in this. But I think there’s a question. Is it a social attitude towards the castration for men or is it a social transformation into a more peaceful phase? I’m interested because I also know this kind of people, especially in 2000. They didn’t mind being asked about gender questions, the meaning of being a man or woman. I was shocked. The physical transformation is only secondary, which yet will strengthen your physical and spiritual tenses. The way they look at identification and gender is quite interesting.

J: The characters in Our Love are different from those, who have read a lot like college students or have their own business. The latter see this with a very independent attitude as a challenge to the gender politics. The people I filmed are under social pressure. They would not see it as a independent attitude, yet more like a struggle for living. Their fight is in fact quite passive and tragic. After the filmmaking at dinner, I asked them, if their children are like them what would they think of? They drank a bit and said truthfully that they would choke them to death.

L: Why that?
J: They don’t have strong self-consciousness. They could only live in this way under such circumstances. To live poorly is better than to die. If I were they, I would also choose this attitude towards live, maybe even more tragic. There are not really many chances for them to talk. They are not prominent persons in this society. They belong to the lowest class. They themselves also think this way. They said they are at the bottom of the lowest.

L: There is no spiritual outlet, so they could only change the physical conditions?
J: In fact, to change the body is also to give in. It’s better to be a woman than to be something between man and woman. If they overdo, then they would be a complete yielder. If they get more money, they could change their private parts too. Then it is a complete change of them.

L: From a intruder to a condition of being intruded.
J: From a intruder to a condition of being intruded? That doesn't work for them, because they’ve never been a intruder, they have always been intruded. They are also mentally oppressed. There is no change.

L: Speaking of this, many feminists believe, according to the biological condition, men are intruders while women are the ones who are intruded. Many feminists believe, when the body position changes, this hypothesis will also be overthrew. Many people believe some certain kind of body position while having sex means women are determined to be inferior. But some positions may allow women to feel superior. It overthrows the simple definition of being intruded.
J: You said it too easily. If you name the intruder gobbler, it would still be superior in the end.

L: It can also be understood in this way. But I assume it’s from the sense of self-identification. The other is from the social angle of you. There are two kinds of ego. One is you in your own eyes, the other is you in the others’ eyes. So I like the film Our Love, it could offer some thing from a different level. Either the thing is not spoken or is the expressed feeling very nice. This is a bit like a documentary movie of different meanings, because these two movies are both made in a way of filming documentary films. Different documentary films are different quotations. It doesn't want to tell you that this event has taken place at this time or gradually try to induce their emotions. I think it is okay like this. After that did you develop this?
J: No.

L: Madonna?
J: Oh, that’s a moment of The Moment. There are many moments in The Moment. I called these “several minutes of human”.

L: Why you want this series or this so-called series?
J: At that time Shenzhen was much different in the sense of a city like Beijing. The density of people there and the mingled grade were higher than Beijing. Beijing was divided into several districts, but the sense of division was not so strong there. The density was also higher than Beijing. And the systems in Shenzhen at that time were quite confusing. So many people went there in hope of success or making money. They would have some instinctive reactions, which under such social conditions could also be defined as the reactions to the system at that time. I also wanted to make photograph series with certain themes, in the way of record of actual events. But later on, I felt that the usage of dynamic image could present this state better, because pictures couldn’t express the timeliness, which I wanted. For example, if you want to present an image, it might be sufficient, but when you continue to the third image, the former ones are related to present a state. So, the filmed materials are not long, some only lasts several tens of seconds, most of them are also two to three minutes. At that I was thinking to collect several minutes of a number of people.

L: Among this series of works there are two pieces that I don’t know well. One of your works called MuMu, of course you’ve also written a novel with the same name. The little puppet in MuMu grows into a mature Mumu (a real person) later on. I think this is hard to categorize to what we’ve discussed just now. MuMu has some self-innuendoes and self-incarnation in it. I’d like very much to hear you talk about it.
J: When I was making MuMu, the consideration about social reality was not that clear at that time. I cared more about my own state and emotions. At the beginning, Mumu is a deposit of loneliness, because you can see it as a partner when you travel. To take photos of Mumu or to write about it was basically tend to be in a fairy tale way at that time, though the writing is completed by creating some small images or a short story. My state was quite simple and pure then.

L: It took long til you finished this piece. After so many years, as partner, you have now wife and child. Does the partnership of Mumu still exist?
J: In fact, since 2006 I haven’t done that. I went to Finland in 2006 and the last time was then there. Of course at the very beginning I was quite innocent, but after I went to Shenzhen it was getting complicated. I got into the magazine office, I felt the reality I had to face. It was in fact hard to find a place with a quality suggestive of poetry or painting. There was more about construction, development and about the city itself.

