艺术家到底在如何思考？我们诚恳地希望以机构的角色推动多元化的叙述和讨论，同时避免用空洞的的言辞和框架来奴役艺术家。我们联系了过往与中间美术馆合作过的艺术创作者和从业者们，尤其是那些因为疫情下亦实亦虚的城墙反而让我们更加牵挂的人们。这半年来，作为最早受到疫情情影响的国人，眼见一轮又一轮相似的情形在世界各地一次又一次地发生。但时至今日，疫情给我们的普遍感受也许是，面对同一个病毒所引发的政策与对策千差万别。每个区域/国家/群体/个人所采取的措施是如此不同，戴口罩或不戴口罩，居家或出街，停摆休息或维持工作，积极防控或群体免疫。也许现在还太早去评估这些不同措施和手段对未来造成的影响。但如果我们对外面世界的理解只停留在疫情数据与政治宣讲，那我们也许永远无法互相对话和理解。我们向中间美术馆的朋友们发出一封邮件问候，并给他们提供一个没有时间压迫的，可以分享的交流空间。我们尝试不提供不切实际的要求，以自愿与平等沟通的方式，让他们自由发声。由此，我们谦虚地推出“中间声音”(Echoes Inside-Out)栏目单元“中间美术馆的朋友们” (Inside-Out and Friends)，与读者和业内同仁分享，欢迎批评。
Beijing Inside-Out Museum Working from Home July 2, 2020
From IOAM with love. We are writing to you on behalf of our museum, and we hope you and your family and friends are healthy and safe during this pandemic. Until what has happened in 2020, we have taken for granted a world in which we enjoy ever increasing mobility and movement. The fact that you came all the way to Beijing to share your passion and practice with us becomes more precious than ever before. Your residency ended a while ago, but you are always a part of the IOAM. No matter where you are in this time of uncertainties and difficulties, you are not alone. We are in solidarity with you.
What’s up with IOAM? In Beijing, we are encountering the second wave of COVID-19. Our museum was closed in February, reopened in May, and closed again at the end of June. Meanwhile, we are striving, rethinking, experimenting, and relearning, adapting ourselves to the unpredictable circumstances. Luckily, we managed to open a new exhibition An Impulse to Turn in early June featuring works that include archives or historical themes. We published an anthology entitled China As An Issue and the exhibition catalogue of Dance Only Exists When It is Performed: Yvonne Rainer and Wen Hui. As our physical museum space becomes unavailable, we have been exploring different ways through virtual platforms, such as collaboration with independent self-medias, hosting online lectures, artist conversations, and audio clips.
What’s up with you? Curators are caretakers, and we care not only for art, but artists too. As we have been re-examining art, space, and curation from the perspective of the museum, we would also love to know from your side. We wonder if you would be willing to share some of your thoughts to Chinese audiences and friends in this unprecedented time. We can help to make the content bilingual if necessary, and share it on our social media platforms Weibo, Wechat, and Instagram. It can be reflections, critics, stories in any format, be it text, image, audio, video etc. If you would like to be included, please let us know and we hope to publish the content online later this year.
We look forward to hearing from you, thank you!
Wenlong Huang and Yusi Liu Beijing Inside-Out Museum
最近在美国引发的抗议示威是从5月26日开始的，就在乔治·弗洛伊德之死的第二天。没有携带任何武器的46岁非裔男子弗洛伊德，在明尼苏达州其他警察的注视下，被一名警察用膝盖顶住脖子超过8分钟后死亡。新闻和互联网随即曝光了事发录像中警方的残忍行径，以及更多无辜非裔枉死的事件，例如警方私闯民宅枪杀了在睡梦中的26岁非裔女性布伦娜·泰勒（Breonna Taylor）；警察因“可疑”为由在马路上拦住并袭击了23岁的非裔男性伊利亚·麦克莱恩（Elijah McClain），最终麦克莱恩因被过量注射氯胺酮在医院脑死亡。当然，还有无数其他类似遭遇的人。
我的绘画创作是非常个人的，并与我的个人经验和所思所梦息息相关。虽然对我来说绘画仍然是一种宣泄的必要行为，但我认为我的创作并不是现在人们需要看到的。近期，我致力于倾听和学习一些非裔艺术家和作者的作品，比如罗娜·辛普森（Lorna Simpson），亚瑟·贾法（Arthur Jafa），克劳迪娅·兰金（Claudia Rankine），阿德里安·布兰登（Adrian Brandon），基思·华盛（Keith Washingtong），凯里·詹姆斯·马歇尔（Kerry James Marshall）和卡莉达·罗尔斯（Calida Rawles）。摒弃并消除制度上的种族主义的旧识需要终身的弥补和赔偿，但是倾听非裔人的声音是免费的。
https://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2020/know-their-names/index.html https://www.hrc.org/resources/violence-against-the-trans-and-gender-non-conforming-community-in-2020 因版权问题，我们无法在此分享艾米丽提供的信中所提及的非裔艺术家和作者的作品图片，链接如下。罗娜·辛普森(Lorna Simpson):https://www.icaboston.org/exhibitions/we-wanted-revolution-black-radical-women-1965–85; 亚瑟·贾法(Arthur Jafa):https://www.moca.org/exhibition/arthur-jafa-love-is-the-message-the-message-is-death; 克劳迪娅·兰金(Claudia Rankine):https://www.arts.gov/national-initiatives/nea-big-read/citizen-an-american-lyric; 阿德里安·布兰登(Adrian Brandon):https://www.adrianbrandon.com/stolen; 基思·华盛(Keith Washington):https://www.keithmorriswashington.com/within-our-gates; 凯里·詹姆斯·马歇尔(Kerry James Marshall):https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/668330;卡莉达·罗尔斯(Calida Rawles):https://www.calidagarciarawles.com/。
I would first like to acknowledge how grateful I am to have been able to visit the IOAM in Beijing late in 2019. It truly felt like my first step into a career, not to mention an incredible experience filled with learning, listening and absorbing a place entirely new to me. A place that welcomed me, nurtured my interests, and introduced me to new friends. I feel lucky to have this experience when I did, knowing now the effects of the ensuing pandemic.
