第46期 | 艺术的现代性反思—关系性美学

Issue 46 | An Reflection on Modernism - Relational Aesthetics


Lee Mingwei, "The Dining Project," 1997/2014. 

Photo courtesy: Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.

文/题引人 Writer / Moderator |  何竞飞

编辑 Editor |  吴月

概述/翻译 | Editor/Translator  梓乔


二十世纪末,随着法国艺术批评家布里欧(N. Bourriaud)提出的“关系性美学”(Relational Aesthetics),现代艺术中的“关系性”开始摆脱固有的物质性,跨越形式化的“物体”、“身体”、“行为”,进而转为互动的"社会关系"。由此,将“关系性”作美学呈现的艺术形式被正式推上历史舞台。1996年,在法国波尔多当代美术馆(CAPC musée d'art contemporain de Bordeaux),布里欧以活跃在1990-2000年代四位艺术家(Philippe Parreno、Liam Gillick、Rirkrit Tiravanija、Vanessa Beecroft)为代表,策划的名为“Traffic”的展览。 在展览手册中,布里欧也首次用“关系性美学”来指代参展作品。


        随后,布里欧以“关系性”为主题,梳理出一条由“宗教时代-人与神”,“启蒙现代-人与物”,到“另现代(Altermodern)-人与人”的关系过渡的艺术史。而此中的最后阶段,“另现代”则是布里欧试图推动起的新的艺术历史潮流。他曾于2009年在Tate美术馆策同名展(Altermodern, Tate Museum),将“另现代”视作在关系性美学的基础上深化,继现代主义与后现代主义,利用关系性的交互抵拒标准化与市场化的新的艺术运动。


由此,出于反抗规制,归于形式更替,在这种"历史前卫"(Historical Avant-Garde)的思想背景中,布里欧更是用微乌托邦(Micro-Utopia)这一概念限定了在"另现代"中“关系性”的“前卫”指向ーー脱离资本主义下的运作生产,试图让原本相互孤立的社会层面连接,在艺术的框架中开放呈现的,无法在市场中合理化的社会现实。而微乌托邦所指向的这种非合理化的社会现实,是游离既有秩序框架之外,正如福柯(M. Foucault)描述的,一种极度异质、对抗却又实在的异托邦(Heterotopia)的时空概念。


随后关系性美学盛极一时,周览于美术馆与画廊各大策展之中,关系性美学相关研究与批判也继而此起彼伏。其中另一关系性美学研究者凯斯特(G. Kester),将关系性美学扩展至可构建于美术馆之外,基于社群展开的"对话的"(Dialogical)"合作的"(Collaborative)的艺术形式。


Relationship aesthetics is the concept proposed by French cultural critic Nicolas Bourriaud. It discourses on the interactive nature of art in society.  Bourriaud denied the materiality of the art object, emphasizing the “body”, “object”, “behaviour.”  Bourriaud claims that this relationship is constructed between human and human. As Bourriaud proposes the notion of “alter- modern” in summarizing this new trend of art in modern society, he states that … Such idea achieves a balance between the mechanization and standardization in art, the details of which will be discussed below.


The other term stemmed from this relationship aesthetics is the “micro-utopia.” It determines the potential development of the “avant-garde” art would be look like in this epoch of “alter-modern”—freeing from capitalist operations. Micro-utopia also attempts to connect all facades in society.  In another side, Micro-utopia refuses the rationalization in market. Its nature however, is freely flowing in the social framework; an abnormal, rival, but concrete concept of heterotopia. While this idea had been fashioned in 1990s, criticism raised. G. Kester proposed that the concept of relational aesthetic could be applied beyond the gallery space, in forms of the collaborations and the conversaziones, among the social communities. These discussions are aimed to create a space for dialogue and creation. By the time it becomes part of the artwork, it had been positively transformed into a provocative medium in the social framework. In this way, it aestheticizes the social relationship, as the differentiations and consent are revealed in these relationships under this light.


The nature of relationship aesthetics, as Bourriad mentioned in his statement, breaks off the boundary of politics, establishing on the Marxism discourse of “alienation.” It criticizes the alienation caused by the enlightenment and modernity. In this modern world, people tend to have the capability of pursuing freedom and doing self-reflection, instead of submitting to religion, but human cannot achieve real freedom. Now, capitalism manipulated the rationale of society—specialization by restricting the freedom of existence of human. The central aim of the modern life becomes making profit; the value of making meanings of life in humanity would be perished and vanished in the end. In order to rebut it, the relationship aesthetics then reconciles with art and politics, substituting the practical rationality in capitalist society, interacting, communicating, and participating with each other. This democratic communication method imposes a subjectivity to every “object” in the dialogue; echoed by Jurgen Habermas’ “Communicative Rationality”. 


As now we are in the epoch of Anthropocene, the relationship aesthetics is vital for opening new possibilities for the dominated technical and mechanical products in the society. Bernard Stiegler articulates the crisis of the sensual life of the human. The internet, online media are driving Their desires. This crossed-over online mode of communication jeopardizes the ability of commutation and negotiation. The data-behaviorism extinct the possibility of human to express their original desire; while kidnapped by illusion—the desires created digitally. The relationship aesthetics then, breaks down this phenomenon, with encouraging using the triumph of this digital era to construct the Neganthropocence—a liberal society.


Given this spirit, CVSZ (Conversazione) initiates a series of events and workshops that invites designers, artists, and participants with multidisciplinary practice to work collectively to imagine a world orientated and inspired by the notion of relational aesthetics. Taking the methodology of devised theatre, participants follow the rules and principles inspired by the performance space, and create the happenings during the workshop. space serves as the unspoken script that indicates the rules and principles for potential narratives. Meanwhile, Space and objects construct spatial relationships to reshape human activities, making it possible to generate certain types of the identities and personalities. It may seem random, intuitive, and improvisational—but it also depending on the capability of imaginations and impromptu performance by individuals.