A Way of Photographing "Before" Photography / 一种摄影前的摄影


There are three aspirations that we want to pursue in A Way of Photographing “before” Photography: First, to challenge the camera apparatus, as well as the visual perspective based on our human eyes; second, to disrupt the gaze and the relationship between the photographer and the subject; third, to change the way of viewing photographs on the white wall by experimenting different materials and exhibition strategies.

By using an intimate imaging apparatus to touch the subjects’ bodies, we transform mundane portrait scenes to flattened, distorted, twisted, and psychedelic “time portraiture”. This type of blurred, strange portraiture defies the way human eyes form images. During this “touching-touched” experience, the gaze and distance between photographer and the subject are cancelled–it becomes a dynamic between the two persons, while time dimension is extended–every touch is a new experience, and it brings a distinctive image with it. Not only this way of image making poetically transforms the “subject-object” relationship in photography, but also relieves the contemporary conundrum of more and more programmed and “spectacularized” condition of photography.

Jacques Derrida saw touching as a potential for life, and a starting point for our world, instead of seeing as the primary tool of obtaining knowledge. Touching always has a subject – when one’s touching the other, the other is also touching the one. In this work, we attempt to find the time before Ocularcentrism, and find another opportunity for portraiture. Touching disrupts the usual relationship between the photographer and the subject, and images are produced during the process of intimate communication. In a way, this process of image-making is a departure from mimicking and representation (a tradition in the Western art), and it is no longer “the self-contained” box like a camera.

《一种摄影前的摄影》主要从三个角度进行探索性的突破:1、媒介的拓宽,突破基于人眼的空间透视法;2、凝视的取消,摄影师与被摄对象关系的改变;3、材料与展出方式的结合,突破摄影的传统展出方式。首先,我们通过使用依赖“零距离”的“触碰”、“抚摸”生成影像的程式(apparatus)——手持扫描仪——将寻常(mundane)肖像摄影的场景转化成缠绕而破碎的“时间肖像”。 这种新的肖像影像打破了我们人类双眼成像的方式,因而对于观看者来说是模糊和陌生的。同时,在这种触及-被触及(touching-touched)的经验中,拍摄者与被摄对象之间的距离和凝视一起被取消了——人们难以再用传统摄影作品的理论分析影像与观者、拍摄者之间的凝视的动态过程——取而代之的是影像生产的程式在时间维度上的蔓延,意义也由此发生:每一次的“触”都是一次新的生命经验,并带来新的影像。这样的一种影像生产的方式优雅的消解了传统摄影的主-客体关系,并提供了一种彼此依赖的亲密互动,而我们传统意义上的“拍照”过程正是在这样一种消解与互动中重获生机。

在德里达那里,触更像是一种生命的潜能,是世界意义的起点,而不是视觉那样把世界当作可以观看、可以获取的对象去看待。触永远都和他者绑定在一起,换言之,当我触及到某物时,我已被触及,也必须被触及。在《一种摄影前的摄影》中,我们试图回到摄影(视觉)成为知觉中心之前的时代,为肖像摄影找回一种可选项。在这种摄影方式中,拍摄者与拍摄对象的关系发生了巨大的变化,不再是被拍摄的对象坐在那里,成为照相机凝视的对象,而是拍摄者与被摄对象相互触碰,影像在这样的相互交流中自然而然的产生。 这在某种程度上也脱离了对模仿(mimic)与再现(representation)传统的追求,以这种方式创造出来的影像,不再是相机具有的三维空间透视的“自足匣子(the self-contained)”,摄影也因此打开了充满无限可能的一个全新领域。