2014年1月6日

[已發表]破碎的海岸線:范曉嵐的〈未竟之路〉(2013)


未竟之路 The Revolutionary Road from fanhsiaolan on Vimeo.


(本文原載於《藝術家》,2013年10月號,頁264-265。感謝《藝術家》編輯部在本文發表時所給予的協助。)

〈未竟之路〉是范曉嵐近期以東海岸土地開發爭議為題材的作品之一,其鏡頭下的畫面裡充滿了我們熟悉的日常景象,卻又浮現著作品中獨有、斑駁難語的現實感。〈未竟之路〉有著這些片段:在南方澳的豆腐岬,夏日觀光客熙攘地走過滿是觀光在地產業的街景、造船工場的工人在船尾的梯子上拿著毛筆,沉靜思索下一個字的間距、遊客隨興地穿越即將變成私人海灘的觀光飯店預定地,以及海灘上三五成群的戲浪者。這些景象均牽動著東海岸的命運,而且很顯然地,好好壞壞皆包含其中──范曉嵐的鏡頭從來就不是減法的藝術,而是直視當下,兼具紀實卻又抗拒純粹的敘事。


這些人群裡也包括了主角,一位每年夏天自西部喧囂城市生活抽身的女子。當她穿過隧道時,背景的蕭邦九號〈夜曲〉,對比著片尾Sedjam(Sedjam Takivan Kavunga,漢名林志祥)吟唱的台東大鳥村小米收穫祭曲,一開始就界定出她與東海岸間的距離感。和前面的片段相似,這種距離感並非無感,更非實際距離,卻是種誠實的告白:拍攝東海岸的美景很容易、拍攝人類對自然的破壞,也很容易,真正困難的是跨越外地觀看者的角色,而這同時也體現著當代藝術與現實間的關係。

對比著近乎無語的影像,則是近乎喋絮而肯切的旁白:看準觀光,財團的不當開發腳步也穿過隧道而來,「山海劇場」從秀姑巒溪河口一路南下至石梯坪,最後可能落腳於已廢校的磯崎國小。繼續往南至台東衫原灣則有惡名昭彰的美麗灣,以及後面六個、七個、二十個大型開發案。如同沙灘上的遊客,這些並非一夕之間發生,長期的海岸水泥工法,讓連綿的海岸線,最終在消波塊的反作用下,迅速退卻、破碎,即使是外地遊客,最終也只剩下不到百分之十的自然海灘能夠讓他們自由戲潮。這些開發與破壞都是為了圖利少數人,同時也在各處激起了在地居民的抗爭:山海劇場在靜浦、港口部落的抗議下,最後因技術與經費問題縮限在改造廢棄小學,算是「不完美之中最完美的結局了」,美麗灣則因為官員強力護航,爭議至今尚未完結。

這麼多的開發案,還能怎麼說呢?主角除了敘述事件背景外,在影像與旁白的違和感間,在神話、在地者的訪談與最後的場景之中,她也在找尋自己的答案。「大洪水」一段看似突兀,卻是串起一切的重要元素。開發帶來了破碎的海岸線,破碎的海岸線帶來分散各地的抗爭,遙遠的起源神話乍看之下與這些毫無關係,卻是分散在狹長的花東縱谷的原住民,在現實與傳統領域受到壓迫後,所得以串聯據守的共有文化。

甚至,這也不只是台灣原住民,而是許多文明共有的神話,它的當代意義很清楚,表明著人類必須謙卑地對待自然。這像是老生常談,但正是藉由影像創作,最後一幕反美麗灣的「千人牽手吼海洋」的活動,因而有了另一層意義:在隊伍中,不同族群身分、無分內外,彼此手牽手,跟隨著領唱而唱和──在道德勸說、理性說服均無效後,最終是「我們的」神話為每個願意守候環境的人提供了安頓與救贖,而其中,我想,自然也包括了拿著攝影機的藝術家在內。

延續著過往的創作,〈未竟之路〉的內容也與過去作品有所對應。在「行者」段落裡訪問的主角舒米‧如妮(Sumi Dungi),其實是〈婚紗:港口紀事〉(2009)裡的主角,「大洪水」的場景則來自於〈項鍊灣〉(2011),美麗灣的最後一幕則讓我強烈地聯想到〈項鍊灣〉最後的圍桌吃飯。原本在餐桌上,圓融了「外來者/在地者」的賓主關係,在〈未竟之路〉裡則化為領唱與唱和的音樂性關係。

比起前面的作品,〈未竟之路〉的節奏似乎多了一份急切與焦慮感。很顯然地,神話當然不會是解決問題的最終答案,安頓與救贖或許也只存在於作品裡,但是起源神話就像是「好久好久以前」──那是一種咒語,〈未竟之路〉不說故事,但是它像領唱一般,從根源召喚著敘事的可能,而「革命之路」最終也在此臨現。



The Shattered Coastline: Fan Hsiao-Lan’s The Revolutionary Road


(This article first appeared in Artist Magazine, 2013.10. I would like to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for the editorial work conducted by the magazine's editors.)


