The ingenious Nobuyoshi Araki Reenactments : Manbo Key, transgression of queer 獨創的再現荒木經惟:登曼波的酷兒踰越世界 part1


Keywords (prologue)

Ą̤̮͉r̟͖̯̯͜ą̦̯̱k̨͕̜͕i̡̱̝ H̙͇̰̮͙͜i̠͚̞̙͢d̡͕̤̠͚e̢̥̱̰͚s &̡̣̮̰ͅ M̡͓̗ḁ̧̤̦n̞̤͉̭̗͢b̨̞̥̠o͔̙͈͢ S̡͙̬̤ȩ̝̲̗e̟̞̙͢k̨̝͎̣̪̲s (̨̳͇̠̖͓f̧̬̭͖̠̜ȩ̫͔̖͓ḁ̡̦̫ͅţ̣͔̜.̢͉̫̮̘̘ R̙̮͚͖͜e̡̬̥͍̮ņ̯͎̭̞ Ḩ̞̤a̧̝̭͇̦̰n̨̙̜g̢̣͎͖̱)̧̭͍̯

Kick in


There is an intense relationship between personal experiences and art creation. And mainly, the art creation which is based on personal experiences reveal genuineness. Genuineness indicates the transgression(1)against rational life which contrasts with stereotypes. Such transgressions ranging from l'érotisme (Erotica) (2) ,la pornogaphie (Pornography) ,violence, gender fluidity, death, subculture etc. In other words, idiosyncrasies that are niche ,merely exposed to a small group of people, and  which regulars quickly avert their gaze if you “transgress genuinely”.  

Eroticism only includes a domain marked off by the violation of rules. It is always a matter of going beyond the limits allowed: there is nothing erotic in a sexual game like that of animals. ……So it is a matter of passing from the licit to the forbidden.Man's sexual life developed out of the accursed, prohibited domain, not the licit domain.(Bataille 1991, 124)

  Regarding Japanese photographer, contemporary artist Nobuyoshi Araki (3), I will discuss how the latecomers(mainly Manbo Key as I talked with him and Ren is dead already), —Ren Hang the Chinese photographer and Manbo Key the Taiwan photographer influenced by Araki, reenact his transgression but at the same time coin something novel and provoke queer concepts stemming from current political background which differ from Araki’s political background. Araki’s photography incorporates erotica and pornography naturally. In his first few years of career, Araki published more than twenty books in one year, trying to make photography more like a photo diary. Those photo albums included his personal sex life and love life, also represented his passion, curiosity and relentless quest for death and sex. Araki created or recreated concepts such like “I Photography”(4)(私寫真、私攝影), “I Novel”(私小說), “Pseudo-Diary”(偽日記), he passed his passion through artworks to the public. Araki has a direct and clear idea of photographs, that photography is his life, and he thinks the fountain of life comes from women and sex. He also directly captured his wife’s corpse and lots of photos that relate to death. No matter if it is intentional or accidental, he does pave the way for subsequent artists who are eager to expose their personal sentiments, lives to the public. Better still, an encouragement of transgression and queer life.

 The personal values, sentiments, idiosyncrasies of an artist, or his/her private experiences related to transgression are necessary for the basis of their inspiration, especially when the subjects of artwork contain nude, intercourse, sexual behavior,sexual relationships,death,gender. It is because those subjects are the direct carriers and manifestations of personal values, sentiments, idiosyncrasies and factual experiences. Unlike a rose representing love or depending on “psychogeography” to say neighborhoods generally simply assume elegant street cause a feeling of satisfaction (5) . A dead body is dead literally; A father has sex with different genders is a normality based on transgression already;  A flamboyant transgender looking at the screen is a queer himself already; A frog jumps in an old pond then that's the sound of water. Under the diverse subjective interpretation of artists, there will be different representations of transgression. The labels such as erotic, pornographic, obscene, gender-fluid, gender-confusion, forbidden fruit ,sin are also subjective to the audiences and critics (6). No matter Ren Hang, Manbo Key and Nobuyoshi Araki, they both go against traditional social norms, stigmatizations, and moral standards. They both based on the fact that similar to the definition of Georges Bataille’s transgression, the real status quo of social norms or mainstream hegemony, and, stepping on those stones to develop their own queer lifestyles and artworks. Most importantly, they are the living proofs, manifestations of their own artworks, honest to the true self, via true self, bodies and their intertwined art media(photography, painting, dj, fashion, lifestyle, sex, death,love) as media and carrier (7) to embody a fragmented, thorough, self-determined queer trajectory which is a progressive contextualization and cross-contextual (8). 

