信则有/Seeing is Believing, 皮力/Pi Li

 

 

丹尼尔·贝尔在《资本主义文化矛盾》中说,信用制度改变了美国的清教传统中“先劳后享”的观点,从而造就了经济和文化的冒进主义。在21世纪的第一个十年,我们看到了这种冒进主义如何又造就了信用制度的变异,从而带来了全球性的经济灾难。同样,今天对于经济灾难的反思,也必将折射出我们对于文化的思考。陈劭雄的这些图片作品,源自他今年的一个观念艺术项目“信则有”。

 

在这个项目中,他对那些国际金融机构的广告语,进行了一番田野考察式的采样工作。当年这些金融机构花了数以百万计的财富,聘请麦迪逊大街上的广告公司发明了这些广告词,用以传达他们的核心价值,呼唤人们的心理认同。如今,这些机构要么灰飞烟灭,要么一病不起。而随之蒸发的不仅是财富,同样也包括我们对于财富的定义,对于财富的信仰。

 

如果说那些在世界各大都市占据着核心地段,设计时尚,高耸入云的地标式的银行建筑是当今的神殿,那么这些无处不在的广告语则是我们的祷告词。这些祷告词用美好的方式勾勒出我们对于全球化,城市化的环境。在这个环境中,“城市永远不歇息”,“时代在变化,我们随时准备着”;“在世界范围内”,“你和我”等待着“一个美好画面的形成”;为了这个美好的画面,我们坚信“短期的效应是没有结果的”,我们必须“跟随着那些值得信任的企业”,相信他们“用无限信心来激发的投资”,我们能作的就是发出“Whoo Hoo”的感叹。

 

而如今我们,神庙已经坍塌,祷告词缺依然存在于那些残垣断壁上,时间尚未远去,媒体的野草尚为湮灭这些昔日的辉煌,于是我们还可以作一次短暂的咏叹和怀古。

 

Daniel Bell’s “The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism” says the credit system changed the “Protestant work ethic” of America. The necessity for hard work was replaced by the rash advance in economy and culture. In the first 10 years of the 21st Century, we witness how this rash advance generated a mutation in the credit system and, thus, gave rise to the financial crisis globally. Our introspection over today’s financial crisis will also reflect our pondering over culture. These photo works by Chen Shaoxiong are inspired by his conceptual art project “Seeing is Believing”.

In this art project, he performed field work and studied the collected samples of the advertisement of the international financial organizations. These organizations used to spend millions to hire the advertising companies on the Madison Avenue to invent words which expressed their core value and conjured the recognition of people. Today, some of these organizations are gone with the wind like ashes, some of them are fatally sickened. Fortune got evaporated; so did our definition of fortune and our belief in fortune.

A lot of banking architectures boast very downtown location in big metropolis all over the world. Posh and towering they stand. If we compare these landmark buildings to the holy temples of today’s world, then the ubiquitous advertising words are our prayers. So beautifully, they inked the pictures of an environment of globalization and urbanization. In this utopia, “Citi never sleeps”, “Times are changing. We are ready”; “world wise”, “you & us” were waiting to be a place “Where vision gets built”; for this vision, we strongly believed “short term has no future”, we must count on organizations that were “delivering solutions while inspiring confidence” and trusted they “invest with confidence”. All we needed to do was let out exciting cries “Whoo Hoo”.

Look around, the holy temples have collapsed to the ground, while the words of prayers are still engraved on the ruins. Time still lingers, the past glory is yet to be buried in the wild grass of the media. This gives us a short time to sigh over the present and mediate on the past

 
 
 

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