“Trees’ Journey", Datong and Dali, Taroko National Park, 2015
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太魯閣族大同大禮部落位在太魯閣國家公園立霧山上，因至今尚未供給電力所以被稱為黑暗部落。早期政府低價收購原住民在山上的土地，將當時近約五十人的大同大禮部落遷址到立霧溪旁的現代化水泥房，目前僅留小部分族人住居山上。陳政道在 2011 年陪同荒野保護協會首次走訪大同大禮部落，對山上的生態環境及高齡 86 歲頭目達道的嘹亮歌聲留下深刻的印象。2015 年 6 月執行計劃《樹之旅》時帶著一米高的氣球小樹前往山上的部落，在第二天準備離開時，阿香阿姨好奇地詢問《樹之旅》表示氣球小樹很美，希望可以留下氣球小樹展示給日後來訪的登山客，當下答應了要求並意外地在回到台北後收到寄自黑暗部落的天然藝術品—花蓮原產玫瑰石一對。自此《樹之旅》變成《石與樹》，也開始對原住民美學及其展覽慾望的思考。
如何透過太魯閣立霧山的自然環境回應當前臺灣面臨的生態問題？法國哲學家費利克斯・瓜塔里（Félix Guattari）曾在著作《三個生態學》（The Three Ecologies, 1990）中提出別於挪威哲學家阿恩·內斯（Arne Næss）深層生態學觀點的生態學哲學，瓜塔里表示：「關於生態學的討論需同時考慮心智生態學、社會生態學以及環境生態學的觀點，而且唯有透過跨領域及哲學意義主體化的過程，我們才有辦法真正的理解此刻真正面臨的自然危機。」藝術面對自然亦然，唯有透過藝術家與部落住民的交流，透過「參與」才有機會在過程中尋獲藝術面對自然生態問題時能可提供的積極意義，進而提供另種自然意義的想像。參與在這邊意義上不同於策展人尼可拉· 布西歐（Nicolas Bourriaud）在《關係美學》中提及的參與—企圖抹除物件意義、強調關係為創作形式的藝術宣言。參與的意義在這更接近瓜塔里的生態哲學觀點—共生（living together），直接回應如何面對自然問題的提問。
如何在國家公園內透過策展實踐揭示此刻人與自然關係的想像？延續共生及生態機制批判（Ecology of Institutional Critique）的討論，結合質性殊異的空間，端看藝術在此差異中演繹出不一樣的感性。
Taroko Arts Residency(TAR) Project considers the possibility of practicing contemporary curatorial research from a specific location in one of Taiwan’s National Parks. The project aims to define an alternative imagination of nature, and through a process of co-operation between artists, curator and local residents to redefine relationships between people, environment and artistic practices. The exhibition at TCAC brings an urban ecology into dialogue with these elements.
The locations of the curatorial base in Taroko National Park, Datong and Dali, are called dark villages, because they have no electricity supply. Many years ago, Taiwan’s government claimed the area as a national park, forcing local aboriginal communities to migrate to the modern cement houses built at the foot of the mountain. Today only a small percentage of the aboriginal people continue to own their ancestral homes on the mountain. In 2011, Cheng-Tao Chen visited Datong with the Society of Wilderness, and was impressed by both the complexity of its mountain ecology and the tribal leader’s loud, clear singing voice. In 2015, he returned to Datong, bringing with him his artistic project “Tree’s Journey”. He met an aboriginal woman who requested Cheng-Tao to leave “Tree’s Journey” with the tribe so it could be exhibited for future visitors. In exchange, Cheng-Tao was surprised to be given a pair of rose stones in appreciation from the tribe. Subsequently, “Tree’s Journey” was renamed “Stone and Tree”. This experience inspired Cheng-Tao to think about aboriginal people’s aesthetics, and their desire to have an exhibition.
How can we apply the practice of curatorial research in a national park to explore imaginations about the relationship between humans and nature? How should we consider ecology when thinking about the natural environment? In Félix Guattari’s The Three Ecologies it states that we need to consider the mental, the social and the environmental in order to fully realize the definition of nature. Only through trans-disciplinarity and the philosophical process of subjectivity can we think about the crisis ecology faces today. The same conditions apply when art meets nature. It is only through participation – the co-operation between artists and aboriginal community – that positive concepts of nature and the ecology can be generated through art. The definition of participation here is different from that of Nicolas Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics, where he declares it as an artistic form that attempts to resist the artwork as object. Instead, this idea of participation is closely related with Guattari’s views on ‘living together’ in direct response to questions about nature.
Extending the discussion of living together and the ecology of institutional critique, this project creates a dialogue between the distinct sites, displacing the artists’ projects and audience between the two spaces.