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Beyond the Cover 封面以外

「疏離」和「離地」:Bertolt Brecht《War Primer》/Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin 《War Primer 2》⁣

「疏離」和「離地」:Bertolt Brecht《War Primer》/Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin 《War Primer 2》⁣
「九一一」,原來已差不多廿周年了,每年為恐襲死難者的悼念活動如舊舉行,但當今美國新冠疫情下死亡人數已大大超越了恐襲的死亡人數時,難免有點失焦,或許會有更多人籍機反思那場差點把美國人拖下泥沼的阿庫汗反恐戰爭,這場戰爭美國打了18年,險些不能自拔,差點要重蹈越戰的慘痛回憶。⁣

著名德國左翼詩人、劇作家布萊希特(Bertolt Brecht)於1955年發行了一本名為《War Primer》(戰爭讀本)的作品,這本來打算在二次世界大戰期間出版卻未果的圖文集,不是去為人類文明史上死傷最慘重的戰爭慘況作墓誌銘,而是喚醒觀者看清戰爭的荒誕。書中圖片在他戰時流亡期間搜集得來,有來自主流新聞刊物、報紙,也有些是來自國家的宣傳機器,抽離了原來的語境,配上他作的「四行詩」,重新整合成為嶄新的圖文檔案。他所配搭的詩句文字往往不具說明性,甚至會覺得是風馬牛不相及,打破文字和圖片相互依存的天性。好些時候文字甚至是跟圖像打對台,譏諷其愚昧浮淺。書名「讀本」之名其實是帶著諷刺性,作者在希望反思戰爭的殘酷時,也是暗示單純依賴圖像了解歷史的不足。

中學時作為戲劇迷的筆者,對於布萊希特的 「史詩劇場」(epic theatre)觀念非常著迷,他所推崇的「疏離」效應(alienation),往往叫人措手不及,例如可以「無厘頭」的安插樂隊在台上詠唱、刻意曝露後台空間細節等等,他訴諸的的種種手段其實就是要你把情感短路,將快要介入劇情的同理心剎停,迫使觀眾主動做審美經驗,從以產生對劇作涵意的批判性。《War Primer》其實是秉承其戲劇理念,以「另類檔案」形式去防止讀者情緒過於共鳴,鼓勵思辯,對我而言這種思路一直影響著自己的創作之中。⁣

2013年英國攝影創作團隊 Adam Broomberg & Oliver Chanarin,利用此書作二次創作成為《War Primer 2》,榮獲當年的德意志交易所攝影獎。他們遵循1955年原版的頁面佈局,保留布萊希特的四行詩,覆蓋上在網上搜羅得來的反恐戰爭圖像,聰明地闡述戰爭本質萬變不離其宗,把 history repeats itself 老調新唱。Broomberg & Chanarin 一方面繼承了那份疏離,冷眼旁觀去批評這場反恐戰爭,其實某程度上也是「借力打力」,對這種影像蒙太奇多加一層諷刺,他們在一個訪問中都覺得這本書對布萊希特而言是種背叛多過致敬,因為這份背叛其實是對布萊希特批判思維的一份尊重。⁣

讀這兩本所謂「讀本」其實有點跟今天香港社會大氣候反其道而行。當下每天面對著巨量圖像埋身,如果叫人去嘗試「疏離」應對隨時會被誤會為鼓勵「離地」,會給人罵死。這些圖像幾乎大部份以布萊希特常常批判的「亞里士多德式」(Aristotelian)劇場形式呈現,也就是說觀眾為戲劇所吸引,將幻想和現實的差別消失的催眠效果,而形成一個共同的心理狀態、共同的人格,這就是戲劇所造成的幻覺,從而追求精神洗滌的效果,浸吟其中。「疏離」其實不難,難在很多時自己其實進入了「劇場」模式卻不自覺。⁣

