又一山人是來多倫多做展覽的。他甫進畫廊即嚇了一跳,怎麼牆全是空白的?我們向他細表他經F公司從香港空運的作品原定是上星期到的但現在還沒有來。F公司以準時快捷見稱(不過事物不總一定是永恆),我們連日來去電追問,答案仍是該個包裹不知所踪。一說還在機倉內沒有卸下來,一說它從來沒有踏過加國的邊境。電腦系統真會耍弄小說懸疑性。後來從F公司貨運經理口中知道那四乘八呎的巨物還在美國的Anchorage。總算有個實在。為甚麼還在美國?又一山人開始猜想。是不是四乘八呎照片太巨大?只有一些香港較傳統攝影圈人オ有這個見解,身在北美洲的海關官員不致那麼未見過世面罷。又一山人的照片拍的是建築中半途遺棄的建築物,也許照片太細緻了(他用的是8x10大片幅照相機),曝露了建築物內甚麼與美有抵觸的私隱需要扣查。也說不定在北京建造使館大樓時一些高科技磚塊輾轉給這糟糕的深圳爛尾樓用上了,拍照之後影像轉移到照片還可以探測得到訊號。現代的追踪科技真發達。也許應該這樣說 - 現在的照片打印技術真棒了!但無論如何這些照片滯留在美國那麼久是以前不可思議的事(我們都留戀在纖維紙基銀鹽照像紙)。也許可以從另一個角度假設 - 中國當代藝術的熱風把美人的腦袋燒壞了 - 他們打開照片,來個中國當代藝術私人欣賞小派對。這豈不是很危險,他們參照中國當代藝術在拍賣行的價目,私人將這些樓宇收起來。就算不是把整幢爛尾樓沒收,拿走幾個單位你也拿他沒奈何。又一山人來展覽的是一組叫"爛尾樓"的照片,每張照片約44乘80吋。內容都是一些在中國或其他城市建築到半途而停掉了下來的建築物。又一山人於9月30日經紐約來到多倫多,本來是當天晚上便是開幕酒會。照片沒有來,他在第三天早上依原定計劃離開多倫多回香港了。照片依然還沒有來。今天是10月4日,也即是多倫多Nuit Blanche全城藝術不夜天之日。"爛尾樓"展覽原是屬於其中一個項目。照片依然還是沒有來。我們把整個本事貼在門前,今夜畫廊不開放了。爛尾陣空,我們說笑是北美洲送給又一山人一則附加的概念裝置。又一山人拍攝爛尾樓時雖然不是悲觀而是採取中性角度,我們深信爛尾照片始終是會來的,爛尾陣空留給爛尾不是爛尾的正面希望。"爛尾樓"在不同城市展過,這個北美洲版本,算是別開生面罷。
8. anothermountainman’s hypothesis 2
anothermountainman came to Toronto to do a show. He was shocked when he walked into a gallery of blank walls. We tried to explain: the photographs he had shipped from Hong Kong via F company were supposed to arrive last week, but they were not here yet. (F is known for prompt delivery, but nothing is forever). We had inquired repeatedly about the shipping, but the answers were ambiguous. One said that the package was still in the aircraft; another said that it had not even entered Canada. The computer system proved to be as suspenseful as a good novel. It was later confirmed by a manager at F that our 4x8 ft monster of a package was still in Anchorage, Alaska. At least we now knew where it was. But why is it still in the USA, anothermountainman wondered. Is it because the photos, 4x8 ft in dimension, are too large? Such a view might exist in certain photographic circles in Hong Kong, but customs officers in North American must have seen stranger things than that. The photographs are about abandoned building projects. Perhaps the images are so detailed (he shot with an 8x10 camera) that they accidentally reveal secrets against US interest? Perhaps some high-tech bricks left over from the US embassy building in Beijing somehow got recycled and reused in a new skyscraper in Shenzhen, and the bricks were so technologically sophisticated that they could still be detected after they were transformed into photographic images? Such is the power of modern tracking technology. Or perhaps one should say: such is power of modern photography! Anyhow it is puzzling that these photographs should remain in the US for so long (we’ve become nostalgic for the fibre-based gelatin-silver paper). Here is another hypothesis: Chinese contemporary art is so hot that it blew the American officers’ mind—They decided to unwrap the photographs then and there and have little show for themselves. This could be misleading though—they might get carried away by the skyrocketing prices of Chinese art at the major auction houses, and decide to buy some of these hot properties for their private collection, a few units at a time if not entire buildings. anothermountainman’s exhibition is entitled “lan wei lou” (abortive buildings), a series of large-scale images (44x80 in.) of unfinished and abandoned construction sites now ubiquitous in China. On September 30th, the artist flew in from New York for the opening. The photographs had not arrived. When he left Toronto for Hong Kong two days later, the photographs still hadn’t arrived. Today, October 4th, Toronto kicks off its annual Nuit Blanche. “Abortive Buildings” is part of the festival programme. But the photographs are yet to arrive. We put up a notice on the door: the gallery is closed for tonight. An abortive no-show, that’s how we put it. A conceptual installation by accident, North America’s gift for anothermountainman. anothermountainman approached his subject from a neutral perspective, eschewing pessimism. We believe the missing photographs will eventually arrive. An aborted project does not have to mean decay or a dead-end. There is room for hope. “Abortive Buildings” has been shown in several major cities. This North American version really stands out.