「我的身體就是知覺的主體，我的身體是我理解世界的工具」( Merleau-Ponty)。作品中隱喻、花草、房間的物品、身體的局部，召喚著一種敏感的知覺，女性在意的是繁殖與愛，甚至是透視身體的X光；男性在意的是父權的象徵、世界的起源、媚美但處以廢墟或死亡的權力。在敢曝感性(Camp sensibility)的面具(或折子)的背後，扮裝的忽男忽女展現不定的自我，照盡了攝影家以劇場式與遊戲式解構了既有的性/別範疇。部分作品對語言的思考及戲謔，運用現成物的作品形成一種特別的指涉關係都屬一種新意。超現實的空間的「詭態」來自佛洛伊德字彙中一種對遭到壓抑的回歸，主體的焦慮。照片中的影像變形、真實與數位世界下的身體，已互補而成為一個完整的自我主體。少數幾件紀實性作品讓我們從他者關照到自身。
The Images‧Bodies‧Multi-gender of “100 Gender Photographs”
By Ya-Lun Wang, Associate Professor
Institute of Art, National Chen Kung University
Photos by Wei-How Lin
A breakthrough in Taiwan Women’s Art Association’s(WAA) appeal last year is to gather one hundred cross generation male and female artists and hold a contemporary art exhibition about gender issue, which is presented with photographic medium. In retrospect the last few years (2004, 2009 e.g.) WAA have hosted many quality conferences, art shows, and publications. This time WAA use specific medium in attempt to breakthrough female single agenda, redefine art medium, and uplift the gender statement battleground to the level of challenging gender differentiation and identification. The 100 Gender Photographs special exhibition highlights “100 Anniversary of International Women’s Day” and indeed reinforce the recognition and understanding of mainstream values and marginalized ethnic people, also work in concert to construct gender equality and dissemination. The curator Yiyi Wan has her expectations, “To portrait arguments, strategies and concepts about gender differences, including identification, body, lust, social group, and race.
Notwithstanding that the curator separated exhibitors into 50 male and 50 female artists, similar and different concepts and techniques are presented; for example, they share idea expression about body, symbols, surrealism, situational theater, dark room/digital photo retouching, and body without organs. Interestingly, they also show disparity of everyday life metaphor, food, inside female body, and the control over the sense of time and space. However, most artworks symbolize the theme of body, which illustrates one thing: body and face has become the staunch battlefield about gender statement and ethnic group. Susan Sontag also said, “Aiming your lens to yourself, you look not only for potential of camera formula contain, but also hunting inner world of yourself, or even interior reality from the bottom layer of sub-consciousness.” (“On Photography”).
“My body is the subject of perception(consciousness), my body is the tool of understanding(knowing) the world.”—Maurice Merleau-Ponty
The metaphor in the artwork, plants, objects in the room, part of the body are calling a sensitive consciousness. What women care about are reproduction and love, or even the X-ray that sees through the body; what men care about are the paternal symbol, the origin of the world, the power to rival but rendered to obsolete or death. Behind the mask or the booklet of “Camp Sensibility,” continuous transvesting reveals uncertain self, photographers go to every length to deconstruct the existent field of gender differences in the means of theater and play. Some of the artworks are creative to apply finished goods and form a special reference relationship towards the reflection and banter of the language. The surrealistic grotesque comes from Sigmund Freud, an oppressed regression of surreal space and subject anxiety. The image in the photo transforms with the body in reality and digital world, which complement each other and become an integral self entity. A few documentary artworks help us see ourselves from others.
The main scheme of the exhibition is to examine self and others, the interdependent contradictory relationship and cross shaping problems among all kinds of identity, nevertheless, self-consciousness to some extend gives it a sort of still-hold oriental thinking of survival aesthetics. When it comes to the attack on truth and reality of mainstream values, (though unlike foreign artists’ constant thrilling performances) they still leave an alternative interpretation to the viewers. Early in 1980s, given Jacques Derrida urged to promote “feminine study” to an organization and believed that it would not be sustainable if feminine study did not deconstruct from the philosophical frame of concepts such as subject, self, consciousness, soul and body. However, after the show, we still can give them a big round applause but cannot help thinking about the strategies and ideals to construct gender and rights equality conducted by WAA. What comes next is how to transcend the individual dilemma and limitations of both sexes.
Translated by Sylvia Chang