美術史論壇後的一些雜感

星期日參加由中央大學舉辦第一次的美術史論壇,早上是David Carrier教授的演講。Carrier教授提出他對中國藝術史研究取徑的一些意見,可惜的是,他似乎不太清楚中國藝術史的研究群在哪,現有的研究成果到了甚麼階段,所以他的觀察效度是有限的。下午的議程,我個人覺得收穫頗豐。有黃猷清、謝世英兩位老師發表其研究,以及林聖智、巫佩蓉老師對佛教美術史研究動向作一報告。

用收穫可能不足以概括那天的狀況,獲得新知是蠻表面的結果,更重要的是,有機會了解別人在做甚麼、在思考甚麼問題。透過不同領域的問題關懷,擴大視野跟思考的廣度。學術界已經是個小圈子,其中藝術史的人口更是少數,如果所謂「象牙塔」的刻板印象是讓人不滿意的,我以為論壇這樣性質的活動可以是打破此一藩籬的第一步。這讓我想到前不久讀到一篇王汎森先生的文章,標題是:天才為何成群地來?此文給我最重要的一個感想就是:學術的發達與活絡的學術社群有密切的關係。活絡的社群所激發的火花,是提升學術,或者說文化研究不可或缺的觸媒。全文轉貼如下,給大家參考。

 

來源:南方周末  2008-12-04 15:47:01  作者:王汎森  

http://www.nanfangdaily.com.cn/epaper/nfzm/content/20081204/ArticelE30005FM.htm

一家之言

凡是一個學派最有活力、最具創造性時,一定是一群人不但做著白首太玄經的工作,同時不拘形式地圍繞著一兩個中心人物自由地交流、對話最近我應邀到高雄國立中山大學作一場大規模的通識教育講座,我的講題是為什麼天才總是成群地來?——漫談學術環境的營造,在演講中我提到:我們太注重線性的、縱向式的傳習與聽受,往往忽略橫向的、從側面撞進來的資源,事實上這兩者缺一不可,應該交叉循環為用。

我想從幾個事件說起。幾年前,我與一位留英的政治思想史學者談到,我讀英國近代幾位人文學大師的傳記時,發現他們並不都是誰能書閣下,白首太玄經 ,而是有參加不完的社交或宴會,為什麼還能取得如此高的成就?我的朋友說,他們做學問是一齊做的,一群人把一個人的學問工夫上去;在無盡的談論中,一個人從一群人中開發思路與知識,其功效往往是四兩撥千斤式的。而我們知道,許多重大的學術推進,就是由四兩撥千斤式的一而來。最近我與一位數學家談話,他也同意在數學中,最關鍵性的創穫也往往是來自這一

我所說的成日社交宴會的英國思想家中,即有以賽亞伯林。他曾經很謙虛地提到自己的思想其實總是停留在相當淺的層次,但是如果我的記憶沒錯,曾經有人說,如果有一天人類要派一位最有智慧的人與外星人談話,那就非伯林莫屬了。伯林有一本八九十頁的小冊子《刺蝟與狐貍》,在伯林的所有著作中傳誦最遠。

有一本伯林的傳記說,當時英國頗有人犇心他過度頻繁的社交生活會影響到他的學問,但實際上那常常是他萌生新想法的場合。有一次他與牛津巴利奧學院的古典學家談論古昔才子的類型時,這位學者告訴他古希臘詩人阿爾基諾庫斯有一段殘句:狐貍知道許多事情,而刺蝟隻知道一件大事。後來伯林研究托爾斯泰的歷史觀,發現作為小說家的托爾斯泰,有細微描寫人類生活的天才,可是他又像刺蝟一樣,希望找出一種包羅萬象的理論,伯林偶然發現用刺蝟狐貍正好可以用來形容托爾斯泰作品所呈現的兩歧性。伯林的長文原先以《托爾斯泰的歷史懷疑議》發表在牛津的斯拉夫評論,不大引人注意。不久則在書商建議下以《刺蝟與狐貍》為標題印成小書,立刻傳誦千里,直至今天。

