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匪夷所思的小丑脸谱彩蛋

更新时间:2018-1-4 21:10:13 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

The fascinating reason why clowns paint their faces on eggs
匪夷所思的小丑脸谱彩蛋

Inside a church in east London, a clown called Mattie Faint is clutching a very special kind of egg. Daubed onto its surface is a studiously rendered, if somewhat rudimentary, portrait of a clown’s face. It’s one of many ceramic eggs that Faint keeps safe – they are vitally important to their owners.

伦敦东区的一座教堂内,一个名叫马蒂·费恩特(Mattie Faint)的小丑,手里拿着一个特制的彩蛋,彩蛋表面是一幅经过认真刻绘的小丑的脸谱。不过,绘画的水平还稍显稚嫩。这只是费恩特收藏的诸多彩蛋中的一个,不过这些彩蛋对收藏它们的主人却有着极为重要的意义。

Faint is the curator of the Clowns’ Gallery, a museum based at Trinity Church in London’s East End, that is popularly known as the “Clowns’ Church”. A stained glass window memorialises Joseph Grimaldi, not a saint but the patron of British clowning. The remains of at least one clown have been scattered in the courtyard. Several rooms at the rear of the church hold a rich array of artefacts, including costumes, props and other circus ephemera.

费恩特是小丑博物馆(Clowns' Gallery)的馆长。博物馆位于伦敦东区的"三一教堂"(Trinity Church),人们习惯称之为"小丑教堂"(Clowns' Church)。博物馆的一扇染色玻璃窗纪念的是约瑟夫·格里马尔德(Joseph Grimaldi)。他不是圣徒,而是英国小丑业的恩人。教堂庭院内,至少有一位小丑的遗骸撒放于此。教堂后部的几间屋子内有丰富的陈列,有服装、道具以及其它的马戏团装备。

Perhaps the most intriguing part of Faint’s collection, though, are the eggs. Each one is different, and represents the unique face design of its subject. Eggs like these are kept in only a handful of collections around the world, representing a kind of informal copyright – and much more.

在费恩特的藏品中,最有意思的应该就是这些彩蛋了。彩蛋各不相同,分别代表着不同人物的独特面部设计。在全世界,此类脸谱彩蛋的收藏场所不多,它代表的是一种非正式的版权,以及更多的其它意义。

This egg-based system of registering clowns’ makeup designs operates outside the courts and is not enforced by lawyers, which makes the practice particularly interesting to legal scholars like us. We’re interested in how artists think about originality, borrowing, and copying. Our prior research has looked at similar forms of emergent property norms: the distinctive pseudonyms of roller derby athletes, and the unwritten rules of copying, inspiration, and ownership in the tattoo industry. Other researchers have investigated the intellectual property in the worlds of stand-up comedy, graffiti, drag performance, and French cuisine, among others.

以彩蛋的形式登记注册小丑们的化妆造型游离于法律体系之外,不受法律保护,这让我们这些法律学者尤感兴致。我们想知道,艺术家如何看待原创、借鉴与抄袭。在此前的一项研究中,我们探究了相似的自发性(突发性)规范:轮滑运动员与众不同的化名;纹身行业关于山寨、灵感与版权的不成文规定。有人则研究了单口相声、信笔涂鸦、法式烹饪、等等等等。

So, why do clowns value unique makeup designs? How does their egg-based system work? And of all the possible options, why did clowns choose this idiosyncratic method of memorialising their identities?

那么,小丑们为什么如此看重化妆造型的独一无二?他们基于彩蛋的登记体系是如何运作的?在诸多的备选方案中,小丑们为什么选择这一奇特的方式来纪念自己的身份?

Legal tools

法律工具

Though fascinating in its own right, the study of informal intellectual property is more than a matter of idle curiosity. The legal regulation of creativity plays an increasingly important role in our daily lives. At the core of copyright, patent, and related bodies of law is a belief in incentives. By giving creators legal tools to control how their works are used, the hope is that they will be encouraged to produce more art, safe in the knowledge that they can profit from it.

