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“人造珊瑚礁”:大海深处的艺术与环保

Trying to Protect a Reef With an Otherworldly Diversion
“人造珊瑚礁”:大海深处的艺术与环保

CANCÚN, Mexico — Most people head off to an art exhibit with comfortable shoes and a deep appreciation for creativity. Jason deCaires Taylor’s work requires flippers and, to really appreciate it, a depth of at least 12 feet.

墨西哥,坎昆——大多数人穿着舒适的鞋子,带着对创作的深深欣赏去看艺术展。但是,要实地欣赏杰森·德凯尔·泰勒的作品(Jason deCaires Taylor’s work),则要穿着脚蹼,深入至少12英尺的海底才行。

Mr. Taylor labors over his sculptures for weeks, five-ton concrete figures of men, women and children, many of them modeled after people in the fishing village near here where he lives and works. The little boy Carlito sitting on a rock. The proud Joaquín glancing skyward. The old man everyone knows as Charlie Brown clasping his chin in contemplation.

泰勒先生为他的雕塑辛苦工作了数周。这些雕塑重达5吨,是用混凝土塑造的男人、女人和孩子,其中很多都是根据离他生活和工作的地点不远的渔村里的人塑造的。小男孩卡里托坐在岩石上。骄傲的祖昆仰望天空。被大家称为查理·布朗的老男人托着下巴沉思。
 

墨西哥坎昆海底博物馆的大约500座雕塑中的一部分。

In a stifling warehouse filled with bodies — ceramic replicas and false starts — he fusses over their lips and noses. Gets the hair just right. Adjusts their clothing.

闷热的仓库里放满了身体——陶制的复制品和一些失败的尝试品——泰勒对嘴唇和鼻子十分挑剔,头发做得一丝不苟,衣服也反复修改。

Then he sinks them in the sea.

然后,他把它们沉入海底。

There, they rest in ghostly repose in the Museo Subacuático de Arte here, serving at once as a tourist attraction and as a conservation effort by drawing divers and snorkelers away from the Mesoamerican Reef, the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, and toward this somewhat macabre, artificial one.

它们像幽灵一样栖息在海底博物馆(Museo Subacuático de Arte),既吸引游客,又保护环境,因为它们可以吸引深潜者和浮潜者来看这些有点阴森的人工珊瑚礁,从而远离世界第二大珊瑚礁群——中美洲珊瑚礁。

The nearly 500 statues, the first ones placed in 2009 and 60 added this year, have acquired enough coral, seaweed and algae to give them the look of zombies with a particularly nightmarish skin condition. Eventually, in six years or so, the coral will completely overtake them, leaving only suggestive shapes.

第一批雕像是2009年沉下去的,今年添了60个。现在共有大约500个雕像,上面已经长满了珊瑚、海草和海藻,看起来像僵尸,皮肤的样子很可怕。到最后,也就是大约6年以后,它们会被珊瑚完全覆盖,只能看出大致的轮廓。

“Foremost, it’s an opportunity to view this other world,” Mr. Taylor said. “We are surrounded by water, but people have no understanding what their planet is. It helps see ourselves as part of the world.”

“最重要的是,这让我们有机会从另一个角度看问题,”泰勒先生说:“我们被水环绕,但是却完全不理解我们的星球。它能让我们把自己当作世界的一部分来看待。”

Mr. Taylor places the works, anchored with special sand bolts, in water shallow enough for snorkelers to get a view, the sunlight filtering through the blue water casting odd shadows and drawing out unexpected pinks and oranges from the coral.

泰勒先生把这些作品用特殊的砂质螺栓固定在浅海底部,这样浮潜者也能看到。阳光透过蓝色的海水,投射出怪异的阴影,使珊瑚放射出意想不到的粉色和橙色。

But divers get the most out of it, with close-ups of the rainbow swirl of coral and algae. Fish dart in and around and — in an ecological twist — feed off the “people.” At night, Mr. Taylor said, a family of sea turtles has been known to go sightseeing.

但还是深潜者看得最清楚,他们可以近距离观察珊瑚和海藻彩虹般的卷曲。鱼儿在珊瑚丛中或者四周飞快地游弋,还能以这些“人类”为食——这是生物链的大逆转。泰勒先生说,某天晚上曾有海龟一家前去参观他的作品。

Purists may shudder at the idea of altering the sea in any way. But Mr. Taylor, who uses marine-grade concrete specially prepared to entice coral and be close to neutral pH, notes that the exhibit inhabits but a fraction of the sea.