在談論中激發火花的例子,在19-20世紀的西方簡直是不可勝數。19世紀歐洲思想之都維也納正是天才成群地來的地方,維也納城大量的咖啡館成為繁星們的養成之所,往往體現了一群人如何把一個人的學問及思想境界往上的實況。當時維也納的小咖啡館,點一杯咖啡可以坐一天,甚至信件可以寄到咖啡館,晚禮服也可以寄放在那裏。譬如維也納的 CafeGrien-Steidl咖啡館就有包括了茨威格等大人物。

19世紀俄國文學的發展以及其巨大的政治社會影響,與別林斯基為中心的文藝圈子是分不開的。我對20世紀初,海德堡城中韋伯家的周末派,一群具有高度創造力的人在一起談論,也感到印象深刻。後來韋伯的一個學生移民到美國密西根大學教書,而留給我們一份相當生動的記載。在周末派中出了各式各樣的大學者(像盧卡奇),甚至還包括一位後來的德國總統。

再回到維也納。林毓生先生說,1920-1930年代,維也納之所以造就了那麼多傑出的社會科學家,與米塞斯的私人討論會密切相關。當時米塞斯不是大學教授,而是奧國財政部的一名商務顧問,那一群圍繞在他旁邊讀書討論的人就有哈耶克、EricVogelin等大師。

綜合這些一群人把一個人往上頂的事例,我有一種感觸。凡是一個學派最有活力、最具創造性時,一定是一群人不但做著白首太玄經的工作,同時不拘形式地圍繞著一兩個中心人物自由地交流、對話。龔自珍《釋風》篇中說,萬狀而無狀,萬形而無形,也可以用來說明一種學風的形成。的形成不隻是老師對學生縱向的講授,而是有,有傳習而得,也有來自四面八方不期而遇的吉光片羽。那些不經意的一句話,對深陷局中、全力參話頭而充滿疑情的人而言,可能正是四兩撥千斤的一撥。

2000年代初,我因為特殊機緣,有機會參與許多研究計劃的審查,我覺得各種審查會中有兩種氣氛隱隱然在競爭著。一種認為申請計劃的計劃書中所寫的,應該與後來的研究成果相符合。另一種觀念則認為如果做出來的成果皆在計劃書的預測中,這種研究的突破性大概不會太多。我個人所取的態度是因其已知,發現未知,如果期待一切皆是原先所未曾設想到的,未免太不可能;但是許多重大突破又是在計劃之外的。線性的推進很要緊,但是從旁邊撞進來的東西,也不能小看。歷史上許多無用之用,是為大用的發明(如X光),也不一定是從縱向的、線性的推衍所產生的結果,往往是縱橫交叉,與自己原先的構思方案不經意碰撞、引會的產物。我願意把這一點提出來,以供有意營造富有創造力的學術環境者參考。

 

by awan

 

 

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5 thoughts on “美術史論壇後的一些雜感

  1. 謝謝awan的報導與轉載的文章,我都很贊成。唯補充二點,第一,David Carrier教授的演講雖然內容有限,但他點出了一些目前學界關心的議題,以及他個人的思考方向,還是可以從中觸類旁通學習到東西。第二,王教授的文章確實指出台灣研究環境的問題,我們多半只關心自己的研究題目,對別人不太注意,更少學術社群。我曾經參加過三個研究群體,雖然有群體性的學術活動,如研討會或工作坊,但實際上對於超越自己研究課題的談話性討論
    非常少,十分可惜。我們也常常批評別人的研究是一窩蜂,跟著流行走,卻沒有想過潮流代表一世代的人所共同關心的課題。只有在眾人的腦力互相激盪下,才有可能拱出重要的研究。

    • 請問Abby,因為我沒去參加會議,想請問您所謂Carrier教授「點出了一些目前學界關心的議題」是指什麼?請問您方便簡述一下嗎?謝謝!