这件事本身就足以让人好奇。不过,对这种非正式知识产权的研究可不只是源自于无所事事时的好奇。如今,在现实生活中,对发明创造的法律保护发挥着越来越重要的作用。版权、专利以及相关法律的核心是对激励机制的信仰。通过给予创造者掌控其作品使用的法律权力,确保自己从创造中收益,人们希望可以激发更多的艺术创作。

But people who create do so in response to a host of incentives, only a small fraction of which copyright and related laws address directly. Some create out of love of their art, or to express themselves. While others seek the respect and acceptance of other creators. Formal legal incentives fail to account for these other powerful motivations.

但是,对发明创造者来说,进行发明创造,诱因多种多样。版权及相关法律只对一少部分人起直接作用。有些人,创造是源自于对艺术的热爱,有些人则是因为想要表达自己的想法,而有些人则是想得到其他发明创造者的尊重与认可。刻板的法律激励措施无法解释这些强有力的动机。

So when a group of artists such as clowns decide to bypass legal tools by opting for self-regulation instead, it suggests that formal intellectual property systems do not address the needs of all creative communities in memorialising and protecting their work.

因此,当小丑这样的艺术家团体决定避开法律工具,选择自律机制,就意味着,正规的知识产权系统无法解决所有创造团体在保护并纪念自己作品方面的需求。

That’s how we ended up at Trinity Church to meet Faint and see the collection of eggs held there.

这就是我们来到"三一教堂"采访费恩特,并参观他的彩蛋的原因。

Faint enthusiastically welcomes us with a cup of tea and a detailed tour of the art, photos, costumes and other memorabilia that populate the museum. Faint is a member of the professional club Clowns International, and has been a clown for 46 years. He’s even met the Queen – twice – through his work.

费恩特以茶款待我们,并为我们详细讲解了博物馆内的艺术品、照片、服装、以及其它纪念品。费恩特是职业俱乐部小丑国际(Clowns International)的会员,他从事小丑行业的历史长达46年。他甚至因表演而两次受到英国女王接见。

In a three-hour conversation, Faint treats us to a crash course in the essentials of clowning and the history of clown eggs. The earliest egg registry dates to 1946, when Stan Bult – a chemist by trade, though not a clown himself – began painting the faces of prominent circus clowns on eggs as a hobby. Eventually, the practice grew into what one contemporary publication called “a file of faces so that clowns can avoid copying one another”.

在接下来3个小时的交谈中,费恩特给我们上了一堂关于小丑表演和小丑彩蛋历史的速成课。最早的彩蛋注册可以追溯至1946年。当时,斯坦·布尔特(Stan Bult)作为一个兴趣爱好,就开始在蛋上画那些有名的马戏团小丑的脸谱。他所学专业是化学,而不是小丑。慢慢地,这种做法就成了当代出版界称作的"小丑们可以避免拷贝他人的脸谱档案"。

Bult painted eggs paying homage to prominent clowns until his death in 1966. At that time, Bult had created about 200 eggs, though Faint tells us that Clowns International only has about 40 of those original eggs in its collection. The fate of the rest is unclear. The most popular theory is that they were lent out to a private collection in the mid-1960s and mostly discarded or destroyed.

布尔特绘制彩蛋纪念小丑名角,直至1966年离世。他先后创作了大约200个彩蛋。不过,费恩特告诉我们,小丑国际仅收藏有约40个这些原始彩蛋,其余彩蛋的命运如何不清楚。最流行的说法是,这些彩蛋在1960年代中期借给了一个私人收藏家,而大多数都已经被抛弃或破坏。

In 1987, though, Faint and other leaders of Clowns International revived the practice of egg painting. Since then, three different artists – Janet Webb, Kate Stone, and Debbie Smith – have painted eggs to memorialise members of Clowns International. The bulk of that collection, which now includes more than 200 eggs, is on display at a British tourist attraction called Wookey Hole in Somerset, which also features charmingly garish caves, mini-golf, a model village and other family entertainment. But more eggs and replicas are housed at Trinity Church.