L: Did you have this kind of feeling when you went to Shenzhen? From school to Beijing, then from Beijing to Shenzhen, was it a process of your chasing your dream? Why you went to Shenzhen?
J: I had always wanted to go to Shenzhen, but it didn’t work out. I went to Shenzhen in 1995, because it was then different from other places. It was quite unique, so I wanted to go. But at that time, it would have been not so good if I went there at once. There were not many artists there and neither the atmosphere of making arts. If I would have been there for all the time, I would have been a chief editor of some magazine office, or a TV producer. I would have become one in this field. It is terrible even to think of. Fortunately I stayed in Beijing after graduation. And only after I had some achievements in arts, I went to Shenzhen. If I went to Shenzhen immediately after graduation and stayed there ever since, I would have a different life. Just because I didn’t go at that time, the charm remains. After the revocation of the office in 1998, the house in Beijing had also to be returned. Then, the Shenzhen office asked me if I wanted to come back to Shenzhen, because they had arranged everything and bought a house already. But I didn’t know how the house looks like, so I wanted to go and see.

L: This is quite interesting. You’ve never been to Shenzhen, right? You went there from Beijing directly. So why there’s “come back to”. Why this come back?
J: Because I was registered there.

L: These special experiences are because of your registration?
J: I went back to the company in Shenzhen because the company I worked for and my registered permanent residence were both there.

L: Until when you stayed in Shenzhen?
J: Until 2005.

L: You came back to Beijing in 2005, and then stayed at Hua LIU?
J: Yes.

L: How did you come to the idea of getting back? You left in 1998, right? I consider you more or less an artist of Shenzhen.
J: I’m a person who reconciles himself to the situation. I won’t like to stay in one place for long or want to go to one place extremely much. Shenzhen was quite attractive to me at that time. Besides there were also other objective opportunities, like the house was already there, while my place in Beijing was handed in along with the revocation of the office. There were new adjustments and new work assignments after the revocation. Many things happened under such condition. It was the same when I came to Beijing in 2005. I worked for Phoenix Weekly several years before, and they moved to Beijing in 2005. They asked me whether I’d like to come. I said no, they asked then what I would do. The magazine office in Shenzhen was no longer there. It was kind of like a resignation. After that, there was a businessman who I knew before during DV activities. He wanted to set up a website, and I went to talk to him. He wanted to set up a video website, but I said I knew nothing about computer. He said it was not necessary to know computer. I mentioned one possibility. There are plenty movie fans. We could create an online platform. People could send us their scripts. Directors and actors could be selected through the web. We could fund them, they make the video and send us the completed piece. No matter what those who have the dream of making films could realize there dream in this way. It was once for us to get several thousands to make a short video when we started. I think this is a good way, and it could help many people. When we set up the website, there was actually already an office in Shenzhen. Everything was there. After several days, they said to do this, we’d better go to Beijing. So, that is, we came to Beijing. When the magazine first moved to Beijing, I was unhappy to come. There was another reason for this, I felt that I would not like to go into the journalist field. I could not be a good journalist. It is different from being an artist.

L: The website project didn’t last long?
J: It was actually quite long, until June 2007.

L: Two years?
J: More than one year. I came to Beijing at the end of 2006, in December.

L: I remember that we’ve talked about the plans. I made an expensive one for you.
J: To build this website, we spent lots of money, more than 10 Mio RMB. Actually it would be nice to build according to my plans. First is to widen the roads, we collect one to two hundred groups, then we select around ten teams to strengthen the support, which could in fact make films with high quality. Then we should find two or three among them that are outstandingly talented. We’ll help them make a long video. All the other common authors we could simply support them to make one or two videos, then it would be enough. Later on, the website set a standard for the quantity and tries to create a fair opportunity for everyone without difference. But like this, we invested twenty to at most forty movies in one month, and it lasted one and a half years, around twenty months. We could easily run out of money in this way. But there was no real relationship built with the elite ones. My partner is against the concept of elite. He wants to build a complete folk creation platform. I can do nothing about it.

L: 400 films.
J: Yes. 400 films, probably more than 200 groups. My plan was to select 20 of them, and let them cooperate with television to make teleplays or something like that. Then we choose 3 or 5 among them, invest them continuously, like 200,000 or 300,000 RMB. After two or threes years they should be able to make longer pieces.

