手稿的定义、边界与研究

The Definition, Boundary and Research of Manuscripts


手稿的定义、边界与研究

王春辰

在美术史、艺术研究中,手稿都是重要的材料。通过对手稿的研究,可以看到完成的作品的创作过程,或最初的构图与完成的作品的差别。对这些差别,研究者做出不同的解释,特别是对于那些重要的历史作品,研究者都试图从手稿的角度去揭示作品所可能包含的密码,或不解之谜。


如达芬奇的蒙娜丽莎,那神秘的微笑到底是来自于模特,还是另有原委。研究者通过达芬奇自画像手稿进行研究和对比,也对完成的作品进行X光扫描做验证。起初,手稿就是画家的草图,2001年央美也做过一次手稿展,讨论的也是艺术家在创作过程中的过程感。怎么理解手稿?如果对它没有一个明确的界定,或者是一个新的理解,它的内涵和边界需要通过这个讨论使我们更加明晰。这也是作家创作作品的一个提前预备。


如果说手稿是美术史研究的一种材料,到底把什么样的材料看成是完成作品之外的手稿?我们看这次展览,一说到手稿,你看很多东西画的已经是作品,无法与实际的完成作品区别开,作品尺寸小不能等同于就是手稿。为创作准备的手稿可不可以揭示他的私密性?人为的意图是否具有个人私密性?在这个方面,我们也要有所注意。


    孙振华老师把手稿涵盖的更广,可以揭示出手稿当中带来了什么,有私密性、真实性、过程性。另一方面,今天很多当代艺术家的手稿,是作为作品的一部分而创作的,这样的手稿完全是作品的设计、预案,很难说有个人内在心里、潜意识的东西。对这些材料,我们就需要区别、需要斟酌。


就我这几年工作接触到的手稿研究,前几年英国皇家艺术学院的梵高展览是很好的范例。我们都熟悉梵高的创作,看到的都是梵高完成的作品。但是,这个展览做的是什么?是手稿研究,但是这里的手稿是梵高的书信、日记。梵高在这些书信、日记里画了大量的草图。这些草图几乎都可以跟他后期的作品对应出来。有些为了创作,勾画一个草图,然后在创作过程中有一些草图被实现了,有一些没有实现,这可能跟条件有关。每个手稿或者是草图、过程图,揭示的问题都不一样。不是每一件叫做手稿的东西都可以反映出我们所希望的所有问题,有一部分反映的是真实性,有一部分就是过程,有些作品就是独立创作。


我想,如果是真正的手稿,或者是不带任何雕琢,没有任何设计的,就是日常行为的一种随手画画,也不是练习,只是一种习惯,那么这种手稿反映得更真实、更简单。但是对于绘画,它们在创作过程中有时候,是要追求效果的,一旦过分追求外在的视觉性,它在分析作者的潜意识方面就缺乏了不期然的信息。随意画的手稿,就能反映出画家的真实感觉,这样的手稿更有绘画的感觉,甚至比完成的作品还有内容。对于不同手稿的类型、手法,我们都应该有所甄别,这样我们面对庞大的创作素材或材料的时候才会有一个清晰的认识。


我们说的都是纸本的、可见的纸稿,我们可不可以说摄影也可以成为手稿,很多艺术家的拍摄是为创作做准备的,这种准备的图样、图像和他后面的作品结合起来也可以做研究。今天是一个数字时代,有数字艺术。对于数字艺术在电脑上未完成的东西怎么看待呢?算不算手稿?是方案?是草图?这样我们就可以发现,手稿既清晰又模糊,既有原有的材质和手法,同时也有新的变化,从联系纸本的到了三维的,从实体的到了虚拟的,这些东西又构成了一个手稿的边界的扩大。在内涵上来讲,究竟是看作一个练习、成长还是看作一个创作的过程? 


