Erenlai - Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)
Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Cerise Phiv (張俐紫)

Former Managing Editor of eRenlai.com

前e人籟執行主編

Tweets @cerisefive

週一, 27 六月 2011 15:27

夏夜、涼鞋與微笑---人籟世界音樂會

 

這個夏季,人籟除了獻給您世界音樂在台灣精選音樂專輯,還將分別在7月9日、8月19日、9月16日舉辦三場免費入場的夏日音樂會以饗讀者!! 每場音樂會都將為您帶來結合創新與傳統、獨特的世界音樂。樂團與樂風介紹請見遊˙樂 --- 世界音樂在台灣屆時歡迎您帶著涼鞋和微笑,輕鬆享受人籟為您帶來的夏夜樂音!

週一, 27 六月 2011 00:00

遊˙樂 --- 世界音樂在台灣

2008年4月,《人籟》製作一片由音樂人杜宏安與陶然共同創作的音樂光碟,發行後獲得廣大迴響。2011年,這兩位音樂人再度攜手合作,他們擁抱台灣的世界音樂,激盪出令人驚艷的成果。

購買《人籟》2011年七八月合刊,即贈音樂CD (詳情請見內文)

 

週三, 22 六月 2011 16:45

Artaud in acts

This article is part of the special issue of Renlai#84 dedicated to theatre in Taiwan. Also watch an interview of director Zheng Zhizong.

Act I: The challenge Artaud

On the 6th of April 1933, Antonin Artaud (1896 -1948) gave a lecture at the University of La Sorbonne. This lecture, entitled “Le Theatre et la Peste”, would become an important chapter of his main essay on theater theory (Le Theatre et son Double) and was a total experience for the audience, the majority of whom left before the end, laughing and booing Artaud. He had started his speech in an academic way, explaining first to his audience that many masterpieces of art and marvelous plays emerged during the Great Plague in Europe; men whipped by the fear of death would search for immortality and surpass themselves with desperate creativity and quest for the sublime. The writer Anaïs Nin who attended the lecture described it in her diary:

“But then, imperceptibly almost, he let go of the thread we were following and began to act out dying by plague. No one quite knew when it began. To illustrate his conference, he was acting out an agony. "La Peste" in French is so much more terrible than "The Plague" in English. But no word could describe what Artaud acted on the platform of the Sorbonne... His face was contorted with anguish; one could see the perspiration dampening his hair. His eyes dilated, his muscles became cramped, his fingers struggled to retain their flexibility. He made one feel the parched and burning throat, the pains, the fever, the fire in the guts. He was in agony. He was screaming. He was delirious. He was enacting his own death, his own crucifiction.” (Anaïs Nin, The Diary, 1931-1934, New York, 1966)

Later on, Artaud explained to Nin that he wanted to awaken his audience, he wanted to make them understand that they were already dead, that the agony he was acting was not only his but that of every living person. In 1933, in front of an audience of scholars, students, curious intellectuals, Artaud came up against their misunderstanding of his meaning, his art and his very own self. In fact, although he was not ignored and unknown at this time, his fame and influence seem to have really developed after his death and he became unavoidable in the theatrical experiences of the sixties in France and in Europe in general. When the English theater director Peter Brook created his experimental theater company in 1964 outside the Royal Shakespeare Company, he devoted it to the Theater of Cruelty, insisting himself on recalling that “they were all the children of Artaud”.

So, where are the children of Artaud now? And what are they up to? To introduce Artaud, to read his work, to listen to his voice seem more relevant than ever in the context of the time being when art is fully marketed and omnipresent on TV, on the Internet and in the streets. Something similar is also at stake in the importance of theater per se. Some think that cinema can replace theater or that theater is too elitist and too intellectual. But real theater, “pure theater” as Artaud would say, is nothing but life; on stage, a gesture can never be repeated the same because it is live and because of that special link with the spectator who experiences the action simultaneously. Theater, like dance is part of the most primitive and intuitive living arts and this is precisely what Artaud advocated in the radicalism and extremism that characterized his life and his work.

Antonin Artaud bequeathed a prolific written work composed of poems, essays, letters and a play but also drawings, paintings and recordings.  Artaud might not seem easy to read or to approach and he can even be strongly disturbing. But this is also precisely why we should want to know about him, why we should reach towards his work, because he challenges our certainties and our subjective markers, he puts us in contact with the “danger zone”.

Act II: Life and death, beauty and pain

02-Antonin-Artaud-1926-First of all, the story of his life was at the same time tragic and dazzling with pain. Born in 1896 in Marseille, he died from cancer in 1948 in Paris at the age of 51 years old. He spent almost 9 years of his life in several asylums from which he was released in 1946. In the last asylum, he received 58 sessions of electroshock treatment which made him lose all his teeth; at his exit from the hospital, he looked like an old man. If one compares two photos of him from his prime youth and from his last years, the contrast is even more striking between the beauty of the young actor who could embody the lover in romantic movies and the wizened man with the wrinkled forehead, the twisted hands and the toothless mouth… It is notorious that Artaud had several mental problems even since his childhood; he also abused drugs either in order to “cure” himself (ease his pain) or to experiment with shamanic journeys. Artaud always had an ambiguous relation to his own “state” as he would both claim to be conscious of the potential given to him by his “mental illness” while he was also always protesting against the treatments he received at the asylums.

