20 2008

英语阅读 Sci-fi writer M John Harrison on Tate Modern’s new Turbine Hall show

Published by at 20:57 under 英语阅读

正在伦敦泰特现代艺术馆举办的“轮机房展览”以“2058年世界末日”为题材。科幻小说作家 M John Harrison 作了一番专业作者的评述。

Another view: Sci-fi writer M John Harrison on Tate Modern’s new Turbine Hall show
M John Harrison
The Guardian,
Monday October 20 2008

It felt as if I had walked into a dull replay of a JG Ballard short story. Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall is lined with bunk beds, the beds are scattered with science-fiction novels, and a screen at the far end of the hall plays excerpts from sci-fi and experimental films.

I thought the work – TH.2058, by the French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster – was rather feeble, to be honest. It includes a “mission statement” on the wall that creates the atmosphere of a futuristic refuge shelter much more effectively than the exhibition itself. I like to feel threatened by installation art. In the past, I’ve come out of Tate Modern shaking my fingers as if they’ve been burnt, but that wasn’t happening here.

Is it fair to call TH.2058 science fiction? I don’t think so. Disasters are about anxiety, and anxiety operates wholly in the present – so disaster stories are allegories for our present anxieties. They have a contradictory attitude to society: they ask, “What would we do if society went away?” and, “My God, why won’t it go away?” There’s a sexy, glamorous thrill you get from a disaster story if it works. Gonzalez-Foerster’s doesn’t, because it feels like nothing more than the sum of its references.

It occurred to me that the biggest disaster in that room is the disaster for art. TH.2058 seems to finalise the hollowing-out of everything into the shallowest of semiotics. Foerster’s reading list is more powerful and important than her installation. Every one of the books on those bunk beds will give you a frisson that you don’t get from the show, so you would be as well just reading them for yourself.

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