L: It is much like in Japan: before you make teleplay or films, you could make for some time videos, using normal home-use video-tape.
J: They would rather skip this phase. They think the changes here in China happen too swiftly. They won’t risk on this. So they chose a common way, in hope of increasing the number of user.

L: They want to have the money right away, right?
J: Not really. They just wanted to do the things right and just wanted to increase the user number.

L: To increase the user number should not be your task. I think you are an expert in the contents.
J: Because they didn’t accept my concept. They insisted on more investments. Sometimes they would invest up to 50 movies in a month. He thought this would pull more investments in. But this is not consequential. Later on, there was no money, so we had nothing. Just because he said he wanted to invest 50 videos each month, I said I would be exhausted to die. I couldn’t take it, because I had to go through all of the scripts. I read several hundred scripts every month. In 2007 I said I would not take the salary any more, but was still responsible for the quality and selection of the scripts. I didn’t go to the company, I had others read the scripts first, and then they would send me some good ones. I was out like this gradually. In June I was quitted completely.

L: I went to your studio in 2007. You made lots of silica gel installations. But now many exhibitions of yours don’t follow this string. For example during the exhibition No, No at Tang Contemporary Art Center and at Liberia Contemporary Art Center, I found your exhibition itself is a piece of work. I had this kind of feeling that the exhibition is a work. We can’t define your videos, we cannot view them separately.  The changing characters and little feather and the silica gel installation on the floor at the exhibition at Marella Gallery are also alike. So we cannot see them as single piece. When we view them together, I’d rather think that the exhibition itself is a complete work.
J: An individual exhibition it is indeed an independent and self-sufficient form of work. Are you asking why there’s no clear lead in this?

L: For me, your exhibition and your individual creations are two different things. It is like when the works being exhibited, it’s really hard to find out your main string. And when you see the single piece, then there’s an outer clue for it. But to watch the exhibition is another system.
J: Actually I’m talking with a friend about the system question. I talked quite well. We are both interested in how an artist runs away, from one system to another new one. He will not go into an already-made system, it is rather a brand new system. I think this is what an artist supposed to do. This is how they keep their productivity. We talked much, some topics are about whether the works being powerful enough. You’ve also mentioned that my work is in real not very concrete. They are not big works, or powerful works, like those of Damien Hirst or Jeff Koons, they both have clear-cut characters or clues. Powerful works offer people no way to run off. Both the audience and the artist himself would be controlled by its power and strength. You run away, but in fact you cannot. This is true. When you see a powerful piece of work, you will naturally follow it and try to figure out what it means according to this. But for the audience, it’s very difficult to escape from this run-away phase to a thinking phase, or a feeling phase. It is the same for the artist himself. He may continue do this kind of work in decades within the same system. I think this is a big problem.

L: What kind of problem?
J: In the end it is no longer creation, but rather a copy, because you’ve been strengthening the system. This is not a creative activity.

L: I could understand this. This system is defined by the outer works. This is exactly what I’m interested in. It’s hard to read your spirit through the outer objects. You described it accurately just now. Now many artists have already turned the outer system into inner ones. I also feel like that they are losing their productivity. If the outer things are built by the strength or power of the spirit, I think you still have another possibility. When the thing is already built up, and you keep building it afterwards, then your spiritual symbol is this. But is this creation? Is this what an artist should do? You talked about the run-away problem, I think is really an interesting topic. But it is on the condition of how you escape. I care more about the individual, that is, you Zhi JIANG yourself, why you want to run away, or what do you escape from?
J: Only when you escape can you produce something new like new problems. And only then can you find out new directions. If you don’t run away from this system, you would be controlled by it.

L: What is the system you mentioned? Please explain it. What kind of system is it that you want to escape from?
J: For example it would become an old problem or an out-of-date creation method, or an obsolete feeling system.

L: We talked about this online once, about the absence of the body.
J: It is also an old, deposited conception. Many works that focused on this question were quite new at that time. In fact, new arts haven’t found the novelty. Few people have realized this. Some are just repeating the questions from others and cannot get out of this. I think this is the most pathetic thing.

L: So what’s your recent question?
J: Because there are more and more things done, you would build up your own system gradually. To observe this system, to question it and to pick out its potential problems and then to think about this time after time, are urgent to me now, because only then can new problems come out.

L: Have you ever thought of to research this system? When we compare the number of artists now with that of before, it is obvious that now there are much more artists. For example the system of gallery, system of museum, commercial system, and even other systems, is it necessary for artists to do research about these systems to know them better?
J: I think it is necessary to think about all of these aspects. How they are connected to each other and how they influence the creation. When it is allowed, it’s better to think about these.

