K 的房間——關於世界的創造與毀滅

K’s room–the creation and destruction of the world

 

2020 / 單頻道有聲錄像、文件、裝置物件 / 15分鐘

2020 / single channel video, documents, objects installation / 15 mins

 

一個房間,一本英文文法書,一位阿茲海默症老人。當記憶的沙漏快要流光時,最後的堆積會是什麼?

此作以柯旗化先生之生命歷程為參考文本,建構一位患有阿茲海默症的前政治犯老人,在生命最後所居住的房間。這個房間是冷戰時期國民黨政府為求站穩「反共」地位,而向西方世界展示的「模範監獄」;是自六O年代起,英語學習暢銷書《新英文法》的編輯室;是《新英文法》的作者、同時也是被關押的政治犯柯旗化,向孩子謊稱自己「在美國工作」的他方。

房間像是一則巨大的隱喻,關於國家與個人、邊界與階級。柯旗化關押在獄中的期間,持續不斷進行《新英文法》的增修,同時回覆讀者來信、解答英文相關問題。而在獄外,《新英文法》也是台灣六O、七O年代成長的青年,學習英文、建構自己的「美國夢」、通往「新世界」的入口。這件作品,試圖從《新英文法》的「作者」與「讀者」兩種角度,將綠島與美國的影像疊合,重新發現關於「新生」與「新大陸」之間,一種互相抗衡、牽制、拉扯的鏡像關係。此外,也透過與讀者重新談論《新英文法》的學習經驗,藉以輻射出海島青年臉龐的政治輪廓,攫取他們在戒嚴記憶的沙漏中,流下來的點點滴滴。

One room, one English grammar book, and one old man with Alzheimer’s disease—when the hourglass of memory is about to drop its last speck of sand, what will be accumulated and left in the end?

The work is based on the life journey of Mr. KE Qi-Hua, and constructs the room inhabited by a senior ex-political criminal diagnosed with Alzheimer before the final days of his life. This room serves as the “model prison,” built by the Kuomintang regime during the Cold War to demonstrate to the Western world. Moreover, it was also the editor’s office for the best-selling English learning book since the 60s, New English Grammar, as well as the prison cell of the book’s author, KE Qi-Hua—an imprisoned political criminal, who was forced to lie to his children that he was “working in the US.”

In the work, the room becomes an encompassing metaphor about nation and individual as well as border and class. During his imprisonment, KE continued revising New English Grammar and answering readers’ letters and English-related questions. In the world outside the prison, New English Grammar was an efficient instrument for Taiwanese youths growing up in the 60s and 70s to learn English, build their “American dreams” and venture into the “new world.” The work adopts two perspectives – the “author” and the “reader” of New English Grammar –and overlaps the image of Green Island and the US to rediscover the mirroring relationship informed by the mutual resistance, checks and balances, and continuous struggles between “the new life” and “the new continent.” Meanwhile, it radiates and maps out the political contour of youths living on this island through readers’ discussion about their learning experience using New English Grammar, trying to capture the bits and pieces that have sifted through the hourglass of memory about the period of martial law.

 

感謝名單 Special Thanks to

柯蔡阿李 KO TSAI A-LI / 柯志明 KO CHIH-MING / 許如華 HSU JU-HUA / 胡淑雯 HU SHU-WEN / 蔡侑蓉 TSAI YU-JUNG / 潘濘濬 PAN NING-JUI / 潘銘鍠 PAN MING- HUANG / 廖秋景 LIAO CHIU-CHING / 史德坌 SHIH TE-PEN / 陳碧桃 CHEN PI-TAO / 陳昭賓 CHEN CHAO-PIN / 思嘎亞.曦谷 Skaya SIKU / 錢國斌 CHIEN KUO-PIN / 林奎妙 LIN Kuei-Miao

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