不过,1987年,费恩特和小丑国际的其他几位领导人重新拾起了蛋上彩绘的做法。自那以后,珍妮特·韦伯(Janet Webb)、凯特·斯通(Kate Stone)、德比·史密斯(Debbie Smith)等3个风格不同的艺术家开始绘制彩蛋,纪念小丑国际的成员们。这些超过200个彩蛋的藏品中,有不少正在位于萨默塞特(Somerset)的巫奇洞(Wookey Hole)这一英国游览名胜展出。这儿除了彩蛋,还有美丽迷人的洞穴、迷你高尔夫球场、一个模型村落、以及其它的家庭游乐。不过,更多的彩蛋和复制品还是保存在三一教堂。

But Faint says he did not revive and continue the egg tradition due to a pressing need to establish extralegal property rights. While there’s consensus among clowns about the importance of not copying one another, Faint does not regard a formal property system as necessary to enforce this norm. Clowns themselves do much of this work within their own community. For instance, Faint himself often provides feedback on makeup designs of early-career clowns, including steering them away from looks that are too similar to pre-existing performers.

费恩特说,重拾并继承彩蛋传统,与建立法律框架之外的所有权这一迫切需求无关。虽然,避免拷贝其他人是小丑界的重要共识,费恩特并不认为实施这一规范就必须要建立正式的所有权体制。小丑们通常是在自己的群体内完成这一工作。比如,费恩特自己就常常对新入行的小丑的化妆造型提供反馈意见,引导他们避免出现与先前表演者过于类同。

Faint also told us that copying another clown’s look is less of a problem than one might think. Clowns prefer to have unique looks to distinguish themselves, and even if one did try to copy another’s makeup, the differences in facial structure would likely still render the two clowns reasonably distinct.

费恩特还告诉我们,模仿另一个小丑的脸谱的问题并不如人们想象的那么严重。小丑们更愿意有自己独特的形象以彰显自己。即便有人真的试图模仿另一个人的造型,面部结构的不同仍然可以使得两个小丑有着明显的不同。

He instead prefers to cast the registry as a way of memorialising the Clowns International membership, as conferring prestige and a sense of gravity upon those who take the art of clowning seriously. It may not mean “I can sue you”, he explained, but still represents a “recording for posterity”.

因此,他更愿意把登记注册只是看作一种纪念小丑国际会员的方法而已,同时,会给予那些严肃看待小丑艺术的人们一份荣耀和庄严。他还解释说,这可能不意味着"我可以起诉你",但是,仍然代表着"留给子孙后代的纪录"。

Painter skill

绘制者的技艺

Our next stop was Folkestone, a seaside town near the white cliffs of Dover, where Debbie Smith paints the clown eggs that end up in the Wookey Hole collection. Smith became the egg artist for Clowns International in 2010, when she won a competition for the position.

我们的下一站是位于英格兰南部的福克斯顿(Folkestone)。这是一座离多佛的白色悬崖不远处的海滨小镇。德比·史密斯在这儿绘制的小丑彩蛋收藏于巫奇洞。2010年,史密斯在竞争职位比赛中获胜,从那以后,她就成了小丑国际的彩蛋艺术家。

While being the Clowns International egg artist is an honour, it will never make her wealthy. Though each egg takes her several days of painstaking work to complete, she is paid a mere £15 ($20) for each one.

虽然成为小丑国际的彩蛋艺术家是个荣耀,不过,这永远不会让她变得富有。绘制完成一个彩蛋需要几天的艰苦劳作,但每完成一个彩蛋,她的报酬仅仅是15英镑(20美元)。

The results, though, are spectacular. Smith not only reflects each clown’s makeup in minute detail on a ceramic egg, she also includes simulacra of their costumes – collars, bow ties, and even hats that she recreates in miniature from material submitted by each applicant.

虽然如此,她的成果却非常壮观。史密斯不仅在瓷蛋上详尽刻画每一个小丑的化妆造型,她还用每位申请者提供的材料,在彩蛋上仿制小丑们的服装,包括领带、蝴蝶结、甚至帽子。

And not every applicant for a clown egg is successful, Smith reminds us. Clowns International screens for those who seek to use a name already used by a member or associated with a famous clown. And membership is limited to working clowns with developed visual identities. Neophyte clowns, young children, and non-performers do not make the cut.

