班克斯自毁恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人

The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank -

When Banksy’s Girl with Balloon (2006) began shredding, having just been sold for GBP£860,000, the Sotheby’s audience were momentarily stunned. Whether you regard it as poignant or mawkish, the painting has popular appeal, being the UK’s favourite work of art according to a Samsung poll in 2017, and its partial destruction has impact. Yet if we look closer at the footage, the reactions of amusement amidst the audience reveal much more about the art world than simply a (famously) anonymous (celebrity) outsider railing against the establishment. In this relatively secular age, regardless of whatever subversions or deconstructions it claims, art remains enthused with faith and worship.

‘The passion for destruction is a creative passion’ the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin wrote in 1842, and Banksy’s act appears part of a long anarchic tradition. It’s there in Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s 1909 Futurist Manifesto, and its attempts to throw off the dead weight of centuries of tradition by threatening to flood museums. It’s also there in the cacophonous gibberish of Dada that emanated from the Cabaret Voltaire as the nations of Europe sent countless young men to die in the trenches.

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The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人

Gustav Metzger, Acid Action Painting, 1961, performance view. Courtesy: Getty Images, Hulton Archive, Keystone

Above all, Banksy’s stunt wants to belong to the waves of anti-art, or rather anti-art establishment, that emerged in the 1950s and ’60s. These had a sense of creative destruction at their core. With Philip Corner’s Piano Activities (1962), the Fluxus group performed a ‘score’ that resulted in the destruction of a piano; a happening that was shown on German television and titled, with melodramatic indignation, ‘The Lunatics have Escaped!’ The previous year, on London’s South Bank, Gustav Metzger’s Acid Action Painting (1961) saw him paint with hydrochloric acid, burning holes through his cloth canvas to reveal the cityscape beyond. ‘The important thing about burning a hole in that sheet was that it opened up a new view across the Thames of St Paul’s cathedral,’ he told The Guardian in 2012. ‘Auto-destructive art was never merely destructive. Destroy a canvas and you create shapes.’

Perhaps closest (in style only) to Banksy’s mechanically-aided self-sabotage was Jean Tinguely’s self-destructing machine Homage to New York (1960), which whirled, blared and burst into flame in MoMA’s sculpture garden, before the fire brigade finally put it out of its misery. For Tinguely the idea of the artwork having a transitory lifespan was paramount: ‘I wanted something ephemeral, that would pass like a falling star and, most importantly, that would be impossible for museums to reabsorb. I didn't want it to be ‘museumized’. The work had to pass by, make people dream and talk and that would be all […] It had a certain complex seduction that made it destroy itself – it was a machine that committed suicide. A very beautiful idea!’

Jean Tinguely’s self-destructing machine Homage to New York (1960)

The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人

Jean Tinguely, Homage to New York, 1960. Courtesy: Wiki Art

These activities all share a puckish sense of mischief, but they also tapped into a darkness inherent to their historical times. Similarly, Al Hansen’s Yoko Ono Piano Drop (1946) originated from his experience as a US soldier in war-torn Germany when one night he’d pushed a piano off the fourth floor of a building. John Latham's Skoob Tower Ceremonies (1966) controversially recalled Nazi book-burning rituals, though his aim was to question the authority of what he called the ‘Mental Furniture Industry’ of academia and education.

The Destruction in Art Symposium (DIAS), which took place in London in September 1966, played out against the backdrop of the Cold War nuclear standoff, growing civil rights protests, and the blazing Vietnam War. It was performative, certainly, but not as indulgent or frivolous as it might now seem. It would take more than paint to protest the age of napalm. The gathering of artists – including Metzger and Hansen – emphasized the connection between political oppression, personal trauma, and artistic dissent. ‘Destruction theatre is the symbolic realization of those subtle and extreme destructions which play such a dominant role in our everyday lives, from our headaches and ulcers to our murders and suicides’, participating artist Ralph Ortiz later announced. In a sense, it was a cracked mirror, with Metzger writing in his 1960 manifesto, ‘Auto-destructive art re-enacts the obsession with destruction, the pummelling to which individuals and masses are subjected.’ The artist knew these feelings all too well, given he’d narrowly survived the Holocaust in which his parents were murdered. In Metzger’s eyes, auto-destructive art stood against, rather than for, nihilism.

Ai Weiwei, Berlin, 2017. Courtesy: Getty Images, AFP; photograph: John MacDougall

The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人

Ai Weiwei, Berlin, 2017. Courtesy: Getty Images, AFP; photograph: John MacDougall

What was Banksy protesting then when he initiated the shredding of his painting by remote control? Perhaps it was the inflated mercantilism of the art market and the unedifying spectacle around it, echoing Metzger’s assertion that ‘Auto-destructive art is an attack on capitalist values.’ Yet we see in the audience’s laughter that greeted the action how quickly such gestures are absorbed. They are then monetized, not just because the dysfunctional shredder failed to complete its work but because of the art world’s intrinsically religious nature – the newly-made work Love is in the Bin (2018) has doubtlessly increased in value.