 So, moving forward, queer is an identity within a subjective agency. Queer transcend all sexual behaviors and gender expressions, all concepts linking such to prescribed, associated identities, and their categorization into “normal” or “deviant” sexualities or gender, are constructed socially and generate modes of social meaning. Queer follow and expand stemming from feminist theory by refusing the belief that sexuality and gender identity are essentialist categories determined by biology that can thus be empirically judged by fixed standards of morality and reported truth. Nonetheless, it is more than self-identity or gender identity, but a ingenious identity which deconstructs the former mechanism of power and culture logic.  It also represents people who are self-occupied in a marginal, alternative subcultural scene and refuse to be assimilated by mainstream culture, adhere to their own alternative character, and at the same time embrace assimilation and would not become cultural hegemony. Deem sex as a major constructed social sphere or domain.Queer explore the logic and presentation of power/culture in which they operate together automatically,the mechanism of the knowledge/power linkage, and the possibilities of differences and alliances. In this regard, we will also explore how Araki and Manbo reenact the power of queer in a gender sense and a deconstructive trailblazer sense.

  To take a macroscopic view, this essay follows the way of cross-contextual, in order to fully and wholeheartedly get into the trajectory of Manbo and how he was affected by the context of previous events—Araki’s artworks. Lastly, it will become a nutshell which goes back to the starting point that me and Manbo met at the Today at Apple Creative Studio event in July 2022 and how our trajectory collided ,intertwined.

Scene 1-Father’s Videotapes x センチメン タルな旅 :In the order of daily life passing lightly, I feel something subtle

  The 1971 ‘s Nobuyoshi Araki (9) , underwent the similar sentiment of the 2019’s Manbo Key. It is a kind of passive and natural documentary. They are both passively being drawn or even haunted by the targets who are intimate and loved, what their loved ones give them, they take it meticulously , reenact the essences of loved ones ranging from videotape, cassette,photography fairly and naturally.During this process, both Araki and Manbo have a mixed feelings towards targets, however, the textures are different. 

  Manbo traced and tracked his father for 20 years, during the creation of Father’s Videotapes, he was still in a status quo that confused and afraid of talking with his father regarding his sex tape or father’s “abnormal sexual behavior”. Walking down the long memories lane with father, even exhibiting father’s secret letter, sex life and their raw dialogue, Manbo subconsciously and at the same time consciously(10) shows his uncertainty, complex feeling of seeking the reasons why father did that to himself and to Manbo, shows his indirect, subtle interaction with father, tongue-tied status that merely through the tangible and factual mixed media that father left or recreate by Manbo can manifest the conflict between his internal dialogue and the social gender norms.

  During the making of Father’s Videotape (11) which lasted for almost 20 years starting from 2013, It tracks and shows a process of a loop of passive reenactment. 

  Reenact by definition means acting out or repetition of a past event or situation. If you re-enact an event, you try to make it happen again in exactly the same way that it happened the first time, often as a way to help people remember certain facts about an event. In reenactment , according to Jennifer Allen’s words, the audience becomes a witness in whose eyes “the original event becomes historical by taking up time,and claims its status as history by appearing as a discrete event with a finite duration. In other words,the reenactment makes the event an origin, giving it a definition and an identity that it may not have had for itself.Thus, reenactment aims to turn the shapeless continuity of our chaotic past into a discrete and well-defined experience, for which only repetition and a new reading can provide a possible meaning. But in this process history should not be viewed as closed and prescriptive ; as it was for Benjamin, history is a field of possibilities , in which not only the future, but even the past is constantly re-written (and this is particularly manifest in Rod Dickinson’s work.)  

