2014年1月6日

[已發表]張恩滿的〈競技場〉(2012)


(影片來源在此)


張恩滿的競技場以書信體為敘事框架,作者受到泰籍藝術家Tip近期開拍的泰拳紀錄片,以及自身半個原住民身分所感,啟程前往屏東縣來義鄉文樂村,探視練習泰拳的朋友們。她並未從台北經往西部平原前往屏東,而是繞過台灣東部,沿著花東敘述著原住民的歷史,以及當下正受到財團破壞的美麗景色。最後她來到平樂村,原有的練習場已經變成倉庫,不同部落年輕人們搬到另一處十公里外的學校練習場,繼續著練習著。


在這麼簡單的劇情、短短近8分鐘的影片裡,卻能傳達出豐沛的情感力量。內容分成四個段落,開頭、過場與結尾均是競技場場景。「Struggle」是這些過場的主題,兩人對打的情境在不同段落裡,代表著主題的不同面向:從歷史的遷移、財團的破壞、乃至於彼此壓迫的命運,在賦予泰拳這些不同的隱喻同時,也賦予了現實的深度。

最後一幕,當全體原住民穿著傳統服裝,對著觀眾比出握拳預備姿勢時,前面過場對打的內在能量一下子被凝聚起來。結尾在社會結構與個人行動之間取得了絕佳的平衡,他們不僅展現出認同,甚至也深知隱喻。不同的是他們與觀者的關係,如今他們不再只是被觀看,而是面向著你,自覺地運用「爭鬥」的手勢,來展現自身的認同與能動力,他們要你直視。

這是一個振奮人心的結局,卻又不落入快樂結局的俗套。在媒材上,它的微妙之處在於前面全都是敘述與景象的鋪陳,但是結尾的意境,卻完全只有影像作得到,無形中,書信體的敘事,一下子被轉化為影像的對話──這是藝術家與藝術家之間的情感交流。而事實上,當你仔細玩味拳擊在原住民中,甚至是一般社會裡,的角色時,會發現它的角色與藝術十分相像。

此外,這件作品的創作特點,更在於它極端的當代性:每一個影像作品,都要面對著許多已然建構的影像傳統,對此,〈競技場〉不再從原住民的遠古傳說,不再由所謂的「原味」開始,甚至當眾族人群聚時,也不再是為了歡欣鼓舞的「神秘」祭典。相反地,這些俗套若不是被揚棄,就是併同當下現實來重新思考,以此作為它創作的零度,最後卻因此更加清楚堅定地點出了原住民的歷史、處境與自我認同。這些傳統圖示與當代性的交會當然還是結局的一幕,當所有人面對著觀眾時,當代性透過某種自我肯定的姿態來傳達──而這不只是給泰籍藝術家,也衝擊著我們這些飽受俗套浸淫的觀眾。對於我們這些觀眾,〈競技場〉的當代性說明著:唯有我們與他們正面交會(engage with them),才會明白,過去我們的「同情」,其實是多麼地一無所知,同時也多麼地廉價。


藝術家的作品介紹網站:http://amaan286.blogspot.tw/2013/01/blog-post.html

Chang En-Man’s Arena: The Contemporary Aboriginal Struggle in Taiwan

Using epistolary as her frame story, Chang En-man’s video art work, Arena, begins in words delivered to her Thailand friend, Tip. Initially, Chang was affected by Tip’s Muay Thai boxing documentary. Also partly because of her half aboriginal identity, She set out a journey to a mountain Village Wenleng in Pingtung Country, in the deep south of Taiwan, to visit her young aboriginal friends who are training to be boxers.

Instead of rushing to Pingtung from Taipei through a convenient route in Taiwan’s western plains, Chang detoured to the mountainous eastern Taiwan, from Hualien to Taitung, the motherland of aboriginal tribes, where the rugged mountains and rocks crouched on the long seashore. On the road, she narrated the suppressed history of aborigines’ exodus from homeland, and which may be destructed by syndicates in the future. Finally, she arrived at Village Wenleng, where the old arena had become a warehouse, the youngs from tribes is keeping practicing moved to another site far from village for about ten kilometers.

With the simple plot, in a video less than eight minutes, the artist successfully conveyed a powerful inspiring emotion. The plot consists of four sections, and the scene of new arena repeats as the beginning, the interludes, and the ending. ‘Struggle’ is the theme in the arena scene, the Muay Thai sparring in the scene represents the variables of this theme by symbolizing the sections: struggles in the immigration, with syndicates, and their destine to sparring with each other. Those sections gives the sparring different metaphors and the depth of reality.

In the final scene of the reunion, the people’s gestures and the last uplifting effect can only properly generated by video medium. the initial storytelling with images in the work is inconceivably transited to a dynamic presentation of symbolism, and this is also a kind of hidden emotional dialogue between the two video art artists. Furthermore, if one carefully think about the role of boxing in general society presented in the film(especially in Taiwan, where Pro boxing does not exist.), you will figure out that it can be analogue to the role of art.

Finally, Arena’s most crucial characteristic is its extremely contemporariness. The inspiring ending is not a ‘happy ending’ cliché. The work abandoned an established image convention which have prevailed in our media, it starts neither from aboriginal remote ancient myths, nor from the so-called ‘aboriginalism.’ Even when the people reunited, they were not to perform a hilarious ‘secret’ rite. Their contemporary context is the starting point of Arena’s creation, and from this point, the work surprisingly reveals more than its visual conventions the history, the reality, and self-identities in the contemporary world.

When the reunited people are facing their audience, the contemporariness is also conveyed through their ready-to-fight gestures in self-confidence. For the audiences like us who may lived with them, but permeated by numberous cliché images, the Arena provokes us: only as we are ‘engaged with’ them can we really realize that the compassion we used to hold for those people, is so innocent, and so cheap.





Glossary:

Arena 競技場

Chang En-man 張恩滿

Village Wenleng 文樂村

Pingtung 屏東

Taipei 台北

Hualien 花蓮

Taitung 台東