“纯化论者”可能为任何形式改造大海的行为感到不寒而栗。但是泰勒先生使用的是为吸引珊瑚特制的海工混凝土,pH值接近中性。他特别强调,这些展览品只占用了海洋极小的一点地方。

“It’s like putting a sculpture in the Sahara,” he said, contending that the works contribute to the greater good of preserving the natural reef by diverting divers away from it.

“就像在撒哈拉沙漠里放了一个雕塑,”他说,并辩解道,这些作品有助于实现更重要的利益——通过把潜水者吸引开,来保护天然珊瑚。

Some scientists agree, as long as the artificial reefs are placed in a way that is minimally disruptive to the sea floor and to natural reefs.

有些科学家对此表示同意,说只要这些人造珊瑚的放置方式能把其对海底和天然珊瑚造成的破坏降到最低就没问题。

“I have seen the pictures, and it looks intriguing,” Richard E. Dodge, executive director of the National Coral Reef Institute in Florida, said of the museum. “If it is not so extensive that it impinges hugely on the natural reef, it does help by providing an alternative dive site.”

“我看过那些照片了,看起来还挺有趣的,”佛罗里达州天然珊瑚礁研究院的执行总监理查德·E·道奇(Richard E. Dodge)这样看待这个海底博物馆:“如果它范围不广,不至于极大地侵害天然珊瑚礁,那么它对保护天然珊瑚礁就是是有帮助的,因为它提供了另一个潜水地点。”

Others are more skeptical, saying that the museum serves more as a tourist attraction and that the reef is harmed more by pollution from the resorts and by climate change than by visitors to it.

其他一些科学家则对此持怀疑态度,说这个博物馆的主要用途还是吸引游客,因为对珊瑚礁伤害最大的是度假地的污染和气候变化(climate change),而不是参观者。

“It is neither a benefit nor a harm to the reef, but I do not see it as a conservation project,” said Roberto Iglesias Prieto, a scientist in Cancún who studies the reef.

“它对珊瑚礁既没益处,也没害处,但是我不认为它是一个自然保护项目,”坎昆的一位研究珊瑚礁的科学家罗伯托·伊格莱西亚斯·普列托(Roberto Iglesias Prieto)说。

Mr. Taylor, a 37-year-old Briton, was drawn to Mexico after an earlier project of 65 works off the Caribbean island of Grenada got a lot of attention.

泰勒先生37岁,是个英国人,他之前在加勒比海格林纳达岛附近放置的65件作品引起了很多关注,所以被请到了墨西哥。

He grew up in England, Spain and Malaysia, where he developed a passion for diving and coral reefs, and he was trained at the Camberwell College of Arts in London.

他在英国、西班牙和马来西亚长大,在马来西亚迷上了潜水和珊瑚礁,曾在伦敦的坎贝威尔艺术学院(Camberwell College of Arts)接受培训。

From his days as a young graffiti artist in London with the moniker Intro, he knew he wanted to do environmental art, but he figured it would be a retirement hobby.

他年轻时曾以“Intro”为绰号在伦敦做涂鸦艺术家,当时他知道自己想做环保艺术,但觉得那会是他退休后的爱好。

He has led a vagabond life — at one point, he designed theater sets in London — that by the mid-2000s took him to Grenada, where he initially planned to open a dive shop but reconsidered the idea for one critical reason: “I couldn’t deal with the public,” he said.

他曾经过着四处漂泊的生活——有一段时间在伦敦设计舞台布景——2005年左右他来到格林纳达岛。刚开始,他计划开一家潜水馆,但是有个重要的原因让他有些动摇,“我不会跟人打交道,”他说。

Instead, dabbling with sculpturing in his unhappiness and lamenting the damage to the reefs there, he sank his savings of about $50,000 into the lightning strike of an idea for underwater works that would represent the “serious time bomb” of humans’ consequences on nature and the hope for recovery.

带着抑郁的情绪,他开始尝试创作雕塑,同时也为当地珊瑚礁遭到的破坏深感痛惜,所以他把大约5万美元的积蓄投到了一个大胆的想法上:他要创作一个水下作品,代表着一颗“危急的定时炸弹”,象征着人类破坏自然的后果与修复自然的希望。

It grew into an underwater park of 65 works, a collection that includes the oft-photographed “Lost Correspondent” — a lonely man typing at his desk in the vast blue water — and “Vicissitudes,” a ring of 28 boys and girls with African features clasping hands at the bottom of the sea.