  The reason why Manbo called it “Father’s videotape” is because while Manbo was still a teen,18 years ago, he unintentionally found a videotape from his dad’s gayporn dry box, watched his father’s sexual videotape using a V8 camera( Hand-held Selfile camera). Prime lens, two people, naked, same sex, having sex. At this juncture, Manboo felt “ A shock of  transgression of life logic”. This also combines with the experiences before he found the sextape: Once on new year holiday, the sound of sex produced from his father’s room. Although Manbo has already known the true self of father, father does know he is exposed, they didn't  officially talk about this topic. Starting from that moment, he explores his interest of sex and paves the path walking next to his father and tries to feel what father feels. In this process, relentlessly, embodying the current Manbo. In Manbo’ eyes, father is a drifting (流流漂漂)person always. He somehow leads a bohemian life and stays like a maverick. His caretaker is grandmother, mom gave birth to him and then left home. His mom also hung out with other lovers when she was with his dad, having other two children. At the beginning, he was always noticed and gossiped about by the neighborhood. Folks were curious about his sexuality and predilection, whether he was abnormal or not. In this situation, Manbo intended to keep their mouth shut so he studied so hard in high school, feeling like the academy could make him satisfied, a proof to the regulars. Manbo and father’s relationship was bad before he started the art project related to father. He blamed father “ why did you give birth to me? Why am I an illegitimate child? Why are you such a kind of person? How can I face the gaze and gossip of other people? How can we communicate? What do I really desire? Does it depend on you? Are you abnormal? So you put me in a hell family?” Conversely, Manbo resonates with the sense of Bataille’s transgression : “When I was in high school, One time, I saw a man directly walking into my house and got into my father's room. Actually it is not the first time but that moment struck me most. That time I could hear the sound from them, the whole order and logic were interrupted. However, to be honest, more than shocking, I felt excited. The more forbidden, the more desirable .” It is the law of  Bataille’s transgression working through Manbo’s life. Being a queer undergoing gender confusion, tongue-tied status to communicate with family,it is a normal but vital life moment for Manbo. Father’s exceptional, mysterious and vague lifestyle creates a tantalized status for Manbo. He is so willing to know more about father starting from his childhood. He feels the subtle sentiments in the perpetual order of daily life. The ineffable feeling starts from him unreasonably ,abruptly, gratuitously being determined as a maverick that is responsible to connect himself with his father. The hearing of sex sound from father’s room and driven from transgression theory are passive, the primal shock is the sexsound, second everything around space is silent ,normal. The elephant is in the room. His father does not think himself doing something wrong, so the silence, ineffable, irresponsible turns Manbo into a mechanism he mentioned himself “ we never talk much about the issue of himself or what he impacts on me, I understand him by his daily life and action and follow his flow to get more smooth with him.” This passive way of communication , sort of by own observation, directly transformed into passive reenactment once Manbo chose to put this process of their lives on table.

What father gave Manbo, Manbo directly showed them off. But is the sentiment also passive? Also a reenactment? Yes. Those historical stuff and factual experiences, sentiments are transgressed , transformed as Manbo is part of his father’s history, so what he exhibits , with those stuff mentioned , with Manbo’s own interpretation like “when I saw the boysex magazine(pic 1) from my dad, it marks that it is prohibited. Thus, I know in their era they are trying to overcome some obstacles and dealing with their sentiments.” “I put some hints in my exhibition —父親的錄影帶_碧兒不談..People who understand will understand them. For instance, this censored letter with the stamp on it (pic 2) . It represents something in a particular era that needs to be ruminated. Someone saw this letter and resonated with it saying they had received the same letter with a stamp. When teachers saw this stamp they were shocked and doubted what my family did. This is the status of me hesitating saying things I can say or not..”  Manbo develops his own interpretation and fantasy based on first-hand, historical stuff from father, rendering a novel reading and discrete perspective .But paradoxically, they are companions from the start. Starting from noticing his father is “exceptional”. So it is not a reenactment as he is more than a witness and he already had a subjective opinion and sentiment of his father’s life. He is not the way like “ My first, former knowledge of the security law movement 2019 in HK is from secondhand,readiness-to-hand documentary, online videos, reports, telephone game and books etc. So when I now run with the protesters and fight with the police, I find a new meaning , transgress the past history and redefine this game. This is a reenactment as the event’s texture turns from passive to active. Plus the cognition textures, layers have big differences in this case, it doesn’t step in the river twice.” But now I cross context, back to my own context, it seems this passive reenactment is just Manbo’s personal fantasy. Unless Manbo fantasized a world that he still not yet exist—— father’s younger life when he first discovered his sexuality, stumbling and falling without the gaze of Manbo his son. The unleashed father, with the gaze of son, is always passively manipulating son’s psyche and way of expressions. But if Manbo changed his focus on the “pre-liberated period”of father, he may see how and what father really came through. From a different layer, texture ,dimension to another layer, texture ,dimension, reenact the first dimension in the last dimension, this is reenactment.

