8-channel video installation, color/sound
2019
Commissioned is a brand new project which I-Hsuen Chen invites a group of artist colleagues to participate in the orchestrated, commissioned mode of labor in a museum setting. This collaborative work is a way into understanding the reality of being a young artist in contemporary society, and to consider the relevance of the body in the daily labor of creators that work with images.
I-Hsuen Chen’s art practice is closely related to his personal history. He majored in advertising in college and worked in marketing department in the company for his first job. The experience of study abroad caused his pursuit for identity. Even the failure in relationship has become the inspiration in his artworks. We can also see his strong interest in music and performance though his work. As a continuation of Chen’s investigation into personal history, Commissioned is a reflection on the condition of the Taiwanese art environment. Since his return to Taiwan, Chen has observed that, in response to the widening youth pay gap and generational tension, young art practitioners have taken on multiple professional identities to make ends meet while pursuing personal creative practices. A part of this ecosystem, Chen is not only an artist but also a freelance videographer and producer conducting interviews and documenting performances for art institutions as well as theater and dance groups. The thin line separating personal practices and commissioned projects mutates and oscillates, with one side guiding the other indefinitely. For the exhibition, Chen switches his position from being invited/employed to invite/to employ others, so as to review the possible form of relationship in a commission. Each setting is a metaphor of possible scenarios within a commissioned project, and the cycle of instruction-action-music gradually brings out the hidden narrative. Chen applies synchronized eight-channel video into an oval shape in order to recall the long and thin gallery hall of Hong-gah museum. Audiences can move along the progress of the video in artist’s design.
With dozens of different blocking and action arrangements, and footage from the collaborators, these hundred hours of videos and sounds in correspondence with eight-channel editing, Chen shows his great ability of sampling, inducing, analyzing and representing in editing the work, and performs a great balance in concluding a precise narrative while taking into consideration the audience viewing experience. Chen raised an critical perspective towards common issue among young generation and make the exhibition Commissioned a witness to the history.

「委託製作」邀請十數名同時具有攝影師/接案者/研究者等不同身分的創作者者一同參與,從「拿著攝影機的身體」出發,透過一系列經過規劃的指令、動作、走位等安排,再加上針對每位參與拍攝者的訪談,以八頻道同步投影的方式,呈現於鳳甲美術館。
陳以軒的創作多半從個人經歷出發,不論是大學時就讀廣告系或第一份工作在企業行銷部門的背景,或是紐約求學時在異鄉重新形塑自我原鄉認同的過程,甚至連情感上受挫的經驗,都能連結到他的創作,同時在作品中能強烈感受到他個人對音樂的喜好,及對身體表演的自在。延續他透過藝術創作梳理個人生命史的方法,本次展覽聚焦在陳以軒返台至今數年間對創作環境的回應。古今中外,藝術家因為現實考量從事接案或副業並非新鮮事,但在強調個人特色、領域劃分模糊、攝影剪輯技術門檻降低的時代,影像工作者對自己的定義經常游移浮動,作品的呈現也無法簡單用創作或接案來區隔。陳以軒自己在以藝術家身分參與視覺藝術相關展覽的同時,也經常承接許多表演團體的記錄拍攝或宣傳預告片製作,在創作和接案中間有一條擺盪的線,看似模糊但又隱約影響著製作當下的思考。在「委託製作」中陳以軒選擇置換角色,將自己從「接案/獲邀」者的身份變成「發案/邀請」者,用以重新檢視影像工作者與外部連結的不同關係形式,每一個經過編排的動作,皆可視為一種關於工作現場的隱喻,而影片當中指令-動作/音樂-訪談三個輪流出現的循環節奏,緩緩帶出了後方的大敘事:在現實與創作相互矛盾的情況下,影像工作者遇到的困難與無奈,如何透過不同形式的串聯和合作,汲取經驗或成就感,而這個看似太過正面積極的態度,也同時成為一種幽默的自我嘲諷。在觀看形式的呈現上,陳以軒選擇與鳳甲美術館的展場呼應,在長方形的展示空間裡安排橢圓形的環狀投影,參與拍攝者的鏡頭內捕捉的畫面和側拍製作過程的畫面交互播出,動態和靜態的畫面以聲音為線索縫合,不同聲道則成為觀看的指引,讓觀眾成為展出的一部份,往返於藝術家安排的走位上。
十多種走位與動作的安排、十多位影像工作者拍攝的內容、數百小時的側拍紀錄的聲音與影像,對應到八頻道的編輯,「委託製作」充分展現出在面對龐大資訊量時,陳以軒如何利用自身「採樣、歸納、分類、再現」的優越能力,呈現出精準的敘事,並顧及觀眾的觀看經驗,也透過這樣的創作過程,讓出發於個人經驗的觀察,得以成為對時代切片的參考樣本。
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