說到底這只是一篇小小攝影書的簡評,沒有空間去多闡述理論,最重要的是布萊希特這類超級「左膠」今天已沒有太多的市場,講多氣。⁣

噢,話多了。⁣

𝐃𝐒⁣


《War Primer 2》: https://store.thesaltyard.hk/products/war-primer-2
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再起我新門牆:Damian Heinisch 《45》⁣⁣⁣

再起我新門牆:Damian Heinisch 《45》⁣⁣⁣
「走,定唔走?」⁣⁣⁣
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相信是不少香港人近來相互問及,又或是經常自問自答的問題。想離開、要離開或被離開,從來是人類不可或缺的宿命。⁣⁣⁣
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現居於挪威奧斯陸的 Damian Heinisch 原籍波蘭,祖父在 1945 年冬天,在二次世界大戰剛結束後,被蘇軍強迫從他家鄉波蘭城市格利維采(Gliwice)用運載牲口的火車押送到烏克蘭的德巴爾切夫(Debaltsevo)的勞改營,最後客死異鄉。1978 年他父親為了追求嚮往的自由生活,幸運地獲得批文,從當時早已是共產鐵幕國家的波蘭,舉家乘坐火車移居到民主國家西德,那年父親45歲。⁣⁣⁣
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到2013年,Heinisch 自己也45 歲了,受到感召決定去重踏祖父人生最後的旅程,花了十三天坐火車到達烏克蘭,找回了埋葬了祖父的無名塚,為他獻上一束鮮花。八個月後,俄羅斯吞併克里米亞觸發起「烏克蘭革命」,亂世再臨。「45」 這個數字好像成了他家族的命運密碼。⁣⁣⁣
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《45》是 2020 年英國攝影集出版社 MACK 的 First Book Award 得獎作品,通常這類新人獎的獲獎作品,往往強調一些出人意表的點子,以「撚橋」來吸引眼球,很少會在情感上會這麼內斂沉澱。此書視覺上如以無添加的客觀描述,其實只是一張張從車廂窗戶外望的景觀畫面,僅此而已。這些景觀經過大幅剪栽,已經抽離了本身的語境,加上35毫米菲林經過擴大的粗微粒,變得像記憶本身一樣碎片化。⁣⁣⁣
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也許看來平平無奇,但這些窗外的光影流轉帶來的遐想,其實比其景觀本身更重要,叫我想起普魯斯特的名句:「真正的發現之旅不在於尋求新的風景,而在於擁有新的視角。」(The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.)⁣⁣⁣
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你可以把《45》看成一本充滿鄉愁的旅行日誌,但其實更多的是展露作者對其家族顛沛流離的人生的一份無奈。我拒絕以nostalgia的方向作演譯,是因為會麻醉了對建立美好新生活的動力,作為一個經歷過「電視汁撈飯」年代的老餅,容許我老套地引鬼才黃霑為電視劇《決擇》作詞的主題曲裡最後兩句作結:再起我新門牆,勝我舊家鄉。⁣⁣⁣
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DS⁣