(pic1 by Manbo)
(pic 2 by Manbo)


(1)「transgression 「踰越」,是喬治.巴代耶(Georges Bataille 1887- 1962)情色論中重要的概念之一。泛指超脫一般社會習俗規範或主流霸權論述的脫序、逸軌思想或行為。譬如, 個人要生存或社會要順利運作與發展,有賴此個人或社會之組成份子遵守一套合乎「理性」的遊戲規則;此規則基本上是以增加生產、累積財富、保存生命為原則。就這個角度而言,巴代耶踰越的觀念指的是個人或群體在某些場合──如性行為、列車上、或學術討論會-- 中違反此一「理性」原則之脫軌經驗。踰越乃依附限制或禁忌而生。禁忌與踰越的關係。就如神聖與褻瀆的關係一般,是相當弔詭的。在宗教中,神聖代表的是令人敬而遠之、不可侵犯的禁忌,然而神聖/禁忌的事物雖令人敬畏恐懼,但同時卻也在人們心中激起一股欲踰越禁忌一窺真相、一探究竟的衝動。 愈是聖的,愈屬於禁忌的、可衝破的,所以愈能激起慾望。中文讀者可參閱蔡淑玲教授在〈巴岱儀的否定與踰越〉一文中的精采剖析。」

(2)在《愛神的眼淚》中,巴代耶進一步指明,人類情色和動物性行為之分野在於前者特具之「邪惡」(diabolical)性質。 在此「邪惡」意味著性與死亡的結合(Bataille 1989, 24)。基本上,巴代耶認為光是性行為尚還不足以構成情色;情色有時甚至不一定要和性行為有 關。對他而言,動物皆有性行為;但祇有人類懂得情色。在原始人類在從動物進化到人類時,巴代耶特別注意到人類的三項進化特徵: 一、開始懂得工作,二、對死亡產生意識,三、對性行為有了禁忌 (Bataille 1986, 31, 42)。人類為了生存必須從事生產工作,但死亡與性顯然有礙工作之進行,兩者遂逐漸成了禁忌;而在某一層意義上,情色 則起於對性禁忌的突破踰越。動物因對性百無忌憚,對死亦無意識,無須突破任何禁忌,故動物談不上情色。此外,巴代耶也認為婚 姻中沒有情色,因為他認為婚姻中的性行為,基本上是以傳宗接代為目的(至少教會主張如此),而情色卻是種不事生產、完完全全純消費的行為(nonproductive expenditure)。不同於一般理性的行為,情色基本上是種逸軌、脫序、踰越的現象。

(3)巴黎的歐洲攝影之家(Maison Europeenne de la Photographie)在2019年3月展出任航的作品,是為回顧展。展覽前言寫著他曾受到過Terry Richardson以及荒木經惟的影響 / 楊登棋 (登曼波)整體的視覺語彙確實讓人不自覺地聯想到許多當代攝影大師的幽靈。無論是德國攝影家沃爾夫岡.蒂爾曼斯(Wolfgang Tillmans)的檔案運用與詩意編排、美國攝影家瑞安.麥克金利(Ryan McGinley)甜美夢幻的青春狂曲、英國攝影家理查.畢林漢(Richard Billingham)貼近記錄自己酗酒父親的陰鬱日常、日本攝影家荒木經惟的生死哲學與性徵隱喻等。無論作者有意或無意,《父親的錄影帶》都巧妙搓揉了上述的元素與創作方法。參自:沈柏逸 (2020)。本土同志身體與當代風格的幽靈:楊登棋作品《父親的錄影帶》。