Acts of destruction in art remain provocative because they offend our sense of what is sacred. This may be art itself, its history, the connection to its beatified creator, its monetary value or very likely all of these interlinked aspects. Acts of iconoclasm are emotive because they defile what we hold dear, consciously or subconsciously. Consider Ai Weiwei dropping a Han Dynasty urn or Rauschenberg erasing a De Kooning and we might feel that frisson that sacrilege and outrage bring. This dynamic has long existed in religion and politics, from the ancient burning of effigies to the Beeldenstorm destruction of Catholic statues by Lowlands Protestants in the 16th century. Yet as much as iconoclasts seek to destroy icons, they often create or replace them in the process. Parts of the destroyed Fluxus piano were sold off like medieval relics to members of the audience. When Susan Hiller began burning her paintings in the early 1970s she collected the ashes in test tubes as new and resonant works of art, while Cornelia Parker’s work is filled with resurrected objects given new meaning and power by surviving explosions and steamrollers.

Courtesy: Sotheby’s

The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人

Courtesy: Sotheby’s

Artists play the anointing saint, where they can impart a sense of profundity on objects, spaces or events. It is a role that requires gravitas on their part and an act of faith on ours, however godless we might think we are. We see this most evidently in public performance art from Joseph Beuys to Marina Abramović – even arch-sceptic/romantics like the K Foundation were not immune, travelling on a pilgrimage to burn a million pounds in an abandoned boathouse on the island of Jura in 1994. If you don’t think this anointing exists, consider what happens if another graffiti artist attempts to paint over a Banksy, and how we end up with the sight of Perspex covering certain street art, next to other perpetually-changing designs. The saintliness, the legend of the artist, and the monetary value are all tied together. None of this is necessarily Banksy’s fault or doing but it seems hard for him to escape. Banksy was not defiling the temple or insulting the high priests of art with his attempted iconoclasm (had the piece shredded itself entirely – as planned – he may have). Instead, in the end, he simply made them a different type of icon – a relic for a commercial media-saturated age.

Darran Anderson

Darran Anderson is the author of Imaginary Cities (Influx Press, 2015). He tweets at @Oniropolis.