史密斯提醒我们,并不是每一人都能成功申请小丑彩蛋。小丑国际会检查那些试图使用已经被会员使用过的名字或与小丑名角名字相关联的名字。而会员资格仅授予有成熟的视觉形象的仍在表演的小丑。初学者、小孩、表现不佳者无权获得会员资格。

Like Faint, Smith sees the registry more in historical than legal terms. Being in the registry means being part of the long tradition of clowns. It allows those who appear there to be seen and remembered for posterity. Smith reminds us also that whatever its serious purposes, the clown egg registry is meant to be fun, too. Many Clown International applicants ask her to make an extra egg for themselves in addition to the one destined for Wookey Hole.

和费恩特一样,史密斯更多的是从历史意义层面看待登记注册而不是从法律面层。造册在案意味着成为小丑悠长历史传统的一部分,子孙后代可以瞻仰和怀念。史密斯还提醒我们,无论其严肃的目的是什么,小丑彩蛋造册的本意也是为了娱乐。小丑国际的很多申请人请求她在绘制送往巫奇洞的彩蛋之外,为自己多绘制一个彩蛋。

The next day takes us to rainy Bournemouth, where we spend an afternoon with Chris Stone. Stone proudly self-identifies as a “suit”, not a performing clown. Like Stan Bult, Stone sought escape from his dreary day job by getting involved with Clowns International. In the late 1980s, Chris – along with Faint and others – helped to revive the practice of creating clown eggs.

第二天,我们来到了阴雨之中的伯恩茅斯(Bournemouth)。整整一下午,我们都是和克里斯·斯通在一起。和斯坦·布尔特一样,斯通加入小丑国际是为了摆脱枯燥乏味的日常工作。1980年代末,斯通和费恩特等人一起,参与了复兴制作小丑彩蛋的事业。

For Stone, though, the practice is more than just a diversion. He was inspired to make the clown eggs not just something for clowns and the public to enjoy, but a formalised register to systematise the membership of Clowns International, consistent with Bult’s early vision. Stone – who for years worked as a law clerk in the Royal Courts of London – says he modeled the clown egg registry on the centuries-old practice of claiming the right to publish a book by recording its title in a register maintained by the Stationers’ Company.

不过,对斯通来说,绘制彩蛋远不只是为了消遣。他受启发制作彩蛋,不仅是为了愉悦小丑和大众,更是为了正式系统化地造册小丑国际的会员,这与布尔特的早期设想不谋而合。在伦敦的皇家法院(Royal Courts of London)担任法官助理多年,斯通说他的小丑彩蛋注册体系构想源自于数个世纪之久的古老实践,即在出版业公会(Stationers' Company)的登记薄上记录书的题目,以获得该书的出版权。

Stone thus seeks to dismiss the common misconception that the eggs themselves comprise the registry. The registry, he shows us, is a written record – complete with real name, clown name, date of membership, and serial number – of all Clowns International members dating to the late 1980s. Stone kept the registry for several decades, and did intend it to have “copyright aspects”.

因此,斯通想澄清一个普遍的误解,即认为彩蛋本身就构成了造册登记。他向我们展示,登记册上面有真实姓名、小丑名、会员日期和序列号,是1980年代末以来小丑国际所有会员的文字记录。斯通保存这本登记册已经有几十年了,确实希望它有"版权意义"。

The written registry includes dates so that members could resolve conflicts over similar makeup designs, though such conflicts are relatively rare. And while Stone too echoes the consensus that there is an unwritten rule that clowns not copy one another, he like Faint reports that clowns themselves handle most of these concerns internally. Outright copying can get you a “black eye” in the clown community, both metaphorically (shunned by venues or fellow performers) and literally (because in rare cases, conflict resolution “comes down to violence”).