最后,它变成了一个拥有65件作品的水下公园,其中包括那个经常成为拍照对象的“失落的通讯员”(Lost Correspondent)——一个孤独的男人在他的书桌前打字,周围是广阔的蓝色海水;还有《沧桑变迁》(Vicissitudes):具有非洲人特征的28个男孩和女孩手拉手围成一圈,站在海底。

Some have interpreted the ring of submerged figures as a statement on slavery. But Mr. Taylor said that the models were local children and that he sought to convey the message of “change and children taking on the characteristics of their environment.”

有人认为这一圈水底人物象征着奴役。但是泰勒先生说,这些雕塑的原型是当地的孩子,他想要传递的意思是“变化,以及孩子们的形象所呈现的环境特征”。

The work was damaged by storms, with part of it collapsing, so on a recent afternoon Mr. Taylor was putting the finishing touches on a sturdier replacement that will soon be carried by ship to Grenada.

这件作品被暴风雨毁坏了,有一部分倒塌了,所以泰勒先生制作了更坚实的替代品,在最近的一个下午为它完成了最后润色,它很快会被用船运到格林纳达岛。

The notice that the Grenada works received drew the attention of officials here at the National Marine Park, an aquatic preserve off Cancún visited by about 750,000 people annually. They had started building small, ball-like artificial reefs to lure people away from the damaged natural one, and, with federal financing, they wanted Mr. Taylor to design thousands of sculptures. So far there has been money for about 500.

格林纳达岛的作品受到的关注,引起了墨西哥国家水族公园的官员们的注意。该公园是离坎昆不远的水生物自然保护区,每年有75万人前来参观。他们早就开始修建一些小型的球状人造珊瑚礁,以吸引人们远离遭到破坏的天然珊瑚礁。他们得到了墨西哥联邦政府的资助,想让泰勒先生设计上千个雕塑。到目前为止,已有制作大约500个作品的经费到位了。

It seemed natural to use local residents as models, Mr. Taylor said, and after carefully screening them for what he called “strong lines and good bone structure,” he subjected the volunteers to a two-hour molding process that included a head-to-toe blanket of paste.

拿当地人做模特是很自然的,泰勒先生说,他仔细挑选出那些“线条清晰、骨架匀称”的模特,要求这些志愿参与的模特们参与两个小时的制模过程,其中包括在他们身上从头到脚涂上一层粘土。

The one common feature of the statues: their eyes are closed, seeming to give them an added air of intrigue, but it is simply because the molding materials would otherwise get in the models’ eyes.

这些雕塑有个共同特征:他们的眼睛是闭着的,好像给他们增加了一丝诡异色彩,但是这其实是因为不闭上眼的话,制模的材料会进到模特的眼睛里。

“I was afraid when they started covering me,” said Joaquín Adame Sutter, a 53-year-old fisherman who was the model for “Man on Fire,” a statue with fire coral protruding from the skin. “I said let’s do my body first, and tomorrow you can do my face. It was a funny feeling, you know.”

“他们开始往我身上涂东西的时候,我有点害怕,”53岁的祖昆·亚达姆·萨特(Joaquín Adame Sutter)说。他是雕塑“着火的男人”(Man on Fire)的模特,这个雕塑从皮肤上长出了火珊瑚。“我说先涂身体吧,明天你们可以涂我的脸。你知道,那种感觉很好玩。”

The success of the museum has led to some commercial work for Mr. Taylor, including designing an undersea metallic piano sculpture for the magician David Copperfield’s private Bahamas island. It plays recorded music.

博物馆的成功给泰勒带来了一些商业工作,包括为魔术师大卫·科菲波尔(David Copperfield)在巴哈马群岛的私人小岛设计一个海底金属钢琴雕塑。这个雕塑能播放预先录好的音乐。

And Mr. Taylor’s photographs and sculptures were exhibited last month by the Jonathan LeVine Gallery in Manhattan.

泰勒先生的海底作品照片和雕塑上个月在曼哈顿的乔纳森·莱文艺术馆(Jonathan LeVine Gallery)展出。

Still, a dream project he is developing in his head would hardly be accessible, an antidote to the wide exposure of his art. It would be a provocative political work (he declined to give specifics) that would be submerged in the deep sea in an unspecified ocean, to be seen only, perhaps, in photographs.

他头脑中还在酝酿一个梦想中的项目,相对于他那些被广泛曝光的作品来说是一种平衡,但是这个计划很难实现。那会是一个具有煽动性的政治作品(他拒绝透露细节),将被沉到深海里,而且不会告知具体沉在哪里,这样也许只能在照片里看到。

“So much of life is built around myth,” he said, hinting at the message. “I would put it so a hundred ships would never find it.”

“生活的很大一部分是建立在神话上的,”他说,隐隐透露出一点信息:“我会把它放在一个上百只船也找不到的地方。”
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