In my state in the U.S., stay-at-home orders began in March. Several employees had to fight for their businesses to close in the interest of their safety. Myself, like many others, began the learning process of unemployment and financial stress. Daily life became brand new and somehow still unpredictable in our mundane state of constant waiting. My mother recalls the first time she needed to leave the house for groceries–usually my father’s job but he remained at home, immunocompromised. The fear she felt in everyone’s masked face was a new fear. One she hadn’t known or felt before, and when she returned to her car and removed her mask she recalls sobbing without knowing why.
Recent protests in the U.S. began May 26th, the day after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man who was killed during an arrest after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 8 minutes while other Minneapolis officers looked on. The news and internet exploded with footage of police brutality and ignored stories of innocent black lives lost. Other names became icons for the movement such as Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old black woman shot multiple times while she lay sleeping in her home by police during an illegal, unannounced home-raid; and Elijah McClain, an unarmed 23-year-old black man known for playing his violin for shelter animals, was attacked by police on his walk home for fitting a suspicious description and was eventually injected with ketamine, causing him to pass away days later in the hospital, declared brain-dead from the lethal dose. And, of course, there are countless other names.
The Black Lives Matter movement has been heard in the popular news since 2014, when 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot with his hands up in my home state. Now, it thrives in the midst of a global pandemic, forcing us to look at our priorities and prompting the life-long unlearning Americans must do in order to understand centuries of the racism that built our country. However, I have never seen the kind of division I see now. The volume of voices that refuse to address their hatred grows. The leader of my country spreads this hate, using racism and misogyny as an in with a divided country. Since this June, at least 5 black trans women have been murdered in the U.S. Everyday it seems some new piece of information arises to worsen our fears. What do we do with the feelings of insecurity and despair while we remain distanced? How do we prioritize completely conflicting issues? How do we show solidarity and confidence behind walls?
As both an artist and a person, it is easy to dissolve into a cycle of fear and guilt. One thing that has been ingrained in me is that artists are meant to understand and respond to social or political change. We often look to past artists’ work as a way to connect with historical change or revolution–to visualize voices unheard or gain perspective on something we weren’t close enough to see ourselves. Thus, an intense pressure arises in the artist to not only create work about desperate times, but to fully understand them. To be able to communicate an intensely complicated and ever changing present. To think of your work outside of the sociopolitical bubble you find yourself in becomes an action shrouded in guilt. How can I make work like this while people suffer? Is what I’m doing calling attention to voices needing to be heard?
Then, of course, failure in your art becomes a failure to advocate.
The pressure involved with artistic stasis or failure during global lockdown and racial revolution leaks beyond painting and into moments of rest–knowing it is a privilege to rest at all.
My work as a painter is extremely personal, delving into my own experiences, headspace, and dreamspaces. While it is still a cathartic and necessary action for me, I’ve decided that my kind of artwork may not be what people need to see right now. More recently, I’ve dedicated time to listen and learn from the work of black artists and writers. Lately, Lorna Simpson, Arthur Jafa, Claudia Rankine, Adrian Brandon, Keith Washington, Kerry James Marshall and Calida Rawles. Unlearning institutional racism will take an eternity of reparations, but listening to black voices is free.
With this at the forefront of my mind, and with the COVID-19 pandemic having no foreseeable end in the U.S., I’m content in myself to say that I don’t have all the answers or even all the questions right now. I am still absorbing, thinking, and listening until we all get there together. It may be difficult to find hope when so much isolation and digital heaviness consumes our lives. Luckily, there is an incredible amount of action happening. While I still have seen my nation so divided, I have also seen outpourings of love–artwork, songs, violin vigils, powerful speeches, strong voices. Art is a powerful tool for information as much as it is for hope–something I’ve been able to enjoy once finally stepping away from myself.
Emily Docheff 07.23.2020