L: We talked about the absence of the body on the internet. You hardly put your body into the creation, do you? The symbolized self begins to fade, is this as well a kind of run-away?
J: Because from a philosophic point of view, selfhood is not a firm conception from the very beginning. Zhijie QIU mentioned in one article long ago that selfhood in fact is a paradox. If you could judge that selfhood is a real self, then you must create a self first to observe it, define it. But what will judge and define this split self? So you have to split another self. In the end you’ll find out that this is a paradox, like a joke. So I didn’t rely on my own body or my own things first.

L: The so-called absence of selfhood.
J: I didn’t trust the reaction from my body. So normally I use the bodies of others. The simulation body is also others’ body.

L: I want to ask you if you are confusing this on purpose, because in many of your works you also showed your body, or to say there’s the possibility of showing your body. But now you delete it deliberately. How have you achieved this real total absence? It should be difficult.
J: It was not so clear. I didn’t get you.

L: Obviously you made the presence of the body on purpose, why? I talked with Zhijie QIU long ago about this topic. The presence of artists could be achieved by many special ways. As for the works like performance arts, the hired model and the artist himself are definitely different.
J: So I said I didn’t make lots of movements, except in Laden, where my body showed up but with a mask.

L: You hided yourself intentionally with a mask, why that?
J: Because I wanted to have more contacts with people, to have direct experimental communications. This is what I could accept. I would think that I’m acting and playing a role.

L: Playing a role?
J: Right. I was playing a beggar.

L: Has the economic circumstances improved when you returned to Beijing in 2007? Because there’s some business of your works?
J: Yes, but Shenzhen was much better.

L: How do you see this? Now you have many exhibitions. I look at the pictures and know that they are for sale. To buy videos is also possible. But many of your exhibitions and many of your works are not that easy to sell. How do you deal with it, when there’s no compromise with the commercial system? There’s always something there. And it’s unlikely that we don’t give in to this commercial system. There are some compromises on this commercial system, and there aren’t any too. How do you maintain yourself like this? The self I mean is the independence of you.
J: When I first arrived, also now I think I don’t go extremes like you described. I’m not against commerce. But the premier thing I consider is that the works are done by my will. It is not to say that I intend to make something but don’t want to sell it. This is another thought of creation, but I don’t have this kind of thinking.

L: So you don’t categorize what can be sold well?
J: No. I don’t intend to make something that cannot be sold. Or else you could simply don’t sell it. You can make something that can really sell well, but you can also choose not to sell it.

L: This is not so absolute as you said. I asked some gallery operators about what can sell well. They said the bestseller is pictures and second one is photos, then videos. But it’s not for sure, if they can be sold or not. Under such situation, does the commercial possibility shrink when you make videos? Let alone when you make large-scale installations. I really can’t imagine who will buy it. It is the same with gallery operators. They need to find good projects. But it could also be a nightmare for them. Who will buy this in the end, they also have no clue. So for artists, they would not go extremes and say that they don’t sell their works. After one piece is done, it must go into the circulation of the society. Goods for money, and then money for goods. But most of the time when the work is placed in a standard exhibition space, and when the work go into the social level, it is almost for sure that it will be handled. If not, then there must be many reasons for this. For example you can set up a photograph exhibition, which may conclude only photos of yours. Then I think this can sell better, if there are only photographs. But many of your exhibitions are also hard to sell. Then it’s not a question of whether you want to sell it or not, it is appreciated from the viewers’ experiences.
J: Yes. And also there are personal interests. I like to make videos, take photos and set up installations. I want to do what kind of works now, and why the gallery agrees. The former ones are well sold, so they think there might be some hope. I think this is quite important. If you are really an artist, whose works are badly sold, then you would be in trouble, because then they will not accept, they might think that it is possible to sell it.

L: Are those installations sold in the end?
J: No.

L: When the commercial atmosphere is in relatively good condition, galleries are playing a risky role. But they would like to share the joys of adventures with artists. They don’t confine you totally and say my gallery only sells paintings.
J: I think for those things the economic base is required. Galleries must have economic basis to have exhibitions within a period of time and support related works. If a gallery doesn’t have economic foundation, then it would not be able to make such a choice. But it is not to say that you need lots of money to finish one piece of work. I think there’re many possibilities, also when the economic condition looks bleak.

L: How big are the chances?
J: Enormous. It is not to estimate.

L: How many exhibitions you have this year?
J: Two or three. In fact just one, but it consists of two or three parts and be exhibited in two or three places. I’m not able to and also there’s no need for more exhibitions.
(revised edition by JIANG Zhi  3rd, June 2009)
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