So, the young Artaud who came to Paris in 1920 wanted to be a poet at first. He also knew how to draw and about critiquing art. He was outstandingly handsome and also wished to become an actor. He published his first collection of poems in 1923. At the same time, he joined different theater companies and acted in several movies, one of which was Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. He also wrote the scenario for the first Surrealist film, The Seashell and the Clergyman, directed by Germaine Dulac.

Meanwhile, Artaud was excluded from the Surrealist group in 1926 after publishing his first manifesto on theater which gave the premises of his theater theories.  He affirmed then that theater must be a dangerous act from which neither actors nor spectators should come back intact. Together with two other French writers, he created the Theatre Alfred-Jarry which marked the first important step in Artaud’s career and development on stage.  He continued writing several essays on theater and in 1932, he published his first manifesto on Theater of Cruelty which targeted “the magic sources of a sacred theater, the theater of a poetic, musical and plastic use of space…”

In 1938, his collection of texts on theater was published: The Theatre and Its Double (Le Théâtre et son Double).

Artaud travelled, he discovered Mexico in 1936 where he spent one month in the Sierra with the Tarahamura Indians and was initiated to their shamanic rites.  In 1937, as he returned from a stormy trip to Ireland where he got jailed for vagrancy, he was committed without consultation in a psychiatric institution near Rouen. He then spent 9 years in 4 different asylums.  He was finally released in 1946 and warmly welcomed by his friends in Paris who organized sales by auction for his profit. Artaud wrote and published numerous texts, he participated in projects such as radio shows and gave his last lectures in the theater of le Vieux Colombier in Paris where, once again, he puzzled his audience by telling in his unique style the story of his life in the asylums and his struggle with evil forces…  A writer present that day would later comment that “when he appeared on the stage […], when he started to declaim with his hoarse voice, interrupted by tragic sobs and stutters, his poems barely audible – we felt dragged in the danger zone…” (Justin Saget (aka Maurice Saillet), Combat, 24 January 1947).

Act III: Cruelty

artaud_vieuxThus, Artaud’s name is often associated to violence, scandal and all sorts of clashes with his peers, as for example his violent polemics with the surrealists, or his provocative statements such as “All writing is pigshit” and “I write for the illiterate”. Artaud seems to question the completeness and the finishing of artwork, he explores all forms of writings and prefers the ones similar to the burst of the speech, a speech then similar to a cry, which converges to create the dissonance necessary to the act of cruelty. In 1947, he recorded for the French radio a show entitled “To Have Done with the Judgement of God” (Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu) which was censored before its first broadcast: even without understanding French, one can already feel the organic explosion of Artaud’s voice. This is more than a scansion, this is also an eruption of cries, screams and all sort of noises that the body can produce, one is not even sure anymore if it is Artaud uttering this voice or this voice filling up Artaud.

So the theater of cruelty could be first of all about surpassing the anatomic limits of the body, create on stage a “hiatus”, a new human body which would not be anymore only the vessel of language but a language itself. Indeed, Artaud reproaches to the traditional theater of his time its imprisonment in a fossilized language which becomes then only an empty form of a meaningless representation. When Artaud sees some Balinese theater in 1931, he receives a real aesthetic shock, for him, the Balinese theater represents the purest expression of a physical language: “In this theater all creation comes from the stage, finds its expression and its origins alike in a secret psychic impulse which is Speech before words” (The Theatre and Its Double). Then, Artaud formulates his project of an art, a poetry and a theory of theater that would shatter the false reality by expressing on stage the mystery and the sacredness of existence. “The theater of cruelty is not a representation. It is life itself, in the extent to which life is unrepresentable. Life is the nonrepresentable origin of representation. ‘I have therefore said “cruelty” as I might have said “life”’ (The Theater and Its Double).

Artaud finds the essence of life and the expression of the living in the transgression, the experimentation and somehow also the destruction of life itself. Artaud conjugates at the same time beauty and ugliness, madness and genius. In fact, he is dually a disturbed and a disturbing writer; in the first place because of his own madness which was never clearly diagnosed by his psychiatrists, in the second place because despite the destabilizing form of his thinking, we can still relate to his work and his views; would it be possible that no artist, poet, performer or director could find a resonance or a call in his provocative ideas? Without exaggeration, one could say that Artaud has set a milestone in the theories of theater and its performance; whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, we are all Artaud’s children.

Article also available in Chinese


“To Have Done with the Judgement of God” (Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu) is available at the Pacifica Radio Archives

 

 

 

週三, 22 六月 2011 13:38

A Journey in Music: Contemporary World Music in Taiwan

Dear friends,

We are very proud to finally present you with a CD that can be seen as a milestone in the production of world music in Taiwan. This collection of 12 songs is a wonderful, euphonic sample of the creativity and hard work of the bands and musicians who stepped forward to be a part of the project. We congratulate and give great thanks to all the gifted participating musicians.

