在我看来，至少到今天，德国电影人，摄影师、艺术家布克哈德.冯.哈德（Burkhard von Harder）的上半生像是一个长长的散文电影，一个梦造成的船，在茫茫大海上漂浮着……
不过，在德国，他的故土，貌似布克哈德的艺术发展之路并不活跃，有一个显而易见的原因，在那样一个骄傲的、产生浪漫主义、德国表现主义、杜塞尔多夫贝歇夫妇，和大哲学家康德的国度，大多都在回避二战那段痛苦、敏感的历史。更深层的含义，则来自于这个展览的名称《迂回与距离》。这一名称来源于法国著名的当代哲学家，汉学家Francois Jullien（弗朗索瓦.朱利安，也翻译成弗朗索瓦.于连）的著作：《Le Detour et l’acces（迂回与进入）》，（北大法语系著名教授杜小真翻译，商务印书馆出版，2017年）。这一名称的提出，来自于布克哈德本人广泛的阅读和在自己的祖国不那么被人知的苦恼吧。这一展览名称，显示出布克哈德隐藏的热情，或者野心，以及，虽然三次重要的展览都在中国北京举行，不过最终，他的艺术将取得德国大众的认同和喜爱，这样一种认知迂回的智慧策略吧。
我们不愿意、布克哈德本人也拒绝为他的作品贴任何理解性标签，但是，在本次展出的摄影作品中，我们依稀可见贝歇尔夫妇，托马斯.鲁夫，安德列亚斯·古尔斯基那些当代德国摄影大师的影子：大画幅相机，摄影类型学，胶片拍摄和数码技术结合，巨大的尺幅，等这些摄影语言学特征，但又有所不同，正如Andy Grundberg 所描写的那样：Von Harder’s photography, as it is presented here, is an argument for a third option, one in which the calculated precision and distance characteristic of the objective approach is joined by a self-reflexive, autobiographical sensibility。布克哈德采取的是“第三条道路”——自我反省与自传式的美学基调（注：Andy Grundberg is a former critic of the New York Times - author of Crisis of the Real - Writings on Photography since 1974 ）。因此，本次展出布克哈德的摄影系列，无疑带给中国观众关于德国当代摄影史的惊鸿一瞥吧。毕竟，他生长在德国，那是一个大的、强有力的文化传统。
布克哈德的最新大型Video作品：FRAME RAIN ，把两部电影：一部是由英国导演Thorwald Dickinson （梭罗德·狄金森）导演的《GASLIGHT（煤气灯下）》，另一部，是由德国导演Sebastian Schipper （塞巴斯蒂安·施普尔）导演的《VICTORIA（维多利亚）》，结构而成的16米高的录像装置作品。新作惊悚、壮观，讨论了全世界共同的困境和他个人的刺痛点，也暗含了布克哈德引入电影史的目的和野心，是基于讨论电影多重可能性的主观维度，以及他向电影大师们的致敬。
Until now, the life of German filmmaker, photographer and artist Burkhard von Harder is like a long prose film, a boat made of a dream, floating in the vast ocean...
Detour+Distance at Being3 Gallery is the third solo exhibition of Burkhard von Harder in China. The first, Scar, Germany, is a 16 hour-long film that traces the path of the former German wall: studying the German landscape for evidence of its mentality. It was an eye-opening experience for the Chinese audience because of its direct geo-historical reference and epicvisual sweep. The second exhibition, 24 Frames/Second, helped to shed light on his ambitious cinematic approach through the deconstruction of the material process of moving images. By using Chinese films as his source, this project transforms time and space, fusing contrasting cultural references by juxtaposing Western and Eastern visual vocabularies. Now the third, Detour+Distance, derives its name from the writings of Francois Jullien, a famous contemporary French philosopher and sinologist, known for his work Le Detour et l’Acces (Detour and Access) (1). The name was proposed by the artist, to encompass his conflicted feelings towards his homeland. The labyrinthian path of the works displayed in the gallery form an archive of years of looking, researching, and responding to a long, personal evolution.
Over the past three years, Being3 Gallery has had the opportunity to accompany Burkhard von Harder through his travels and observe his approach to his work. While sharing his friendship, we have witnessed his struggle with history and inheritance, while sensing its impact on his emotional essence. Burkhard admits that even with concerted study, he could not always excavate the exact points that bind him to the deeper, often invisible, and troubling layers of the German past. Yet, the depth of that hidden connection reveals itself over time, through his work.