  2. 上個禮拜天(4/26),我們去了中央藝術學研究所主辦的演講會,上午是David Carrier 教授演講「宮布利希論中國繪畫」,下午是則是由兩位學者發表其近期研究:謝世英教授的「傳統文人魏清德的藝術品味」、黃猷欽教授的「電影裡的藝術史-從李行和白景瑞的電影作品說起」。最後還有林聖智教授以及巫佩蓉教授報告「中國佛教美術研究的新動向(1999-2009)」。

    這次的議程安排豐富緊湊,與會的學者也冠蓋雲集,台大、師大、南藝大、政大、中研院、當然還有中央的學者們皆與會討論;當David Carrier教授指出他認為未來中國藝術史研究的重心將在北京,並且建議採用宮布利希的研究方法時,在場學者們紛紛給予回應,說明台灣學者當前的諸多研究成果、以及宮布利希研究方法本身在西方藝術史研究中的局限。

    此外,當天的活動也提供了非常舒適的環境以及豐盛的餐點,令與會者身心都得到了極大的享受。大家平常很少有機會走出學校,認識他校的同學並分享學習心得,這次的活動可以說是很有意義的,未來如果大家辦活動,一定要好好地學習,也希望更多同學們可以積極地參與,因為,雖然要花很多時間精神,但往往能夠有本來預期不到的意外收穫。