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如傷疤都有靈 -《我們不是暴民》⁣⁣⁣

如傷疤都有靈 -《我們不是暴民》⁣⁣⁣
說2014年的「雨傘運動」是本港史上擁有最豐富影像記錄的社會運動,絕不為過,媒體上當然有著全方位的報導,所有攝影記者在這81日期間疲於奔命,展現了無邊的專業精神,外國媒體也派遣大量攝影師來港採訪,另外當時出現了不少「素人」攝影師,當中包括很多非從事報導攝影專業的攝影師,亦承擔了影像記錄的工作,因為當時運動的幅員甚廣,他們的圖像可以作為補漏拾遺,也起著佐證的功用。⁣⁣⁣
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傘運過後固然有不少文字著作回顧或反思這片載入了史冊的時空,也有一些相關的攝影集出版,各有其特色,有以純拍攝抗爭空間的超現實場景,有詩人以攝影作品配上文字的詩集,也有以抗爭道具或物件作主題的。更多的是用報導攝影方式,嘗試將「傘運」始末展示出來,正如不少報導攝影作品,他們相對強調一些富有視覺衝擊或張力的情緒化場面,例如抗爭者跟警察對峙,劍拔弩張的衝突場面,又或夜色下萬人高唱的感性場面,這些書都有一個共同特質,就是以攝影集作為給讀者一種再次體驗事件的平台,希望傳達「傘運」的那份波瀾壯闊。資深攝影記者譚志榮自資出版的《我們不是暴民》,卻一是本小品,我說是小品,是因為此書恬靜得根本感受不到「暴」與「動」,有別於其他以事件本身為主軸的出版,這是一本以抗爭者為本位出發的攝影集,實屬異類。⁣⁣⁣
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此書分為三個章節,有人物的黑白特寫肖像,有街頭的抓拍場景,最後是一些細節的特寫例如抗爭者的用品和物件,是簡潔易明的編輯思維。情緒上的冷靜貫穿全書,書中沒有衝擊場面,沒有暗角黑警,沒有水馬鐵馬,沒有炫目的拍攝手法,對抗爭者的浪漫感性投射是有但也是相對約制,就正正是這種平鋪直敘,更令讀者更容易將自己的情感代入書中。⁣⁣⁣
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可能是作者個性所然,《我們不是暴民》出版時沒有經過大肆推廣和發行,沒有在社交媒體viral過,在書店裡悄悄的上架,也不知不覺的下架,更因為此書沒有叫人驚艷的皮囊,沒有一些特別高規格的印刷水平或製作工藝,以至相信認識這本書的人比認識其他「傘運」相關出版的人為少。⁣⁣⁣
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翻到書中一張張疲憊的臉孔,隔著沾著霧氣的眼罩也能感到他們目光灼灼,這些臉孔跟讀者面面相窺,帶來無限想像。我們也許已知道他們往後的命運,其中可能有人被拘捕,有人被撿控罪成而斷送前途,更甚是正在受牢獄之苦,也或是要因此而遠走他鄉。⁣⁣⁣
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自已一直冷靜審視一些「傘運」的書籍,是不希望如傷痕文學般去看待這段歷史,今天「反送中」的社會運動,參與人數屢破記錄,原來潛藏良久的「傘運」種子今天已開花。每人抗爭成本不同,自然有各個程度的不合作運動,「6.12」政總鎮壓雖沒有站在前線,卻目睹警方高度暴力鎮壓抗爭者,他們再一次被標籤成為「暴徒」。帶著焦慮不安回家,立即再翻一下這此書,希望跟這些有血有肉的臉孔來一次再遇,我的目光最後停留在一個抗爭者那雙穿破了的皮鞋特寫,久久不能自己。⁣⁣⁣
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DS⁣⁣
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https://store.thesaltyard.hk/products/we-are-not-a-mob⁣⁣⁣
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Alec Soth - I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating⁣⁣

Alec Soth - I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating⁣⁣
A lot of portraiture photography comes from the photographers ego. They want this particular shot and they’re going to get it. This often leads to many forgetting that photography only ever takes. It is only a one way transaction. And in Alec Soth’s new book, ‘I Know How Furiously Your Heart Is Beating’, he considers a different approach to portraiture. ⁣⁣
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In this new series of work, each photograph has been crafted so sensitively, so aware that his own presence intrudes the sitter, he’s often photographing them from afar. He creates a soft and intimate look at his sitters, allowing them and himself to just co-exist. Where he once pushed for the photo he wanted, this time, it’s more to do with catching even just a glimpse of the person in front of him. Because in the end, portraiture photography isn’t going to capture someones' soul/essence, it’s only ever going to capture the external appearance of someone.⁣⁣
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TH⁣

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#photobook #americanphotographer #documentary photography #portraiture #largeformatphotography Continue reading

製造耶穌光-濱田祐史《photograph》⁣

製造耶穌光-濱田祐史《photograph》⁣

大家都聽過,攝影的字根由光(photo)和繪畫(graph)組成。翻開日本攝影師濱田祐史(Yuji Hamada)的攝影集《photograph》,的確像本以光繪畫的美術畫冊。書中數十張照片,是城市不同角落出現的「耶穌光」景象,你開始會想,哪來這麼多「耶穌光」?⁣