週二, 03 五 2011 19:19

An Architectural Dream

Recently I have had many architectural dreams, I remember two of them in particular: one was taking place in a European city, probably Paris or London, I could easily recognize the white stone buildings 6 or 7 stories tall, representative of the Haussmann style. But only because I was dreaming, they were also displaying new decorative items: attached to their sides were the flying saucers that you can ride in amusement parks. I could hear the passengers’ shouts fade in and out as they were whirling fast in the air.

My second dream featured a village in the south of Taiwan. I remember having wondered why I hadn’t known that place before. Actually I was amazed by the architectural style of the village houses: they were combining the white “pierre de taille”, proper to the buildings developed in France in the 17th century, and the grey slate used in traditional Bunun villages in Southern Taiwan. This unexpected mixture created a pleasant impression of a quirky elegance.

In fact, I have noticed that the houses, apartments or buildings that appear in my dreams are mostly of European style, sometimes of colonial style too. Although I have been living in Taipei for more than five years now, I rarely dream of its architectural landmarks; even if the action takes place in some place on the island, its frame is more likely to be a Parisian flat or a western interior.

In 6 years in Taipei, I have lived in three flats and one house. It is frequent indeed to move in and out here because it is not easy to find a place where to feel “at home”. New buildings are not necessarily pleasant to the eye and, most of the time they are massive and aggressive. Old apartments have the charm of being queerly-shaped but they can feel unsteady and, on top of not being environmental friendly, they rarely conform to the basic rules of safety.

Maybe the place where we live, where we sleep, eat, work and play, does not only define the frame and the boundaries of our living space, but concurs to shape our being and our mental structure. And vice versa. So let’s just imagine that the chassis of my brain is built on the model of the flats in which I have spent most of my childhood life, my brain would be a Parisian bourgeois apartment with a creaking wooden floor and a moquette ocre. The stairwell, too tight to install an elevator, would smell like wax wood. In fact, the whole building just reminds me of an old lady, a little bit patched up, but dignified and full of memories. Then what kind of place would my brain imagine for me to live in Taipei? I dream of a place that would shelter me from the tropical weather without losing my intimacy with nature, an affordable place with a history that goes beyond the shady speculations in the housing development.

Photo: C.P.

週四, 28 四月 2011 11:58

留法專訪:以人類學經驗法國

文化人吳坤墉先生以自身社會系背景觀察自己留學法國的經驗。除了對有志留學法國的朋友提出實際建議外,吳坤傭先生對兩方教育觀念及做法上的不同,也提出相當深刻的見解,值得深入思考。
 
週五, 25 二月 2011 11:58

變奏之春

如同著名法國詩人馬拉美在《回春》一詩裡強調的,春天象徵矛盾與錯亂;更重要的是,這是個充滿變動的季節。的確,春天跟秋天一樣意味著轉換,宣告平穩寧靜的寒冬就此暫別。此外,春天還標示了大自然的甦醒:隨著別在鈕扣眼裡的花朵紛紛綻放,我們目睹樹葉重新回到樹上,動物從冬眠中悠悠醒轉——不論是處於生物性休眠的熊或土撥鼠,抑或是在冬夜暖爐邊感到昏昏欲睡的人類。冬天是反省和自我評估的時分,春天則代表創造和更新,而我們也在此時播下即將結果的種子。

週三, 23 二月 2011 19:38

Renewal

This month, we celebrate the passing of the seasons and in preparing for the arrival of spring with its deluge of transformations, hopes and renewal. In search of a different evocation of spring, I stumbled on a poem by Mallarme...

週三, 05 一月 2011 00:00

留法專訪:CPGE學生的留法趣事

國內各高中通過 法國高等工程師學院預備班(CPGE)甄選台灣高中數理優秀學生赴法就讀計畫 的同學們,在專訪中告訴我們許多留法期間所發生的趣事,以及他們如何知道這項計畫及參與和留學的過程。

 

週三, 05 一月 2011 00:00

留法專訪:我的法國留學之路

現任台北科技大學助理教授洪子逸老師,和e人籟的讀者分享他在法國留學四年的種種經驗。選你所愛,愛你所選,他對想要留學法國的朋友們,提出了最中肯的建議:

 

 

週四, 30 十二月 2010 11:27

Challenged but not disabled


I met Fr. Bob Ronald when I started to work at eRenlai in 2007. I was then the network animator of the website and he was our English editor. Although we shared the same office and we were seeing each other everyday, I realised only after his passing that I had just begun to know him.
週一, 27 十二月 2010 00:00

「蚊子館」在台灣:姚瑞中專訪

台灣藝術家姚瑞中先生接受e人籟專訪,談及他對廢棄建築,也就是一般稱為「蚊子館」之處的興趣。他也談及這些年開始被當作藝術創意場所的廢棄空間,如華山藝文特區,如何從一個廢棄的生活舞台轉變為另類藝術展區,最後再成為中產階級消費的商業戰線。

第 4 頁,共 6 頁

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