哪儿凉快，哪待着去 | Just Stay In The Cold
童昆鸟 Tong Kunniao
贾斯汀 波莱拉 Justin Polera | 文
童昆鸟所关注的，是繁杂的社会结构对于个体的地位与空间的限制。他本次的展览“哪儿凉快，哪待着去” 意图为所有的外来者划定一个空间；同时，就像他大多数严肃的系列作品一样，是一场荒诞的戏谑。展览的标题让人联想到童昆鸟的某场行为，在工作室附近污染严重的湖面上，独自乘着一个临时搭建的木筏，伴随他的，是塑料人偶腿、圣经，木质十字架和玩具青蛙。童昆鸟，艺术家、诗人、清道夫、坏孩子、叛逆者、矛盾的看客，在官方认可的艺术创作者与反禁锢的抵抗者身份之间不断摇摆。他是一个“黄金平衡”的大师，这个概念同时出现在古希腊与古代中国。在他的作品中所发现的平衡总是不确定的，像是一件亚历山大.考尔德 (Alexander Calder) 被过度消费和晚期资本主义的垃圾弄病了一样。
Tong Kunniao is concerned with the multitude of social structures that confine the individual subject to his place in society. Delimiting a space for outsiders, the title of his current exhibtion Just Stay In The Cold refers to the Chinese phrase “哪凉快，哪呆着去” (literally “go where it’s cool”), or “go jump in the lake” and like almost everything else that is desperately serious in his work, this is also a absurd pran. The words recall the image of the artist floating on a make-shift raft alone but accompanied by mannequin legs companion, a bible, a wooden cross, a toy frog, on the overly polluted lake near his home. This image of Tong – himself a flâneur, poet, scavenger, bad boy, rebel, ambivalent spectator, shows him constantly oscillating between an official role as a state sanctioned artist and role as resistor of confinement. He is a master of the “golden balance” an idea that arose simultaneously in ancient Greece and ancient China. The balance found in his work is always precarious, as if a standing Alexander Calder became sick with the garbage bucket of over consumption and late capitalism.
被美国和欧洲的新前卫精神分析所吸引，他的作品在似乎永无止境的生产中，建立了永恒。让人联想起了60年代随着朋克运动而兴起的新嘈杂艺术 (New Cacophony)，这些艺术家们现在在做着集合艺术 (assemblage) 所附着的拼装 (bricolage)，无限的延展，被紧紧塞满的，肉体的狂欢；破产百货公司的残骸，一部把我们全都扔进疯人院的灾难片。
His work is fascinated by the three troupes of the American and European neo-avant-garde psychoanalysis and psychopathy in the seeming unending supply of new production built to last forever. It recalls the New Cacophony artists of the 1960 that arose with Punk movements, but now making assemblage eating bricolege, sprawling infinites, jam-packed, carnal carnivals, the debris of a bankrupt department store, a disaster film throwing us all into the madhouse.
展览的核心来自他依然在创作中的 "平衡鸟 “系列，这些作品如同他私人的图腾，也是他与动物世界间的共鸣。这一幅幅偏执的自画像，封装了每一天微小的劫难，每一场个体的狂躁或恐慌；在信息过载的时代下，废墟被创造出来以对抗废墟；或者更为准确的说，这是一种“摇摆”的行为，指的是徘徊在毁灭边缘的无望中，仍不断憧憬着平衡。展览中的作品围绕着“此在” (Dasein)与“抛弃” (Geworfenheit)，构建了一种召唤与回应。这组概念由海德格尔 (Martin Heidegger) 所提出的，他在绝望之中目睹我们的存在被任意地抛掷于动荡之中。
The central works in the exhibition are from his ongoing series of “Balancing Bird” or “Bird Infinity” which are totems and taboos of himself as well as his empathic relation to the animal world. These are paranoid self-portraits, encapsulating the havoc of everyday life, individual mania or panic, in the information overload, ruins are created to counteract ruins - or more precisely the action of “teetering”, a term that refers to an constant hope for equilibrium in hopelessness. Teetering on the edge of destruction, these works structure a call and response, around the notions of Dasein [existence] and Geworfenheit [thrownness]. A concept introduced by Martin Heidegger who in his despair saw us all in a state of “thrownness” into the arbitrary and erratic aspects of our existence.