(4)他的「私寫真」企圖以公開、開放的方式建立關係,先是對拍攝對象開放,而後對大眾開放,在紀錄色情場所之作品裡,以一種「自傳體報導攝影」(autobiographical reportage)的「形式」,進入現場,然後自己化身為主角與性工作者玩樂,一同完成作品。參自:林宛瑾 阮芳賦 梁台仙 市原常夫 (2009)。從荒木經惟之「私寫真」論性與色情藝術創作。第33頁。

(5)這裡說的是有生命力、踰越性的直接載體是身體、性愛、性別、死亡。因為主體的情感、切身經歷直接投射在他的身體、性愛行為包括荒木陽子的裸體、荒木兩人做愛的過程(如陽子幫他口交、高潮的表情)、陽子裸身在戶外及室內的靜態照、性別表徵如衣著、談吐、表情、風格、器官(如任航拍攝青檸跟菸頭插進友人陽具,直接表達陽具的敏感度和可塑性)以及最終的死亡狀態如荒木經惟拍攝亡妻陽子屍體。對比Guy Debord, ‘Introduction to a Critique of Urban Geography’, Knabb,p6–7需創立一個詞「心理地理學」去確保自己弱小的心靈難以單憑信念和自身體會去知道「各種環境與氛圍的組合可能性,產生出來給居民的主觀感,是類似於將純化學物質混合成無數種混合物,會產生與任何其他形式的奇觀所能喚起的不同和復雜的感覺。」。我們不需要先塑造一個客觀的感覺或刻意用宏大敘事、概念性的字詞去支撐起你的東西是獨一無二的普遍法則。它本來是這樣,當下即實相,玫瑰就是一種植物,不是愛情,存在是在未始有言之先的存在,而當人用語言說它,存在成為了話語所論定的對象物,不是存在的本身。

(6)性的主觀性同時令「性藝術」(sexual arts)、一種因為內容或題材涉及性的作品被藝評界稱為藝術品。「性藝術」(sexual arts)的命名,在藝術領域置放在「情色藝術」(erotic art)或「色情藝術」(pornographic art)之內,藝術評論會因為創作態度、形式、風格的劃分,而劃分出寫實主義、印象主義、象徵主義、 現代主義、後現代主義等等,但鮮少因為內容或題材涉及性的,而稱之為性的藝術品,因為一件創作品的完成,創作者不必然只描繪了一種關係、投射單一情感,觀者也握有主觀的詮釋權,但無論是對於性的題材、表現方式,往往容易侷限在一個固執的觀點,亦即表達層次的「藝術性高低」,決定了這件作品被歸類在「情色」或「色情」領域,但兩者之間的分別也僅能解釋為風格上的差異,而非藝術性、藝術內涵、層次甚至道德的問題。關鍵處在於創作者發聲的慾望和力量。而站在性表達的立場,人人皆有權利藉著任何形式表達他對性的想法,但這隱約只是一種創作態度,而非針對創作天分與能力。參自:林宛瑾 阮芳賦 梁台仙 市原常夫 (2009)。從荒木經惟之「私寫真」論性與色情藝術創作。第34頁。



