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It’s Time to Take Down the Mona Lisa

来源:纽约时报    2019-11-08 08:15

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        PARIS — Even in a city saturated with excellent fall exhibitions, from the Grand Palais’s retrospective of El Greco to the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s showcase of Charlotte Perriand, the show of the season here is the decade-in-the-works “Leonardo da Vinci,” at the Musée du Louvre. Mandatory timed tickets are sold out through November for this thorough, deeply serious exhibition, which sloughs off the myths that cling to this least productive of Renaissance masters. You will find here a cleaner, sprightlier Leonardo — or at least you will in the show downstairs, where four of the Louvre’s five paintings by the artist have been relocated.        巴黎——即便是在一个优秀秋展云集的城市,从大皇宫(Grand Palais)的埃尔·格列柯(El Greco)回顾展,到路易·威登基金会(Fondation Louis Vuitton)的夏洛特·佩里安(Charlotte Perriand)展览,这里的本季重头戏,仍是十年磨一剑的卢浮宫列奥纳多·达·芬奇(Leonardo da Vinci)展。这场深入而严肃的展览的限时门票已经卖到了十一月底,它将破除萦绕在这位产量最低的文艺复兴大师身上的许多迷思。在这里,你将看到一个更洁净、更有生气的列奥纳多——或者至少你将在楼下的展览中看到,他的五幅卢浮宫藏画中的四幅被搬到了楼下。
        Upstairs, where Leonardo’s most famous work remains, is still a fiasco.        列奥纳多最著名的作品留在了楼上,而那里,现在仍是一片混乱。
        The Louvre houses the greatest collection of art anywhere in Europe, within a palace that is a masterpiece in its own right. It is, by some distance, the most popular museum in the world. In 2018 a record 10 million visitors, three-quarters of them foreign tourists, besieged the joint: up 25 percent on the previous year, and more than triple the attendance of the Centre Pompidou or the Musée d’Orsay.        卢浮宫拥有全欧洲最伟大的艺术收藏,这座宫殿本身就是一件杰作。它是世界上最受欢迎的博物馆,甩开第二名许多。2018年,创纪录的1000万游客——其中四分之三是外国游客——涌入这个地方:比前一年增加了25%,是蓬皮杜中心(Centre Pompidou)或奥赛博物馆(Musée d’Orsay)游客人数的三倍多。
        Yet the Louvre is being held hostage by the Kim Kardashian of 16th-century Italian portraiture: the handsome but only moderately interesting Lisa Gherardini, better known (after her husband) as La Gioconda, whose renown so eclipses her importance that no one can even remember how she got famous in the first place.        而卢浮宫却已被16世纪意大利肖像画中的金·卡戴珊(Kim Kardashian)劫持:俊美却只是略微有趣的丽莎·盖拉尔迪尼(Lisa Gherardini)——人称(随夫姓)拉·乔孔达(La Gioconda)——她的名望远远超过了自身的重要性,以至于甚至无人记得她最初是如何成名的。
        Some 80 percent of visitors, according to the Louvre’s research, are here for the Mona Lisa — and most of them leave unhappy. Content in the 20th century to be merely famous, she has become, in this age of mass tourism and digital narcissism, a black hole of anti-art who has turned the museum inside out.        根据卢浮宫的调查,大约80%的游客来这里是为看《蒙娜丽莎》——而大多数人离开时都不开心。在20世纪的小有名气本来已经很满足了,然而在这个大众旅游和数字自恋的时代,她却成了一个反艺术的黑洞,把博物馆翻了个底朝天。
        Enough!        够了!
        This past summer, amid 100-degree-plus heat, the Louvre undertook a renovation of the Mona Lisa’s gallery: the arching Salle des États, in the museum’s Denon wing, which once housed Parliament of France. What a mess this was. Relocated to the Richelieu painting wing, the Mona Lisa reduced the museum’s Flemish collection into wallpaper for a cattle pen, where guards shooed along irritated, sweaty selfie-snappers who’d endured a half-hour line. The overcrowding was so bad, the museum had to shut its doors on several days. “The Louvre is suffocating,” said a statement from the union of the museum’s security staff, who went on strike.        刚刚过去的夏天,在超过37度的高温下,卢浮宫对《蒙娜丽莎》的展厅——位于德农馆(Denon)的拱形众国厅(Salle des États)——进行了翻修,那里曾是法国议会所在地。这真是一团糟。《蒙娜丽莎》搬到黎塞留馆(Richelieu)后,卢浮宫的弗拉芒画派藏品已经沦为牛棚里的墙纸,保安驱赶着怒气冲冲、汗流浃背、已经忍受了半小时长队的自拍者们。过度拥挤如此严重,以至于博物馆不得不关门好几天。“卢浮宫快窒息了,”发起罢工的卢浮宫保安人员工会发表声明说。
        Now the Mona Lisa is back in her regular spot, on a freestanding wall that’s been repainted an admittedly chic Prussian blue. (Louis Frank, one of the two curators of the Leonardo retrospective, told me there was never any possibility of including the Mona Lisa in the show. The exhibition can “only” be visited by 5,000 people per day; the Salle des États gets 30,000.)        现在,《蒙娜丽莎》又回到了她原来的位置,挂在一面独立的墙上,墙上重新刷了一种不得不承认很别致的普鲁士蓝。(列奥纳多回顾展的两名策展人之一路易斯·弗兰克[Louis Frank]告诉我,把《蒙娜丽莎》纳入展览绝无可能。展览每天“只能”接待5000人参观;众国厅要接待3万人。)