原來那是濱田於2005年至2006年期間的創作,他利用煙霧機,在多個日常生活場景造煙,再用長時間曝光的方法,讓照片沒有任何人的痕跡,剩下來的只有光線。換言之,光線是真的,煙霧不是,卻像一幅畫布般,將光線清晰地襯托呈現。⁣

他說:「我常常思考這些沒人留意的光線,不管是地球上某處,或在外太空。看見光線,有時讓我平靜,有時讓我驚歎不己。正是這些瞬間,讓我想將日常生活看見的光線紀錄下來。」題目就是那麼簡單尋常,但誰說攝影一定要驚天動地呢?⁣

要是你登上濱田的網站,又會看到一段令人會心微心的短片,他在參與瑞士Festival Images時,把自己作品《Primal Mountain》照片造成裝置,浮在日內瓦湖上面展出。仔細看又會發現,那些不是真的山巒,而是錫紙造成山的形象。看來他擅長將最簡單的題目,用創意的方法展現出來。⁣

NT⁣

書本連結:photograph (A) / photograph (D)

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Pixy Liao/廖逸君 - Experimental Relationship Vol.1/實驗性關係 Vol.1 ⁣

Pixy Liao/廖逸君 - Experimental Relationship Vol.1/實驗性關係 Vol.1 ⁣

Are you dating yet? Is there anyone chasing you? Have you met any boys? How many times have you been asked those questions during your New Year celebrations? Growing up in Hong Kong, the only mindset that seems to be around is that you need a man to be happy. This man should be older, wiser, has a great job, and has the ability to take care of you for the rest of your life. It seems growing up in mainland China is not so different. Pixy Liao’s ‘Experimental Relationship’ should need no further introduction. Her work flips around the power dynamics of a heterosexual couple, whereby Liao directs Moro during their photo shoots, within their boundaries of course - such as no full frontal nudity. ⁣

Lying naked in bed, with Moro on top but turned away from the camera, and Liao on the bottom with a direct gaze towards the camera, holding our attention; almost as if challenging us, daring us to comment, but her gaze holds such power, you don’t dare to speak up. And with Moro looking away, as if shying away from the camera… this scene challenges our preconceptions of what a heterosexual relationship should be. A man does not need to be in charge. They can be just as sensitive as women are ‘supposed’ to be. If there is a message we should takeaway from this piece, it’s this: Hong Kong, it’s 2019 for goodness sake! Liao’s work is a stark reminder for us to embrace the breaking down of gender roles, for us to not make assumptions of others, and to accept love in all its forms.⁣

TH⁣

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家書抵萬金-Ed Kashi《Photojournalisms》

家書抵萬金-Ed Kashi《Photojournalisms》

一般人對紀實攝影師,常有浪漫化想像:在戰火連天,槍林彈雨的環境,用鏡頭道出真相,拍攝人性化的畫面。從事報道攝影近40年、VII圖片社成員、著名攝影師Ed Kashi的攝影書《PhotoJournalisms》卻告訴你想太多了,攝影師所真實面對的另一面,並非想像中的浪漫。

Ed曾到世界各地工作:敘利亞、伊拉克、尼日利亞、斯里蘭卡、尼加拉瓜,也有他的足跡,每次離家便是數月半載。攝影生涯令他缺席了兩個孩子的成長,與妻子的相處機會。「我花了大半生,在不同的酒店房間中獨自渡過。」他在接受《紐約時報》訪問中這樣說。

從1992年開始,Ed Kashi帶上筆記本,紀錄每次旅途所見所聞,寫下當下的感受,在每次旅程後,把整本筆記送給太太。《Photojournalisms》結集了近20年,Ed寫給妻子Julie Winokur的筆記和書信,在20至30篇文字之中,附以該次旅程中拍攝的照片或contact sheet。