当班克斯的《带气球的女孩》(2006)刚刚以860000英镑的价格卖出时,苏富比的观众一时大吃一惊。不管你觉得这幅画是辛辣的还是令人作呕的,它都颇具吸引力。根据三星在2017年的一项民意调查,这幅画是英国最受欢迎的艺术品,它的部分毁坏也产生了影响。然而,如果我们仔细看这段录像,观众中娱乐的反应会揭示出更多关于艺术世界的信息,而不仅仅是一个(著名的)匿名的(名人)局外人抨击这个机构。在这个相对世俗的时代,不管它声称的是什么颠覆或解构,艺术仍然充满信仰和崇拜。
无政府主义者米哈伊尔·巴库宁(Mikhail Bakunin)在1842年写道,“对毁灭的热情是一种创造性的热情”,而班克斯的行为似乎也是长期无政府主义的一部分。审判。它出现在菲利普·托马索·马里内蒂1909年的《未来主义宣言》中,它试图通过威胁要淹没博物馆来摆脱几个世纪以来传统的死灰复燃。欧洲各国派出无数年轻人死在战壕里,伏尔泰内阁发出了达达的嘈杂唠叨。
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The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人 Gustav Metzger,《酸性动作画》,1961,性能视图。礼貌:盖蒂图片,赫尔顿档案馆,凯斯通。
首先,班克斯的噱头想属于20世纪50年代和60年代兴起的反艺术,或者说是反艺术的浪潮。这些浪潮的核心是创造性的破坏。在菲利普·科纳的钢琴活动(1962)中,Fluxus乐队演奏了一首“乐谱”,结果钢琴被毁;这一事件在德国电视上播出,标题是“疯子逃跑了!”去年,在伦敦南岸,古斯塔夫·梅茨格的《酸作用绘画》(1961)看到他用盐酸作画,用布料画布烧洞,以显示更远的城市风光。他在2012年接受《卫报》采访时说,在床单上烧个洞很重要,因为它打开了圣保罗大教堂泰晤士河两岸的新视野。自动破坏艺术绝不仅仅是破坏性的。“摧毁一块画布,你就能创造出形状。”
也许最接近(仅以风格而言)班克斯机械辅助的自毁行为是让·廷格利(Jean Tinguely)的《向纽约致敬》(1960)的自毁机器,它在消防队最后一场前,在莫马的雕塑花园里旋转、咆哮,并爆发出火焰。把它从痛苦中解脱出来。对于丁格利来说,艺术品具有短暂的寿命的想法是至关重要的:“我想要一些短暂的,像流星一样逝去的东西,最重要的是,那是博物馆不可能再吸收的。”我不想让它成为“博物馆化”。工作必须经过,让人们做梦和说话,而这就是全部[…]它有某种复杂的诱惑,使它摧毁自己——它是一台自杀机器。一个非常漂亮的主意!
《向纽约致敬》(1960年)礼貌:维基艺术
这些活动都有恶作剧的感觉,但它们也触及了历史时期固有的黑暗。同样,艾尔·汉森的《小野洋子钢琴降落》(1946)源于他在饱受战火蹂躏的德国当兵的经历,一天晚上,他把一架钢琴从四层楼上推下来。约翰·莱瑟姆的《斯库布塔仪式》(1966)有争议地回顾了纳粹焚书仪式,尽管他的目的是质疑他所谓的学术界和教育界的“精神家具产业”的权威性。1966年9月在伦敦举行的“销毁艺术研讨会”(DIAS)是在冷战核僵局、日益增长的民权抗议和激烈的越南战争的背景下展开的。当然,它是有表演性的,但不像现在看起来那么放纵或轻浮。它将不仅仅是油漆来抗议凝固汽油弹的时代。包括梅茨格和汉森在内的艺术家聚会强调了政治压迫、个人创伤和艺术异议之间的联系。“破坏剧场象征性地实现了那些微妙和极端的破坏,这些微妙和极端的破坏在我们的日常生活中起着主导作用,从我们的头痛和溃疡到我们的谋杀和自杀”,参加艺术家拉尔夫·奥尔蒂斯后来宣布。在某种意义上,这是一面破碎的镜子,梅茨格在1960年的宣言中写道,“自我毁灭的艺术重现了对毁灭的痴迷,对个人和大众所遭受的打击。”这位艺术家深知这些感受,因为他在大屠杀中幸免于难。他的父母被谋杀了。在Metzger看来,汽车破坏艺术是反对虚无主义的,而不是
艾未未。柏林,2017岁。礼貌:盖蒂图片,法新社;照片:约翰麦道格WPAP6023 602IMG艾未未,柏林,2017。礼貌:盖蒂图片,法新社;照片:约翰·麦克道格。
当班克斯开始用遥控器粉碎他的画时,他在抗议什么?也许是艺术市场膨胀的重商主义和它周围的不光彩的景象,呼应了梅茨格的断言“自动毁灭性艺术是对资本主义价值观的攻击”。然而,在观众的笑声中,我们看到这种姿态被如此迅速地吸收。然后他们被货币化,不仅是因为功能失调的碎纸机未能完成其工作,而是因为艺术世界固有的宗教性质——新作《爱在垃圾桶里》(2018)无疑增加了价值。
艺术中的破坏行为仍然是挑衅性的,因为它们侵犯了我们对神圣的感觉。这可能是艺术本身,它的历史,与神圣的创造者的联系,它的货币价值,或者很可能所有这些相互关联的方面。偶像毁谤行为是情绪化的,因为它们玷污了我们所珍视的东西,有意识地或潜意识地。想想艾未未扔掉一个汉朝的瓮子,或者劳申伯格擦掉一个德库宁,我们可能会感到这种亵渎和愤怒带来的痛苦。这种动力在宗教和政治中长期存在,从古代焚烧肖像到16世纪卑尔兰新教徒猛烈摧毁天主教雕像。然而,像ICOOCCRAST试图破坏图标一样,他们经常在这个过程中创建或替换图标。销毁的长方体钢琴的部分像中世纪的文物一样被卖给了观众。20世纪70年代初,当苏珊·希勒开始燃烧她的画作时,她在试管中收集了灰烬作为新的、有共鸣的艺术品,而柯妮莉亚·帕克的作品则充满了复活的物体,这些物体通过幸存的爆炸和蒸汽压路机赋予了新的意义和力量。
The Anarchy, Piety and Celebrity of Banksy’s Auto-Destructive Prank - 班克西汽车破坏性恶作剧的无政府状态、虔诚与名人
苏富比的艺术家们扮演着涂油圣人,他们可以在物品、空间或事件上传递一种深刻感。这是一个需要重力的角色和对我们的信仰行为,不管我们怎么认为我们是无神论者。从约瑟夫·博伊斯到阿里莫维奇的公共表演艺术中,我们最明显地看到了这一点——即使是像K基金会这样的拱形怀疑论者/浪漫主义者也无法幸免,他们在1994的一个被遗弃的船坞里,在朝圣之地烧毁了一百万磅。如果你认为这种油漆是不存在的,那么考虑一下如果另一个涂鸦艺术家试图在Banksy上作画,会发生什么,以及我们如何最终看到Perspex覆盖了某些街头艺术,紧挨着其他不断变化的设计。
圣人、艺术家的传说和金钱的价值都是联系在一起的。这些都不一定是班克西的错或做的,但他似乎很难逃脱。班克斯并没有用他企图打破偶像来玷污庙宇,也没有侮辱艺术大祭司(这幅画可能已经按计划完全粉碎了)。相反,他最终只是把它们做成不同类型的图标——一个商业媒体饱和时代的遗物。
达兰.安德森.达兰.安德森是《想象都市》的作者(涌入出版社,2015)。他在@ Oniropolis发微博。意见/达兰·安德森·班克斯·古斯塔夫·梅茨格·艾未未的自毁艺术

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