WEEKLY

SPACE FRAMING
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說到游泳池,你的腦海會否浮現以下的情境?某個煦暖的假日,你徜徉於透亮的一片湛藍,愜意地擺動四肢,享受悠然自得的時光。對許多人而言,游泳池是個自由、歡樂的地方,來自斯洛伐克的攝影師Maria Svarbova卻有截然不同的詮譯。她拍出來的游泳池既冰冷又沉寂,且帶有復古未來主義的感覺,猶如一個超現實的異想國度。為何她會如此眷戀游泳池?今期Chessman Post將會介紹她的作品及其背後的意念。

有些藝術家生來就洞悉到自己的天賦,不過有些則例外。Maria Svarbova小時候夢想能成為畫家,直至升上高中後,她自覺力有未逮,最終選擇修讀考古系。就讀考古系期間,她的姊姊送了一部相機給她,於是她便開始到處拍照。有一次,朋友帶她參觀一個已有八十年歷史的泳池,她頓時被那個寬敞的空間所吸引,接着開展「Swimming Pool」系列的拍攝計劃。這系列作品的場景都是在社會主義時期興建的泳池,顏色非常鮮艷,線條結構重複而有規律,並沒有任何裝飾品。在她的相機快門下,所有人物以至整個空間,彷彿一併凝結於電光火石之間。

「人是我的靈感來源,他們永遠都是最迷人的。畫面中若是少了人物一切都沒有意義。」Maria Svarbova曾經如是說。她的作品總是巧妙地勾勒出人與空間、時代的關係,重複的瓷磚、波平如鏡的水面、鮮紅的告示、整齊劃一的泳衣,紛紛揭示了社會主義時期的斯洛伐克是何等封閉。雖然色調十分夢幻,但整個泳池就像被冷冽的霧氣籠罩着,了無生氣,充滿詭譎的氛圍。而Maria Svarbova亦用其照片教人重新認識空間的概念。簡單來說,模特兒切實地存在於泳池的空間內,可是水面也反映了他們微微晃動的身影,那麼照片內呈現的僅是一個空間?抑或更多的空間?此外,她的作品同時嵌入了復古未來主義的思想──游泳池內瀰漫復古的氣息,然而巨型窗戶外卻為現時斯洛伐克的城市景觀。這種新與舊的疊合、相互碰撞,令她的作品富有戲劇張力。

若仔細察看,我們更會發現相中人不但肢體僵硬,更木無表情,與塑膠公仔幾乎無異。其實,Maria Svarbova故意把模特兒塑造成毫無情感的人,藉此帶出人們的無限壓抑和情感缺失。的確,在千篇一律的日常生活裏,我們會埋沒了真實的自己,只管循規蹈矩地活過,慢慢已淪為扯線公仔。縱然一幀照片不能改變現狀,但Maria Svarbova的照片或能為你帶來一點啟發,令你嘗試活得更像自己。

撰文:王以珞
美術:王曉澄

Speaking of swimming pool, would you think of the following situation? On a sunny, mild day, you immerse yourself into the clean turquoise water, move your body freely through water, and bask in the watery indulgence. To many people, swimming pool is synonymous with freedom and happiness, but Maria Svarbova, a Slovak photographer, sees something exceptional in it. Surreal and dreamy, her photos of swimming pools show a tinge of cold detachment, while also evoking the feeling of retro-futurism. Why is she so enamored of swimming pools? This issue of Chessman Post will be introducing her works and the ideas behind them.

Some artists know their innate talents since childhood, some artists do not until the time has come. Maria Svarbova had always wished to be a painter when she was small. However, she thought her dream would not come true when studying high school, which made her ended up choosing archeology as major in university. During her study in university, her sister gave her a camera and therefore she started to wander around to take photos. One day, her friend asked her to scope out a swimming pool that was built 80 years ago. As she arrived the pool, she was completely fascinated by the spaciousness of it. She then decided to start the “Swimming Pool” series. All the works in this series take place in the swimming pools built during the Socialist era in various locations in Slovakia, with stark colors, repetitive lines, and no ornaments at all. In her photos, the mannequins as well as the whole swimming pools seem to be freeze in time.

“People are the main inspiration for me; they truly fascinate me. Space has no meaning without humans...” Maria Svarbova once said. Her works delineate the relationship of human, space and time. The repetitive tiles, smooth surface of water, red warning signs, together with the synchronized swimming suits, reveal the situations under the feudal socialism during the Socialist era. Although all the photos are pastel-hued, they look very sterile, as if the swimming pools are enveloped in the cold mist. Maria Svarbora even helps us gain a fresh understanding of the concept of “space”. To put it simple, the mannequins exist in the swimming pools—the physical world, but they also appear on the water surface. Given this circumstance, is there only one single space in a particular photo? Or there are even more? In addition, her works encapsulate the idea of retro-futurism. The antique atmosphere of the old swimming pools, juxtaposed with the modern cityscapes of Slovakia outside the windows, make her photos bristling with dramatic tension.

If we look at the photos carefully, we will also discover that the mannequins have stiff poses, and they are emotionless like plastic dolls. Maria Svarbova deliberately shapes the mannequins as emotionless people to depict how people repress their true feelings in daily life. The banal and repetitive nature of daily life often leads us to hide our true selves. Sometimes, we just want to conform to society and yet we turn out to be like marionettes. A photo cannot change the current situation, but I hope appreciating Maria Svarbora’s photos will inspire you to rethink about the deeply ingrained social norms and try to live the life you want.

Text: Elok Wong
Art: Agnes Wong

ISSUE #224

SPACE FRAMING

 

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