Every solo show of Burkhard von Harder opens us to a new segment of his unique inner world. Each exhibition is also totally different from the one before. Despite the dissimilarity in our cultural backgrounds and language, and the challenge that these differences pose to misinterpretation, Being3 Gallery is honored to advance the work of this artist, as we find our common language through art. What we have come to understand is that although Burkhard seems indifferent as to whether he creates a finished work, his veiled determination to express his artistry is expressed in the way he never stops exploring what is hidden in history and in the world around him. Unexpected things appear: the history of movies, people dreaming, some unknown island... Like an elegant scroll in Chinese painting, his internalized process unfolds slowly with the progression of his life.
I Want to Know "Tomorrow has been decided, just as yesterday has ended" – Borges The works in this exhibit span over 35 years of the artist’s career. On view will be segments of his photography series, Home Coming (2003), as well as masterpieces such as the cinematographic deconstruction installations along with large scale, superb quality, photographic works where lonely and isolated individuals, most of them German, are revealed through Burkhard’s distanced, yet sympathetic eyes. Finally the video installation, Detour China – 48 Hours, which echoes the name of the exhibition, documents the epic transportation of all of his art works to China.
In Julien’s Le Detour et l’Acces, a question is discussed: what do we gain from discussing things indirectly? How does maintaining a distance between ourselves and other people (and objects) make it easier to discover and display them more clearly? How does this distance become a source of “effectiveness”? In proximity through detours, what can we gain? Or, by contrast, how do detours provide access? In fact, as we developed Burkhard’s exhibition, we found that the deeper we went into the process, the more we returned to the beginning. Hosting this exhibition in a far away country, has led to considering how German culture is reflected through Burkhard and through a foreign lens. Thus, this exhibition is also a reconstruction -- a combination between the language of photography and cinema integrated with Burkhard’s internal search for an understanding to his personal questions. The scenery is changing, and a panorama of this artist’s art is emerging from reflection and detour.
In Germany, Burkhard von Harder’s artistic career has not been fully recognized for an obvious reason: his deeply personal and metaphysical explorations are not easily received by a proud, romantic, country, whose cultural precedents are rooted in such rational artistic traditions as the photographic realism formed by Bernd and Hilla Becher, German expressionism or the categorial imperative of the great philosopher, Immanuel Kant. For Being3 Gallery, hosting Burkhard von Harder’s solo exhibition is an adventure in bridging differences, clarifying his process from the perspective of distance while framing the significance of his work in order for it to be better understood in Germany and beyond. We are thus propelling this artist to travel on to his deserved orbit.
In this exhibition, we mean to vaguely refer to the influences of the masters of German contemporary photography: the Bechers and their protégés, Thomas Ruff and Andreas Gursky, via the use of large-format cameras, photographic typology, combining filming and digital technology, and large scale presentation. In Germany in the 1980’s, political events were unfolding in quick succession, deeply affecting the world of art. Burkhard developed his stylistic approach on his own, in a parallel but separate universe from the Dusseldorf School, later discovering that their photographic styles had begun to merge, a reflection of the rethinking of the photographic aesthetic that was taking place at that time. This individuality was the foundation for something different: as photo critic and NY Times columnist Andy Grundberg writes, “Burkhard has chosen a ‘third path’ — an aesthetic of self-reflexivity and autobiography.”(2) Von Harder’s instinctive meditation brings a stunning look at contemporary German photography to the Chinese audience through the signs, gestures and influences of his cultural heritage.
Burkhard's large-scale video installation, Frame Rain (2018), projected on a floating screen in this exhibition, brings together several of his deconstructed films: The Stranger (1946) by Orson Welles, Gaslight (1944), by British director Thorwald Dickinson, Victoria (2015) by German director Sebastian Schipper and Burkhard’s own work GerMANIC Trek (2003/2005). This formidable and majestic work integrates the artist’s subjective visual viewpoint while paying tribute to certain film masters he has come to think of as meaningful within his cosmos. The work serves both as a reminder of the human toll of alienation and a direct reflection of von Harder’s personal sensitivities.
For more detailed information, please refer to the incisive article by curator Dan Qing, whose writing clearly articulates the art historical value and current significance of the exhibition and extraordinary oeuvres of the artist Burkhard von Harder.
I want to know what nature of the world will be revealed in this grand exhibition of the work of Burkhard von Harder. Perhaps the answer is a riddle:
"I do not know how humanity should bear it There is a good paradise at the end of it Not a good paradise at its end... "
~ Ezra Pound, Pisan Cantos By Mian Bu (Xu Pei Li), Poet, Art Director of Being 3 Gallery 2018/2/7
1. Translated by Du Xiaozhen, a famed professor of French at Peking University, published by the Commercial Press, 2017
2. Andy Grundberg, author of ‘Crisis of the Real: WriPngs on Photography since 1974’. Full comment was
“ Von Harder’s photography... is an argument for a third option, one in which the calculated precision and distance characteristic of the objective approach is joined by a self-reflexive, autobiographical sensibility .”