Each bird recalls an encounter with another, in one for example a memory of the street sweeper, one central work in the exhibition titled “Mop Boxer” recalls the other and the self simultaneously. Observing a humble street sweeper in his home of Beijing Tong projects the possibility onto the strong physique of this stranger, he is forever confined to his duty as a cleaner but he could have been a prize fighter. One senses Tong in all these balancing birds, they are self-portraits of him he a flâneur of contemporary China. Unlike 19th century France, his wandering is not from the luxury of time given by his urban affluence “a man of leisure” detached, he is given a duty to roam but only as far as he is allowed, in essence he is confined to a single place in society which is the Punktum or Point on which the beaks of the birds balance. Recalling also the toy that is used to teach children physics a bird that balances in the tip of a finger - the center of mass and gravity in the beak so it seems to magically float. Again drawing a line to Ancient Greece, which suggest a mathematical place in the solar system as Archimedes shows center of mass in celestial bodies orbiting.
Firmly ensconced within the post-medium condition, Tong’s work extends beyond formal boundaries to encompass sculpture, performance, painting, photography, and poetry – sometimes even within the parameters of a single work. Tong Kunniao makes use of products of our throwaway society referring to the modernist mode of the bricolager, working with whatever is left over on hand. For him, the endless supply of objects that end up in resale shops, flea markets, and dumpsters form a substructure for the semiotics of the built world. He describes this seemingly limitless flow of consumer goods as a “bad infinity” not only a capitalist garbage bucket but also the liminal state of Chinese economic “'reform and opening-up' that started in 1978. His role is as a scatological scavenger who performatively explores the depths of to both “annihilate, illuminate” for him it is always both/and. In his sensual and obstinate objects we associatively experience the special traces and stories found or imagined in his scavenged materials—and what they reveal about a city and its people. Equipment and small machines brought from China serve as a framework for the new mixed media works. In the interplay of kinetic experiment, contemporary Wunderkammer (Cabinet of curiosities) and installation art, Tong creates a re-enchantment of our material world and challenges the viewer to rethink our consumption-driven value system in a playful way, and thus a very strong destructive imperative but also reconstructive.
这些作品重新拥抱了“孩童，他者与疯子”的伟大的现代主义三重奏，在此基础上又加入了原生艺术（Art Brut）所探讨的“常人”（common man），也就是那种潦倒的法外之徒。艺术家对父亲的描绘也许正是应证了最后所提到的这类概念。他的父亲只是一个普通人，因为被指控大量持有枪械（也许是一场诬告），在文革期间被贴上罪犯的标签，在监狱中度过了漫长的十年。这是一个对几代人都有着持久影响的，一个家庭的悲剧。这种拉冈（Jacques Lacan）式“真实”（the Real）的创伤，一直困在童昆鸟的记忆中。因而与平衡鸟一起出现的，还有代指武器的符号，尤其是他父亲的步枪。现在，艺术家将枪管弯曲，成为枪尖上那只投映了他自我的鸟所停留的支架。这些作品既是对父亲纪念，也是童昆鸟所谓的“疗愈机器”。
The works re-embrace the great Modernist trio of “the child, the other, and the insane” to which he adds what the Art Brut called “common man,” which is kind of destitute outlaw. This last troupe for the artist is embodied by his father, he was a common supporter of the Communist party and accused (perhaps wrongfully) of bearing weapons. He spent 10 years in prison as a labeled criminal during the cultural revolution a family trauma that has had lasting impact over the generations. A trauma of the Lacanian “real” that has been trapped in his memories. Along with the balancing birds is a recurring motif of weaponry particularly the rifles that his father had. Here the artist bends the rifle barrel up, castrating it into importance, instead it becomes a holder of the bird at its tip a self-portrait of the artist himself. These works are simultaneously memorials to his father and what he calls “healing machines”.
The two parts of Tong Kunniao’s exhibition each foreground the fragility of equilibrium, playing upon the precarity of categorical distinctions related to value, use, and destruction as well as the myriad balancing acts that we encounter in our daily lives: finding balance within the self, within one's community, and with the other. As the artist himself notes, “the play of human existence revolves around the possibility of being thrown in the world, of being abandoned. We are ‘thrown’ into the world, and we have to deal with what is thrown at us. “ Following this motto, the second chapter of the exhibition functions as a reconfiguration and expansion of the works and concepts introduced in the first chapter—highlighting the elemental instability of life in a rapidly changing world.