他這樣說:「我想告訴人們--攝影師是會思考、敏感、投入生活的普通人。不是西部牛仔--或者至少,我不是尋找刺激的西部牛仔。我這樣做,因為我真切關注這些議題,我希望帶來改變。」

例如在拍攝受橙劑影響的越南女孩後,Ed在筆記上寫道:「2010年7月9日,越南峴港。這個美好清晨,我拍攝小女孩Ly。她到醫院檢查,她的胸膛凹陷,將來需要進行手術,但她太過瘦弱了。醫生對Ly的媽媽說,她需要吃更多東西。他們說就容易。能夠見證Ly的勇氣和家人對她的愛護,是件美麗的事。她是個特別的小女孩,但願她能夠渡過難關。我希望自己能夠說出更重要的話,可惜我的腦袋空空如也。」

NT

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Feng Li -White Night/馮立《白夜》⁣

Feng Li -White Night/馮立《白夜》⁣

Over a decade of shooting in Chengdu, China, Feng has captured the most intimate yet bizarre moments on the streets. Yes, singularly, each photo is
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Feng's work seeks to excite, intrigue and amaze. And all of that, I have felt. If you follow him on Instagram and love his work there, then you must grab a copy of his book, 'White Night'. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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Feng Li's work on Instagram is amazing. Feng Li's work in a book, just spectacular. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣prettymind blowing. What is most exciting however, is the pairing of photographs. In one spread, on the left, you have a woman going up the escalator, perhaps shocked by the flash Feng used, which has made her eyes go wide open. While the photo on the left shows a man with an enormous toothy grin. You may read into this however you like, but to me, this pairing creates the narrative of the most awkward encounter; it’s as if the man made an attempt at flirting, only to fail in the worse way possible. ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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In these pairings, Feng has created a fictional narrative of chance encounters. He has created his own beautiful reality, and 'White Night' is our invitation to join him.⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣
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TH

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Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographs to electrify you with delight and startle the world

Julia Margaret Cameron: Photographs to electrify you with delight and startle the world

Photography from the 19th century certainly counts as history, but that’s no reason to dismiss older work. So, if you're in a rut, like myself, lost in today's photographic world, perhaps we should take a step back into the late 19th century, and visit Julia Margaret Cameron's work. 

There are many ‘rules’ when it comes to portraiture, who determined them, I don’t know. But does Cameron care about it? She hardly does. In fact, her work is known for disregarding any rules there are about portraits. Out of focus, smudges and scratches, all part of Cameron’s process, making each portrait more personal, more of a collaborative process. One portrait in particular transports me right into her time. An elderly lady, aged 94, looks down and away from the camera, she wears a soft smile, as she reminisces her wedding day perhaps. The tenderness in her expression, the slight out of focus... just makes you wonder. And that’s what Cameron does beautifully, she captures the person in front of her, and creates the space for the viewer to catch a glimpse of these people.

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Vanessa Winship - And Time Folds

Vanessa Winship - And Time Folds

“The bridge was built by the day and destroyed at night by the spirits of the water. It demanded a sacrifice. Let someone come who is willing to be sacrificed in the piers of the bridge, the bards sang.” - Ismail Kadare, ‘Three Arched Bridge’⁣

And Time 
Folds, is a beautiful introduction to Vanessa Winship’s work. Shying away from the story-telling traditions that are popular with Magnum, her work steps away from the frontline action; instead, invites us to join her on her meanderings around the world, as she seeks out human connection, communities away from home, and as she attempts to make sense of the world around her.⁣

In her project of Georgia, there is a photograph that depicts five pillars that may have used to carry a bridge, but only the five pillars remain standing. At ‘the junction of chronicle and fiction’, your beliefs are questioned. Paired with a quote from Kadare, it pulls at you to believe in the myths and legends of the place, yet the photo 
pleads you to see the reality. With the historic implications that comes with black and white, Winship’s work dares you to question where do we go from here.⁣

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