>
BLOG  
Home

Welcome to the art circus 歡迎光臨藝術馬戲團

6.7.2015
Li Yining Erin

Li Yining Erin

Venice Biennale Intern

我一直不太喜歡「藝術行政人員」這個詞,總覺得它聽起來太過沈悶、無聊,彷彿不需要多少創意就可以完成。事實上,有時的確如此!量室溫,數訪客,填表格,寫報告……展覽助理需要不時處理一些繁瑣的事兒,每個月也碰巧有幾天沒那麼好玩。

[今天有趣的人都去海灘了嗎?!沒幾個人和我們聊展覽,只有漫不經心的路人甲飄進飄出,連招呼都不應。真是無盡虛無誒……]

 

 

 

然而許多時候,「藝術行政人員」也會面對五花八門的任務,迎接想像力、動手力、體力和智商的多重挑戰,如同在馬戲團工作一般。作為《無盡虛無》的展覽助理,這種感覺尤其深刻。這場多媒體展覽不僅在電腦程序和場地施工方面技術要求頗高,還牽涉到跨國協調(香港的西九文化區M+博物館和藝術發展局負責籌劃,義大利機構Arte Communications負責協調威尼斯事務)和複雜的設施管理(四個小展廳共動用了20部投影儀、16部擴音器和12部媒體服務器)。除此之外,在沒有汽車的威尼斯,所有運輸都要借助船或人力推車,使得整個過程更加複雜。藝術家、策展團隊、技術團隊、施工團隊和本地協調團隊等各顯神通,搭建了展覽,但當突發情況出現,展覽助理就需要開動腦筋大變身了。以下就是我和同事們「扮演」過的一些角色……

 

女士們,先生們,歡迎光臨我們的「藝術馬戲團」!(在義大利語中,藝術界可被戲稱為’il circo dell’arte’,如果直譯就是「藝術馬戲團」。)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

一. 雜技演員

有天我們發現錄像投影有點歪斜,就搬出梯子,把錄像調成網格,爬上去調整投影儀的角度。投影儀很重,所以沒有點雜技演員的耐力是不好完成的。好在Nixon蠻有潛力!

 

 

 

 

[Image Courtesy: All About Old Toys]

 

 

 

二. 寵物馴養員

 

展場附近有好幾位養狗的鄰居。每天看著他們來回遛狗,就慢慢熟絡起來。雖然語言障礙巨大,但是和狗玩耍無國界。那麼問題來了,鄰居遛狗時突然想要看展怎麼辦?讓我或者愛狗叔叔Francesco帶狗玩,主人們自由地進來看展吧!

 

3. Weightlifter

 

 

 

The curators came up with the genius idea of attracting and welcoming visitors with an arch outside our main entrance. Francesco takes it out every morning and pulls it in every evening. However, as the wheels of the arch age, Francesco’s biceps come in handy.

 

 三. 舉重運動員

 

為了吸引和歡迎觀眾,策展團隊設計了一個包含展覽信息的金屬拱門,擺在門外。每天開展前Francesco會把它推出去,閉展時再拉回室內。隨著石地對拱門底部滑輪的磨損,推拉拱門變得難了起來,於是Francesco的肱二頭肌派上了用場。

 

 4. Props maker

 

 

The upper part of Room 4 tends to get really hot as 7 projectors and 4 speakers run simultaneously. Resort to air conditioning? Infeasible due to strict conservation rules. Putting some fans? The fans we have only blow horizontally and can’t send cooler air in the lower part upwards. In the end, Francesco improvised with the materials available in the storeroom and made a wooden stand for the fan in 20 minutes. Then Nixon painted the structure in white so it is more compatible with the white wall and the white fan. Voilà!

 

四. 道具師

 

第四間房有7部投影儀和4部音箱同時工作,上半部分溫度常常飆到三十多,對儀器不太好。安裝空調嗎?威尼斯保育政策很嚴格,申請裝空調定會大費周章。擺放電扇呢?我們現有的電扇只能左右擺頭,難以把下方的冷空氣吹上去。於是Francesco跑進儲藏室,花了二十分鐘,就用現有木材和釘子隨手造了一個電扇支架!之後Nixon又把它塗成了白色,這樣就和白牆、白電扇更協調了。

 

5. Locksmith

 

[How I wish I knew the trick of ‘Open Sesame’! 多希望我會「芝麻開門」!]