文字记录册上有日期,这样,会员们就能够解决因造型设计相似而产生的冲突,虽然这类冲突并不多见。此外,尽管斯通认同一个共识,即小丑不可相互拷贝造型,这是不成文的规矩,他也和费恩特一样,认为大多数这类的问题都在小丑们内部解决。完全抄袭会使得你在小丑界"被打得眼圈发青"。这不仅是个比喻(会被举办方或同行抛弃),也是真实写照(因为,在极端情况下,冲突的解决"最终会走向暴力")。

True to his status as the “suit” in a group comprised mostly of clowns, Stone also notes that the egg register confers a sense of professionalism on a group of performers who are often looked on as riff-raff. The eggs are the public face of the registration process, and Stone aspires in part for them to lend dignity and order on a joyously unruly group. This too is why Clowns International organises a clown church service. As Stone puts it, the idea of the registry and his organisation was to bring clowns up in the world, and as a former accountant and law clerk, he was the one who sought to “keep the padlock on”.

斯通认为,彩蛋造册给予了这群常常被视为乌合之众的表演者们一种专业感。彩蛋是登记注册程序的脸面,在一定程度上,斯通希望借此带给这样一个欢乐而放荡不羁的团体尊严与规范。也正是出于此,小丑国际组织起了小丑教堂。正如斯通所说,登记注册和组织起来,是为了提升小丑界在世界的地位。作为一名曾经的会计与法律从员人员,斯通正是那个希望"锁定"这一切的人。

Just before we leave, Stone asks us whether we know what’s in a large black case that’s been sitting portentously to one side on a table throughout our conversation. We don’t, of course. He opens it to reveal 40 or so of the original Stan Bult-painted clown eggs.

就在我们打算离开的时候,斯通让我们猜一个大黑箱子里放的是什么东西。在我们整个交谈过程中,这个大黑箱子一直威严地摆放在一个桌子的一端。我们当然不知道。他打开了箱子,里面摆放的是约40只斯坦·布尔特绘制的小丑脸谱彩蛋。

He arranges the 70-year-old chicken eggs on the dining table. We see renowned circus performers of the early 20th Century – people like Sir Robert Fossett, Paul Fratellini, Len “Spider” Austin, and Lulu Craston.

他将这些有着70年历史的鸡蛋摆放在餐桌上。我们看到的是20世纪早期那些鼎鼎大名的马戏表演者,有罗伯特·福塞特爵士(Sir Robert Fossett)、保罗·弗拉泰利尼(Paul Fratellini)、伦恩·"蜘蛛人"·奥斯汀(Len "Spider" Austin)以及露露·克拉斯通(Lulu Craston)。

Stone acquired them – not cheaply – from a private collector last year, long after most clowns had written them off as lost or destroyed. As he carefully unwraps the eggs, fragile with age but remarkably preserved, he explains that we are now among a privileged handful of people who have viewed these artifacts over the last half-century. Although he has no current plans to display them publicly, they remain an important part of the larger clown egg registry project.

这些脸谱是斯通去年花了不少钱从一个私人收藏家手上购得的。很早之前,小丑们就多认为这些脸谱都已经遗失或被破坏。他一边小心翼翼地将这些脸谱彩蛋包裹起来,一边告诉我们,我们是过去半个世纪以来为数不多的有幸一览这些古老器物的人之一。彩蛋因年代久远已经很脆弱,不过保存得非常完好。目前他没有计划将这些彩蛋向公众展示,不过,这些东西可都是他的小丑脸谱彩蛋造册宏大计划的重要部分。

Inside the circus

马戏团内部

Our final day of the research trip brings us to Hanham Common on the outskirts of Bristol, where we spend some time wandering in the rain around a seemingly deserted circus big top. Suddenly, a stocky man strides out of the tent with such purpose that it looks as though he’s about to tell us trespassers to get off the property.

调研之旅的最后一天来到了布里斯托尔郊区的汉海姆空地(Hanham Common)。雨中,我们漫步于一人似乎被遗弃了的马戏团大帐篷。突然,一个矮壮结实的男人从帐篷里大步迈了出来,似乎要告诫我们这些擅自闯入者离开他的领地。

But it’s not a security guard: it’s Bippo – given name, Gareth Ellis – one of Britain’s most renowned circus clowns, sans makeup. He invites us into the empty big top for an hour’s conversation. Bippo has been clowning since he was just a boy, and convinced his parents to hit the road and travel with a circus.