  3. David Carrier教授關心的是在世界藝術史的脈絡中如何討論不同文化的藝術,也就是如何有一個架構可以包含或比較不同文化的藝術。Gombrich在Art and Illusion及The Story of Art書中所闡釋的歐洲藝術史發展的模型提供此一架構,讓我們可以以naturalism or illusionism來比較歐洲與中國藝術的發展。實在無法簡述,請見以下貼文。另外提供文中未曾提及的一點,據石老師與劉巧楣老師所言,David Summers的新書 Real Spaces也是以中國與歐洲在naturalism上所發展的模型來討論世界藝術史的可能性。
    Prof. Carrier’s talk is based on his reflection on Gombrich’s narrative of European art history, in particular the theory of making and matching that elucidates the development of European art from the Renaissance to the late nineteenth century. According to Gombrich, this development is a linear progression toward illusionistic effect perfected in Impressionism. Taking Gombrich’s theory of naturalism as an interface of Chinese and European art, Prof. Carrier’s agenda is actually to investigate the possibility of a world art history that can treat China and Europe equally for the benefit of mutual illumination.
    It seems that the time is ripe for us to rethink the legacy of Gombrich’s art history. The one hundredth anniversary of Gombrich’s birthday is but one reason for us to reevaluate the achievement of this great art historian. For Prof. Carrier, the timing of reevaluation comes with the trend of globalization, in which a conceptual framework for comparing different cultures is needed for mutual understanding. As is commonly known, in the linguistic turn of the 1980s and 1990s, Gombrich faced serious challenge from the art historians who did not appreciate universalized theories and master narrative transcending cultural differences and historical contingencies. Instead, these art historians placed emphasis on changing cultural and historical contexts of production and reception of artworks. In the mid-1990s, some scholars in humanities already pointed out that the emphasis on contextualization resulted in the fragmentation of knowledge, and an integration of different fields of knowledge was required for us to understand the increasingly globalized world of multiple ethnicities and cultures. Today the trend of globalization further facilitates the research that crosses disciplinary barrier and cultural boundaries. In this sense, Gombrich’s theory of making and matching that takes European naturalism in painting as its best manifestation provides a possibility for us to see if naturalism is special to European art and what it stands for.
    There are some interesting points in the talk that I would like to learn more about. For example, that Gombrich’s family background and political standpoint influenced his scholarly concern is a fruitful perspective to the understanding of his stern opposition to the German idealistic tradition of art history, which gravitated toward the ideas of national spirit and the spirit of the age. Due to the limit of time, I will only bring up two major issues of the talk. The first focuses on the naturalistic tendency in traditional Chinese painting and if this tendency created a linked sequence of artworks that constituted the history of Chinese painting. The second addresses the methodology of doing cross-cultural research on art.
    Since the study of Chinese art was established in American academia in the 1950s, Western art has at all times been an important point of reference for scholars of Chinese art to construct their own understanding of Chinese art history. The best example is the evolutionary model that was applied to demonstrate the linear development of illusionistic effect and three-dimensional structure in Chinese painting from the first to the thirteenth century. No matter how scholars such as Max Loehr, Michael Sullivan, James Cahill, and Wen Fong have rephrased and reshaped this model, it cannot be denied that this evolutionary conception regarding Chinese painting was indebted to Gombrich. In the Chinese model, the early Yuan dynasty (that is, the turn of the fourteenth century) is comparable to the late nineteenth century of European painting as a watershed moment when painting made a dramatic turn away from illusionism toward self-expressiveness (as in Wen Fong’s words, if in Cahill’s words, toward art-historical art).
    Prof. Carrier touched on this model of Chinese painting and its relationship to Gombrich in his talk but did not point out its importance in the construction of the history of Chinese painting for the first and second generations of Western scholars in Chinese art. Since it was a dominating model of explaining the trajectory of traditional Chinese painting, it has attracted much attention from the younger generations. Wu Hung, Shih Shou-chien, who is present, and Jonathan Hay all have endeavored to tackle this model by either completely dismissing it or rendering it more historically contextualized. While the new model is yet to be established, at least scholars in Chinese art agree that we now need a narrative that can tell the story of the long-term development of Chinese painting. In other words, the issue of how the tradition of Chinese painting was established and transmitted through time deserves further exploration.
    Undoubtedly, naturalism played a role in Chinese artistic discourses even after the turn toward self-expressiveness. Although the literati view of the eleventh century did dominate the discursive sphere of Chinese art, the history of Chinese painting did not necessarily follow the aesthetic judgment of the literati class. Then, the question is if this naturalistic tendency seen in Chinese painting formed a linked sequence of artworks that amounted to what we define as “history.” I think that the model mentioned above rings true at least for the mainstream painting from the first century to the turn of the fourteenth century. However, while the issues of regional differences and the developmental discrepancies between various genres need to be taken into consideration, the most critical issue may lie in the political and socio-cultural elements that nourished this millennium linear progression toward illusionistic effect. Prof. Carrier mentioned experimental science and democracy but as negative evidence to demonstrate why China did not have a history of art based on the approximating process between nature and the painting surface. Prof. Wen Fong once proposed that neo-Confucianism resulted in the naturalistic tendency of Song painting. I think the effort to link any major constituents of Chinese culture to the evolutionary model is likely to yield little result. What we need is probably the investigation into the crucial historical junctures in this linear progression. These junctures reveal to us specific historical contexts that were full of possibilities for different kinds of transformation but in the end facilitated the development of Chinese painting toward illusionism. The Five Dynasties was one of such historical junctures. The historical context of the early Yuan dynasty leads us to the understanding of the juncture that linked the linear progression toward illusionism and the turn toward self-expressiveness.
    As for the methodology of doing cross-cultural research, I will mention three different approaches. Sorry that I do not have time to elaborate on them. The first approach is to study the interaction between different cultures. The second is to make a meaningful comparison when the two societies at issue shared an analogous socio-cultural structure but went down different roads. For example, the research on the historical question about why China did not have industrial revolution, a question that became legitimate only in recent years because of the trend of globalization, attempts to compare early modern China and West Europe as two distinctive political and socio-cultural entities. The third approach is what Prof. Carrier took in his talk—which is about a certain cultural characteristic and its meaning in the development of world history. The meaning is revealed to us through a comparison between different cultures, in our case, China and West Europe. It seems to me that the epistemological foundation for this kind of comparison is the conception regarding the developmental stages in world history. In order to acquire such a foundation, one discusses the political and socio-cultural elements that engendered the cultural characteristics such as naturalism in painting and gives a qualitative description to the span of time during which naturalism steered the direction of Chinese and European painting. Indeed, this approach reminds us of the evolutionary conception of civilization that was prevalent in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Therefore, my last question is: how can we avoid the pitfall of the evolutionary conception of civilization that often led to a discrimination of the cultures that were considered inferior, such as those that could not produce naturalistic painting and illusionistic art?

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