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更新时间:2018-1-9 19:37:30 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is Donald Trump, Wall-Builder-in-Chief, a Conceptual Artist?

TIJUANA, Mexico — Is Donald Trump a conceptual artist?


That’s the intriguing possibility put forth in an online petition Tuesday that seeks to have the group of eight prototypes for Trump’s controversial Mexican border wall designated a national monument.


The prototypes were built at a cost of $3.3 million in federal funds and unveiled last October along the United States border near San Diego. The petition, sponsored by the puckishly named nonprofit, MAGA (the acronym recalls the president’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again”), seeks to protect the prototypes from demolition by invoking the Antiquities Act of 1906 and characterizes the structures as “a major Land Art exhibition” of “significant cultural value.”

这组边境墙的样品墙耗资330万美元,经费主要来源于联邦基金,于去年10月在圣迭戈附近的美国边境上揭幕。请愿由一个非营利性组织赞助,该组织的名字有些恶作剧的意味,名为MAGA(让人想起总统竞选口号的首字母缩写“让美国恢复伟大荣光”[Make America Great Again])。该组织引用《1906年联邦文物法》以寻求保护这些样品墙不被拆除,称这些结构为“有显著文化价值的大型地景艺术”。

The notion that the prototypes could qualify as conceptual art might seem somewhat far-fetched. They were designed to U.S. Customs and Border Protection specifications, built to withstand a 30-minute assault from sledgehammers to acetylene torches, and to be difficult to scale or tunnel beneath. Aesthetic considerations are largely secondary to brute strength, but, when viewed up close, the walls collectively have the undeniable majesty of minimalist sculpture.

这些样品墙也可以是观念艺术的概念,可能看起来有些牵强。它们是为了美国海关及边境保卫局(U.S. Customs and Border Protection)设计的,可经受住从大锤到乙炔炬长达30分钟的袭击,此外,它们难以攀爬,也很难从下方挖掘隧道通过。相对于粗暴的力量而言,美学方面的考虑是次要的,但如果近距离看的话,这些墙整体而言的确给人以极简主义雕塑的雄伟壮观之感。

Trump dramatically reduced the size of two existing national monuments under federal protection just last month. He would need to issue a presidential proclamation to establish the group as a monument. (A White House spokesperson did not respond this week to questions about the border wall project and Trump.)


That particular irony is not lost on Christoph Büchel, the Swiss-Icelandic artist behind MAGA. Büchel originally posted the petition to the White House’s We the People website, started in 2011 by the Obama administration to allow citizens to lobby the president’s staff directly, but the site was taken down for maintenance until the end of January. MAGA has since created a website to promote the project and gather signatures.

克里斯托夫·布切尔(Christoph Büchel)也注意到了尤为讽刺的这一点,布切尔是支持MAGA的一名瑞士裔冰岛艺术家。布切尔原本将请愿发布在了白宫的“我们人民”(We the People)网站上,这个网站由奥巴马政府在2011年设立,旨在让公民直接与总统的员工对话,但直到一月底,该网站一直处于维护中。MAGA后来创建了一个网站,来宣传该项目,并且收集签名。

Standing on a stepladder and gesturing at the prototypes towering just beyond the rusting border fence near the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, south of San Diego, Büchel was adamant that he has no creative stake in the project.

站在一个活动梯子上,指着矗立在位于圣迭戈以南, 奥泰梅萨入境口岸那生锈的边境围栏外的样品墙,布切尔坚称他对这个项目没有贡献创意。

“I am an artist, but not the artist of this,” Büchel said. Instead, he said, MAGA endorses the concept that Americans, by electing Trump, allowed his obsessions to be given form that qualifies as an artistic statement. The fact that the prototypes were designed and built by six private contractors matters less, he said, than the impression that, upon completion, they constitute an unintended sculpture garden willed into existence by the president and his supporters. “This is a collective sculpture; people elected this artist,” Büchel said.


Büchel insisted that the petition was not a jab at Trump’s signature policy-achievement-in-waiting. Even if the border wall is never built, Büchel said, the prototypes “need to be preserved because they can signify and change meaning through time. They can remind people there was the idea to have this border wall once.”