不过,他并不是保安。他是必颇(Bippo),英国最著名的马戏团小丑之一,真名加雷思·埃利斯(Gareth Ellis)。他邀请我们进入这个空荡荡的大帐篷之中,并进行了长达一个小时的交谈。自孩提时起,必颇就扮演小丑,他还成功说服他的父母跟随他,与马戏团一起行走天涯。

Bippo is well acquainted with the clown egg register – he has had two eggs painted. The first was done when he was much younger and employed a louder visual persona, and the second more recently when he switched circuses and adopted a less elaborate aesthetic.

必颇很了解小丑彩蛋造册,而且自己就有两枚彩蛋。第一枚绘制于年轻时,给人的视觉形象是说话粗声粗气。第二枚绘制于不久前,他换了马戏团,艺术审美上要求也没有那么精致。

He regards the egg registry as serving a number of functions: it shows the new talent coming into the field; it gives guidelines of what to do (and not to do) with makeup; it helps avoid repetition of a clown’s makeup designs; and it provides a visual historical record of significant clowns. Bippo even mentions that he thinks of the register as a form of copyright, though not a legal one.

在他看来,彩蛋造册有以下作用:向外界展示进入业界的新秀、规定化妆造型的指导原则(什么可以做,什么不可以做)、避免小丑化妆造型设计上的重复、提供重要小丑的视觉历史记录。必颇甚至还认为注册也是一种形式的版权,虽然不是法律意义上的。

In the past, Bippo has toyed with trying to legally copyright his clown persona, but tells us he never had the time or considered it worth the trouble. Bippo has had his share of imitators though. One of his friends wanted to be a clown, and Bippo helped him along that path until the friend started to perform with a look so similar to Bippo’s that people were confusing the two. Bippo pressured his friend to change his look, and the friend agreed, perhaps wisely. While an affable and family-friendly entertainer, Bippo cuts a rather imposing figure.

曾经,必颇还动过一念,为自己的小丑形象申请法律版权。不过,他告诉我们,他从没有时间去做这件事,也未曾觉得这事值得自己去麻烦。必颇有自己的模仿者。他的一个朋友也想扮演小丑,必颇就一路为他提供帮助,直至有一日他的这个朋友表演的与必颇如此相似,以至于人们将他们俩混淆起来。必颇要求他的朋友更换脸谱造型,这个朋友答应了,也许,他明智地意识到了这一点。必颇是个和蔼可亲的、顾家的艺人,但是,他的艺术形象却很威严。

On our way back from Bristol, we finally visit Wookey Hole itself, after a baffling series of twists and turns down ancient rural roads. The register is one of dozens of attractions at the amusement park, housed in a room devoted to the history and art of clowning.

从布里斯托尔回来的路上,绕过一系列让人窒息的弯道、走过古老的乡村小道,我们最终来到了巫奇洞。登记室是游乐园诸多景点中的一个,这是一个专门记录小丑历史和艺术的房子。

It sits in two large showcases, and comprises over 250 eggs, including both the modern ones commissioned by Clowns International and some of the surviving Bult eggs that started the tradition.

它座落于两个巨大的展柜之中,里面有250多个脸谱彩蛋,既有现代的由小丑国际制作的,也有一些幸存的传统的布尔特彩蛋。

After driving all over the south of England to meet the people who began and continue this strange and distinctive tradition, it’s hard to know just what to say as we look at the eggs themselves. While our interest in clown eggs began as a legal research project, we’ve also learnt about a community and culture that remains largely unknown to the world outside clowning. In the end, we just stand there alongside the families who stop and gawk with us, caught somewhere between fascination and delight.

驱车走遍英格兰南部地区,见了那些开创和承续这一奇特而又富有特色的传统的人们,我们不知道如何描述看到这些彩蛋时的感受。我们对小丑脸谱彩蛋的兴趣开始只是为了进行法律研究,不过,我们也认知了一个群体和文化,而它还不为小丑界之外的世人所认知。我们与那些停下来呆呆地看着我们的家庭一起,呆呆地站在那儿,迷失于好奇与快乐之中。

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