(9)荒木經惟紀錄自己的生活、私生活、性生活去拍攝生命與死亡,一切他認為值得書寫在日記裡的事件,他以日記(日誌)的形式表達。攝影機是他的筆,也如他在《寫真的愛與情》所說「我的身體跟攝影基連在一起」的一致性,攝影是書寫,一幅幅相片則是記載影像的日誌。1970 年在任職的廣告公司出版第一本印刷攝影集之後,1971 年荒木和同事青木陽子(Yoko Aoki)結婚,出版他們的蜜月旅行攝影集《感傷之旅》。在這系列的作品裡,每一張都印有「日期」,這些最早由紀錄「自我」開始的作品,與日記的形式相同,在於「我」想要說話,在自由文體的形式下,沒有謹慎的鋪陳也沒有嚴格設計的結尾,任憑生活經驗的直覺與感受,片斷、切割、瑣碎,並且處於進行中、滾動的時態。像是為了捕捉每一刻而按下快門。荒木跨越「藝術作品」或「攝影作品」的僵化印象,大部分人對印有日期的照片等同於普通照片,而「作品」則必須有別於此,並且一般的攝影作品更多注意的是空間、 構圖的元素,但他卻有不同的看法: 「在我看來,時間的概念更重要。隨著快門的開啟,時間被凝固下來,作為「此時此刻」的記錄是不可重複的,也就成為永遠」

(10)登曼波在2022年5月的「在地實驗計劃論壇」中分享他的創作心得,均呈現出他是在小心翼翼、一知半解、旁敲側擊、被動地吸納父親給他的歷史物件、真實經歷,從中提煉材料質感。他提到在進行「父親的錄影帶」計劃時,「在北美館的版本其實只有我父親的肖像是非常的鮮明,就是有他整個人出現,其他都是背影或者是私交的或是很抽象的符號。當時也要放置了一些物件但那些物件也沒有被整理得像有線索去閱讀它,是很碎片式的,不能很完整的知道它背後細節是什麼。例如父親有本雜誌是有裸露的男體的,我偶然看到才發現噢原來那時候有一些人在克服一些事情,或是正在處理他們的欲望。」從在父親則旁感受的空間感、時間流動,帶到展覽的空間內,由展覽空間和歷史物件(及手物)達致海德格的物體跟區域的關係(及手物體現出方位(place);手前物體現出位置(position),即此有,因此,體現出空間(開闢空間)。而常人(the they)如何理解世界?及手性的方式、手前性的方式其實端賴於我們如何理解。為何理解總是把握可能性?海德格認為,這是由於理解的特殊結構—籌劃。)「我的展覽示意圖是讓各作品各自座落,在一個空間中做到有節奏性,或是閱讀方式是可以從這個空間有時間性地去觀看這些東西」「父親的錄影帶時間序拉很長,像是2013帶他去看醫生,一直到有次我帶他一起去公投,在路上會問你會投什麼,其實有很多東西沒有講到裡面但我也不覺得要說那麼清楚。然後在醫院我跟他錄影跟對話問他你知道這個事情已經通過了嗎?他不知道,但很想知道。並給我一個感覺他在消化」

(11)《父親的錄影帶_碧兒不談》是楊登棋(登曼波)進行超過10年的計畫,時間回到90年代,因為發現父親的自拍錄影帶,無法避免地也發現了父親的性傾向,而隨之開啟的一連串對於「父親」角色的重新理解──不管是作為個體的或是社會定義上的。 透過攝影、錄影、物件與裝置去試圖追溯、理解或重現他與父親之間的關係。延續先前作品《父親的錄影帶 Father's Video Tape》,在《碧兒不談》中,楊登棋(登曼波)從個人的經歷出發,回望世代間的轉變與跨越,曼波從台北多元的酷兒生活圈中,是如何各自以自己的方式建構出自我的認同,以影像、裝置將展覽編輯成為一系列影像詩歌,以不同篇章紀錄一群不被主流所見,甚至被迴避直視的群體。《父親的錄影帶 Father's Video Tape》於2019年獲臺北美術獎首獎,《父親的錄影帶_碧兒不談》創造了跟前作《父親的錄影帶》,彼此兩個作品關係的視覺性伏流,也同時是歷史未揭露的故事,更凸顯了談與不談的表演政治與未來的行動。有關從《父親的錄影帶 Father's Video Tape》到《父親的錄影帶_碧兒不談》的創作理程,參閱pic 10由登曼波於2022年5月的「在地實驗計劃論壇」中分享的創作心得。


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