〈記憶.邊緣〉北藝大特展

Remembrance & Marginalization: the TNUA Special Exhibition

北藝大特展以「記憶.邊緣」為創作主題,作品著眼於綠島曾作為囚禁政治犯之監獄島的歷史,回應台灣這段威權統治歷史和綠島作為離島的地理位置所交織出的多重「主流—邊緣」關係,試圖翻轉既有思維、重畫座標,反思臺灣社會該如何面對/記憶這段歷史,並進而連結到當代之民主課題。

 

〈白色訓導〉從大處著手,以新媒體藝術裝置回應在極權規訓下的人的境況,利用光與黑暗的動態對比、機械式復返與磨蝕,試圖象徵、詮釋個體在巨大權力體制操弄裡,獨特性的被抹除危機,並帶出白色恐怖時期人民被監看、被訓導的表面服從與暗中逸逃的可能。

 

〈被〉延續著這樣的關懷,聚焦於壓迫體制下最邊緣的抵抗—白色恐怖政治受難者獨處時腦中的呢喃,透過將「被」字改編入他們遺留下的家書/遺書,將語音檔置於傷痕累累的雲朵裝置藝術中強迫聆聽,被主流噤聲的無奈終於得以現身,控訴著持續隱暱的加害體制。

 

〈南國之霓〉則透過對左派版畫經典作品的挪用拆解,以鏡像方式併置當代影像,讓經歷相近暴力與顛沛的邊緣人民,得以跨越不同時空、不同意識形態,見證彼此的苦難;拆解再製的手法同時質問了藝術再現事件的侷限性—是提供了歷史見證?抑或是總無可避免地被主流挪用為政治宣傳工具?

 

〈我在綠島遇見新生〉以綠島人民對政治受難者印象的口述資料為文本,搭配現況的踏查採集和互動工作坊的設計,進行圖文繪本創作,讓旁觀者成為敘事主體,用具有溫度的小故事,拼湊出屬於綠島居民對政治監獄島的庶民記憶。

 

〈ㄉㄧㄥ.WATCH〉運用劇場沉浸式裝置,讓觀者置身於全面監控的時代荒謬中,見證極權暴力宰制下無所畏懼的真實情愛,並一窺白色盜火者們「有體有魂」、紛雜而多元的面貌,認識他們的理想、掙扎與有限的能動性。

 

邊緣總是被主流霸權所定義;而選擇記憶邊緣、訴說邊緣,是對霸權式「國族的記憶」的抵抗,也因此,座標重新畫定,不在於建立另一種敘事取而代之,而更希望能打破認同敘事的單一性,同時質問/反思每一次再現所可能鞏固的主流敘事,維持藝術的批判力量,試圖透過呈現更多元的光譜、更細膩的人的故事,將焦點放回每一個獨特個體在集權宰制下真實的情感、理想、與扎掙,在國家機構的主流敘事之外,為綠島曾作為政治監獄島的記憶,提供更豐富、更當代、也更栩栩如生的想像。

Taking “remembrance and marginalization” as the main theme, this special exhibition features the history of Green Island as an exile colony for political prisoners of Taiwan during the martial law period. It responds to the island’s entangled “mainstream-marginal” relations intersected by Taiwan’s authoritarian past and this outlying island’s geographical location. More specific, this exhibition aims to reverse the stereotypical thinking, redraw ideational coordinates, and reconsider how the Taiwanese society can confront/remember this piece of history, thereby addressing the issues concerning contemporary democracy.

“White Discipline” in forms of media installations responds to the human condition under totalitarian discipline from a Macro-perspective. By virtue of the dynamic contrast between light and darkness as well as the rigid mechanism of repetition and abrasion, this work tries not only to visualize and interpret the survival crisis of individuals’ uniqueness under the manipulation of the overwhelming power system, but also to explore the possibility for people to break free from the monitored and disciplined obedience during the White Terror.

Following similar concerns, “-ed” focus on the most marginal resistance under the oppressive system—the self-referential thoughts crossing the White Terror victims’ minds when they were incarcerated alone. By inserting the affix “-ed” to the verbs in victims’ home letters, it changes their sentences into past passive tense, which in turn makes their resignation visible. The work converts those documents into voice files placed inside a cloud-shaped art installation wrapped with layers of wire netting, urging the visitors to listen. By so doing, those helplessly muted marginal voices and thus unheard by the mainstream finally become appearing as well as accuse of the still hidden system of the state-perpetration.

Appropriating and deconstructing the classic left-wing woodcut prints, “The Secondary Rainbow in the South” juxtaposes contemporary images in the form of reflection, which enables the marginalized people who share similar experiences of violence and turbulence to travel through space-time, transcend ideological confines, and witness one another’s sufferings. Taking the covers and traces of the classic works but replacing with the contemporary neglected images of figures with similar gestures, this print work attempts to not only question the limitations of seeing art works as representation or testimony to historical events but also invite visitors to reflect on the old visionary wish that all people from Taiwan and China may walk on the southern rainbow towards each other proposed by the artists of the classic left-wing woodcut prints.

“Meeting the freshmen at Green Island” engages in the creation of picture books based on Green Island residents’ oral testimonies about the political prisoners at the island in the past. In so doing, it transforms usual bystanders into the subjects of the narrative. It is a picture book creation project involving residents’ oral testimonies, field survey, interactive workshop design, and fictional heartwarming short stories from children’s perspectives, which attempts to conjure up those magic memories of the children about this exile colony in the pact and to reimagine the space of a political prison at present.

Harnessing the power of an immersive theatrical installation, “D-i-n-g.Watch!” places the spectators in the epochal absurdity of total surveillance and offers them a glimpse of the diverse features and spirits of the political dissidents during the White Terror. By presenting a broad political spectrum of the political dissidents and their heart-touching stories, this work allows the spectators to go beyond stereotype mainstream narratives of political victims and to understand and witness their real ideals, struggles, limited agency, and the fearless love under the oppressive time.

The marginality is always defined by the mainstream hegemony. The choice of remembering and telling stories of the marginality counts as a form of resistance against the hegemonic “national memories.” Accordingly, the purpose of redrawing ideational coordinates is not so much to replace one narrative with another as to shatter the unity of identity narratives. Meanwhile, it questions/cogitates on the mainstream narrative consolidated by each representation, insofar as to maintain the critical power of arts. Covering a broad spectrum and recounting heart-touching stories of people, this exhibition shines a spotlight on the genuine emotions, aspirations and struggles of sui generis individuals as the victims of the totalitarian regime, thereby igniting an imagination beyond the mainstream narrative constructed by the state apparatus, a more fertile, vivid and contemporary imagination about the memories of Green Island as an exile colony for political dissidents.