 

[Image courtesy: Library of Congress daguerreotype collection, USA]

 

 

We have a nice old facade and a nice old wooden door. But it is not so nice to struggle with the old lock every time we set up and close the exhibition. Finally, the lock decided to go on strike one day, not responding to the key at all. And the local coordinator didn’t pick up our calls. Nixon and I were almost thinking about going home to get some blankets and sleep there to guard the equipments! Luckily our experienced Italian colleague Monica came to our rescue and easily fixed the door with two long screws found in the storeroom.

 

五. 修鎖匠

 

舊舊的木門舊舊的鎖很美,可是上下班時都要和舊鎖大戰一番就沒那麼美啦。終於有一天,舊鎖決定在我們收工時徹底罷工,毫不為鑰匙所動。我和Nixon試了又試,打電話給義大利統籌也沒人聽,結果面面相覷--今晚莫不是要睡在這兒看守設備?還好有維修經驗的義大利同事Monica趕來,在儲藏室(萬能的儲藏室!)裡找到了合適的長螺絲,麻利地修好了門。媽媽再也不用擔心我開門關門啦!

 

 6. Cleaner

 

 

[Image Courtesy: Randall Hill, Reuters]

 

[French Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2015 今年威尼斯雙年展的法國館]

 

You might think that in no way may artworks make the same kind of mess that circus animal stars do. But as contemporary art goes wilder and wilder, it is hard to say now. At The Infinite Nothing, we clean certain part of the floor everyday, where oil is designed to drip down and create a mysterious atmosphere. Once in a while, we also need to deal with pigeon droppings outside the entrance.  But soon I realized this is nothing compared to the French Pavilion, where one huge tree elegantly moves around inside the pavilion and two other outside. Just imagine what if rain pours down the open roof…

 

六. 清潔員

 

你可能覺得藝術品沒可能像馬戲團裡的動物明星一樣,不斷“排泄”。可是當代藝術越來越瘋癲,有時真的難說。《無盡虛無》三號房中設計了讓油不斷從牆上滴落的裝置,營造神秘的氛圍,也意味著我們每天閉展後都要打掃地上的油漬。除此之外,我們也會偶爾清理門口的鴿屎和雨後的積水與落葉。

 

參觀法國館時,我一邊欣賞在智能內芯驅動下兀自移動的巨樹,一邊感嘆他們的展覽助理所要承擔的清潔任務。天花板是開放的,那麼一旦下雨……

 

I was never really happy with the word ‘art administrator’. It sounds so mundane, boring and uncreative. The fact is … sometimes it is indeed so! To maintain an exhibition, one often needs to count visitors, record room temperature, fill in forms, write reports, etc. And some days are duller than others.

[Did all fun people go to the beach today?! No one would like to talk about art with us. Tourists just come and go…They even ignore our ‘ciao’…What an ‘infinite nothing’…  ]

 

 

But other times, an art administrator could be faced with versatile tasks that really challenge one’s creative thinking and can-do attitude, which is almost like working in a circus. This is especially true in the case of working for The Infinite Nothing, an exhibition that requires cross-continental coordination, sophisticated technical support, and frequent facility maintenance. The fact that the exhibition takes place in Venice, a city without cars, also adds to the complexity. To make The Infinite Nothing happen, you might have to do infinite ‘everything’! At the core of it is a highly professional team, including the artist, curators, contractors, technicians, local coordinators, and so on. However, in cases of emergency, exhibition interns take initiatives to solve problems creatively. Below are some of the roles we have temporarily played.

 

So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Art Circus (in Italian, you can mock the art circle by calling it ‘il circo dell’arte’, which literally means ‘art circus’!)

1. Acrobat

 

 

[Image courtesy: The Circus Blog]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One time a projector somehow shifted sightly and resulted in video misalignment. So Nixon pulled out the special slide for alignment and climbed up the ladder to adjust the angle of the heavy projector. Not a very easy job but Nixon seems to have the potential of becoming an acrobat!

2. Pet tamer

As some neighbours and their dogs pass by several times a day, we gradually start to say hi to them. Although I can hardly chat with the neighbours in Italian, I have no problems communicating with the dogs. Sometimes when a neighbour suddenly feels the urge to take a look at our exhibition while walking the dog, we temporarily take over and play with the dog.

 

Share with

Related Post