我们怎么认同艺术过程中每一部分的价值?比如影像、电影类的作品,有时候是没有办法收藏的,特别是表演类。事实上,今天的艺术家在创作的过程中,他把自己每一步完成的过程,包括草图、手绘的、电脑制作的都当作了手稿。比如作品的拆分,就是独立打印出来的,有的就是过程当中的所有东西。通过这样的一种理解或思考,我觉得手稿的意义是很重要的。同时,我们也需要明晰它的边界和内涵。这样我们在策划展览,在陈列的时候,就不是单纯地拍一个静画,挂在墙上当作一个作品,这也失去了手稿的意义。当然,有些手稿就是作品。我们需要对手稿的边界认识的越来越清晰。我们一方面要开展来做,另一方面,我们也想一下,手稿是不是可以取代艺术品本体的研究?或者仅仅是作为美术史研究的一种补充或是一种丰富?这些都是我们可以讨论的点。




The Definition, Boundary and Research of Manuscripts


Manuscripts are important materials for the study of art history. Through manuscripts, we can track the creating process of completed works, and the difference between the first composition and the finished works. Researchers would make interpretations of the differences, and try to unveil the secrets or puzzles that the works may contain based on manuscripts, especially in the case of important historical works.

For example, people wonder whether the mysterious smile of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa belongs to the model herself or because of other reasons. To solve this problem, researchers have studied da Vinci’s manuscripts of his self-portraits, which have also been X-rayed for verification. In 2001, Central Academy of Fine Arts also organized a manuscript exhibition to discuss the sense of procedure in the artist's creation. How should the manuscript be understood? Its meaning and boundaries should be rendered clearer after our discussion.

If the manuscript is a kind of material in the study of art history, what kind of material can be regarded as the manuscript? In this exhibition, many works on display have their own individuality and cannot be distinguished from the finished works. The small size should not be a criterion of manuscripts. Can a manuscript prepared for creation reveal the artist’s privacy? Should human intention be private? These are some aspects we need to pay attention to.

Mr. Sun Zhenhua gives a wider definition of manuscripts, including privacy, authenticity and process. On the other hand, the manuscripts of many contemporary artists today are created as part of their works. Such manuscripts are entirely the design and pre-plan of the works. There is hardly anything private and subconscious in them. We need to be discreet about these materials.

Among the manuscript studies I came across in my recent years of work, the Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in the UK was a good example. We are all familiar with the creation of Van Gogh and we only see his finished works. What did this exhibition do? It was a manuscript study, and the manuscripts were Van Gogh's letters and diaries, in which Van Gogh drew a lot of sketches. Almost all of these sketches correspond to his later works. Some sketches were finalized while others were not due to limited conditions. Every manuscript reveals a different issue. Not every manuscript can be the answer that we want it to be; some reflect authenticity, some process, and some are independent creations.

I think real manuscripts are those created out of a habit with no polishes or designs. They are true reflection of the painter’s feelings and contain richer meanings than the finished ones. In contrast, paintings always have a purpose in mind, and once the extrinsic visual pursuit is excessive, they would lacks in casualness when analyzing the subconscious element of the artist. The manuscript with a casual mind can reflect more true feelings of the artist and with more taste of drawing, which is more abundant in its content than the finished work. Therefore, we should sort out different types of manuscripts and techniques so that we have a clear understanding of the huge amount of creative materials.

We’re talking about manuscripts made on paper, but what about photography? Many artists shoot images as preparations, and they can also be studied together with the final works. In this digital age, there are digital arts. What about the unfinished art work on the computer? Does it count as a manuscript, a blueprint, or a sketch? We can see that the definition of manuscripts is both clear and vague, covering long-existing materials and techniques as well as new changes, and ranging from paper to the three-dimensional, from the physical to the virtual, extending the boundaries of the manuscript. From another perspective, should the manuscript be seen as an exercise, a path of growth, or as a creative process?

How do we evaluate every part of the art process? Works such as videos and movies cannot be collected, especially the performance. In fact, in the process of creation, today’s artists regard every step of the process as his manuscript, including sketches, hand-made and digital drawings. For example, sometimes the work is split up and printed independently. Looked through such lens, I believe that the manuscript is very important. At the same time, we also need to clarify its boundaries and connotations. In this way, when we are planning an exhibition, it would be more than just still pictures on the wall. Of course, some manuscripts are independent works. We need to understand the boundaries of manuscripts more clearly. On the one hand, we must carry out the work. On the other hand, we should also think about whether the study of manuscript can replace that of finished works, or it is just supplementing or enriching art history research. These are all the points that we can discuss.