The Revolutionary Road is one of the works by Fan Hsiao Lan focused on the issue of land exploitation in the East Coast of Taiwan. The scenes through her lens are filled with a familiar vision, but shed an ambivalent sense of reality: Tourists in summer times walking around the town near Tofu Cape(Cape Bean Curd) where is full of tourism-oriented local business, in a local traditional shipwreck, a worker with brush-pen stood on a ladder in the back of a ship mediating the spacing of the characters of ship’s name, tourists again walk across the public arcade beside the beach which will soon become a privatized location of a tourist hotel, and people promenade along the beautiful coastline. People in those scenes play a part in determining the fate of the eastern coast and, obviously, with pros and cons for their presence–Fan’s photograph is never the art of mince, but is looking into the reality, recording but rejecting a pure narrative.

The protagonist who releases herself from the noisy and busy city life in western Taiwan every summer is also among the tourists. When she drives through the tunnel, the music in background, Chopin’s Nocturne No. 9, comparing to the final music, an aboriginal sonnet leading by Sedjam Takivan Kavunga at the harvest rite in Taitung, distinguishes her identity and reveals the internal distance from the eastern coast locals. Like the scenes mentioned before, this distance is neither apathetic, nor physical , but a honest self-disclosure: it is easy to catch the scenes of beautiful landscape and human’s destroy of nature, the real difficulty, however, lies in transcending from an outsider’s perspective on artists’ part, which also embodies the relationship between Taiwanese contemporary art and society.

In contrast to ambivalent images, the narrative is straight and almost talkative: The destructive exploitation of syndicates aimed at the niche market of tourists also run through the tunnel. The BOT project “The Theater of Mountain and Sea”(referred hereafter as “The Theater”) was changing locations from the Siwkulan estuary(the Estuary River) to southern Shihtiping harbor(Harbor Stone-Ladder Platform), and might finally institute at the Isozaki Elementary School(The Elementary School of “Rocks and Rugged Mountains Beside the Sea”), an abandoned school. Northing toward Shanyuan Bay(Bay Pine Forest, Taidung), the notorious Beauty Bay project is there, following six, seven, and twenty huger BOT projects. The exploitation of coasts is not news, just as the tourists on the beach. For a long time, the coast border of Taiwan has been eroded by so many concrete wave-barriers and result in the recession of coastline. Even for general tourists, free beaches are now less than 10 percent of the coasts in Taiwan.

Those BOT projects are schemed for the benefit of minor merchants, and thus raising local residents’ protests: under the protests of Cawi tribes and Makuta’ay tribes (or Harbor tribes), and due to the restriction of technology and budget, The Theater project is limited in the abandoned school. This is “the perfect ending among many imperfect ones,” compared to the Beauty Bay project which is still an ongoing issue under the escort of government corruption.

Facing so many exploitative projects, what could be said? Aside from narrating the background of the incidents, the artist, with the protagonist, is searching for her own answer in the dissonances between images and narratives, among the ancient myths, local interview and final protest scene. The “Great Flood” chapter seems abrupt in the work, but it is in fact the key element linking the other chapters: The exploitation caused a shattered coastline, and the coastline conjures protests scattered among eastern areas. After their survival and traditional regions are seriously threatened, the myth of great flood is the final stand-ground in cultural realm which connected those aboriginal protesters.

Moreover, this is not just an aboriginal, but an universal myth in many civilizations. Its contemporary meaning is lucid that human being must cohabit with nature with humility. This is an old-fashioned wisdom, but through Fan’s work, the protest against The Beauty Bay in Shanyuan Bay, is thus transcended into another significance: in the passage of protesters, different ethnic groups, outsiders and locals, holding each hand together, singing following the leading aboriginal singer—eventually, after the failures of emotional and rational persuasions to government, it is the myth which provides a standing place and salvation for every single person who is willing to protect the environment, and the artist with her camera, I think, is also among them.

The Revolutionary Road also corresponds to Fan Hsiao Lan’s other works. The local respondent Sumi Dungi in the ‘Walker’ chapter was in fact the protagonist in Makutaay─Not Only Her Story (2009). A place in the “Great Flood” chapter came from The Coast (2011), and the final protest chapter strongly reminds me of the ending of The Coast in which people sitting around a round table. The host/guests relationship conciliates the contrast in outsiders/locals relationship at the table, which is replaced by the musical relationship of leader singer and chorus in the final protest chapter in the present work.

Compared to the early works, The Revolutionary Road embeds a slight urgent and uneasy sense. Obviously, myth is not the final solution to the real predicament, the stand-ground and the salvation may only exist in the art work. But the myth of origin is just like the customary opening phrase ‘long time ago…” in many stories–it is a kind of invocation, although The Revolutionary Road want no story, but it conjures the genesis and possibility of a narrative. And just from it, the real revolutionary road is thus emerging.



Glossary:
Beauty Bay 美麗灣

East Coast of Taiwan 台灣東海岸

Fan Hsiao-Lan 范曉嵐

Isozaki Elementary School 磯崎國小

Shanyuan Bay 杉原灣

Shihtiping 石梯坪

Siwkulan estuary 秀姑巒河口

Taidung 台東

The Theater of Mountain and Sea 山海劇場

Tofu Cape 豆腐岬