        I went up with the crowds recently. Things were no better. Now, you must line up in a hideous, T.S.A.-style snake of retractable barriers that ends about 12 feet from the Leonardo — which, for a painting that’s just two and a half feet tall, is too far for looking and way too far for a good selfie.        最近我随着人群走了一趟。情况并没有好转。现在,你必须排一条美国机场安检般可怕的蜿蜒长队,夹在隔离带之间,最后只能站在距离列奥纳多的画约12英尺的地方,对一幅仅2.5英尺高的画而言,这样观看太远,对于想拍一张好自拍的人而言就更远了。
        Apparently the painting is beneath some nifty new nonreflective glass, but at this distance how could I tell? My fellow visitors and I could hardly see the thing, and we were shunted off in less than a minute. All this for a painting that (as the Louvre’s current show confirms) is hardly Leonardo’s most interesting, and that has drowned out the Venetian masterpieces in the Salle des États, such as Titian’s “Woman With a Mirror,” or Veronese’s “Wedding at Cana,” which Beyoncé was smart enough not to neglect. The museum is admitting as much with the pathetic new signs in the Salle des États: “The Mona Lisa is surrounded by other masterpieces — take a look around the room.”        画似乎盖在了某种时髦的新型不反光玻璃下面,但距离这么远,我怎么看得出来?同行的参观者几乎看不见那东西,而且不到一分钟,我们就被打发走了。这一切,都是为了这么一幅(卢浮宫当前的展览证实)连最有趣的列奥纳多都谈不上的画,却淹没了众国厅的威尼斯画派杰作,如提香的《梳妆的妇人》,或委罗内塞的《伽拿的婚礼》,后一幅画碧昂斯很明智地没有忽视。博物馆也承认这一点,众国厅张贴了一幅可悲的新标示:“《蒙娜丽莎》被其他名作环绕着——看一看周围。”
        This is a gallery that makes the Spirit Airlines boarding process look like a model of efficiency, and offers about as much visual delight. If you think me some sniffy aesthete for saying so, listen to the crowds: In a poll of British tourists earlier this year, the Mona Lisa was voted the “world’s most disappointing attraction,” beating out Checkpoint Charlie, the Spanish Steps, and that urinating boy in Brussels. If curators think that they are inspiring the next generation of art lovers, they are in fact doing the opposite. People come out of obligation, and leave discouraged.        这个展厅让精神航空公司(Spirit Airlines)的登机过程看起来像是效率的典范,并且提供同样多的视觉乐趣。如果你以为我是某个装高冷的审美家才这么说,那么听听众人的看法:在今年早些时候对英国游客进行的一项民意调查中,《蒙娜丽莎》被评为“世界上最令人失望的景点”,击败查理检查哨(Checkpoint Charlie)、西班牙阶梯(Spanish Steps)和布鲁塞尔那个撒尿的男孩。如果策展人们认为他们是在启发下一代艺术爱好者,他们实际上是在做相反的事。人们奔着这个必看名画而来,又垂头丧气地离开。
        Jean-Luc Martinez, the museum’s director, has said the Louvre might take further steps to alleviate Mona mania in coming years: new entrances, timed tickets. This misunderstands the problem — for the Louvre, with more gallery space than any museum on the planet, isn’t that swamped if you can get through the security lines. On my last visit the Islamic galleries were nearly empty. The French painting wing was trafficked by just a few visitors. Even the Venus de Milo, perhaps the second most famous work of art in the museum, draws a comfortable few dozen peepers at a time.        卢浮宫馆长让-吕克·马丁内兹(Jean-Luc Martinez)曾表示,卢浮宫可能会在未来几年采取新入口和限时门票等进一步措施,缓解《蒙娜丽莎》狂热。这是误解了问题所在——卢浮宫的画廊空间比世界上任何博物馆都多,通过安检之后其实没那么拥挤。我上次参观伊斯兰画廊时,里面几乎空无一人。陈列法国油画的侧翼只有几个游客穿行。即使是博物馆里第二著名的艺术作品《米洛的维纳斯》,同时观看的也不过只有几十位游客。
        The Louvre does not have an overcrowding problem per se. It has a Mona Lisa problem. No other iconic painting — not Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” at the Uffizi in Florence, not Klimt’s “Kiss” at the Belvedere in Vienna, not “Starry Night” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York — comes anywhere close to monopolizing its institution like she does. And if tourist numbers continue to rise, if last year’s 10 million visitors become next year’s 11 or 12, the place is going to crack.        卢浮宫本身并不存在拥挤的问题。只是有《蒙娜丽莎》的问题。其他任何标志性的画作——佛罗伦萨乌菲兹美术馆藏波提切利的《维纳斯的诞生》、维也纳贝尔维德尔美术馆藏克里姆特的《吻》、纽约现代艺术博物馆藏《星夜》——都无法像蒙娜丽莎那样垄断整个博物馆的注意力。如果游客数量继续增长,如果去年的1000万游客明年变成1100万或1200万,这个地方就会崩溃。
        It is time for the Louvre to admit defeat. It is time for the Mona Lisa to go.        卢浮宫是时候承认失败了。蒙娜丽莎该走了。
        She needs her own space. Build a pavilion for her, perhaps in the Tuileries, that is optimized for the crowds. Connect it to the main museum via the underground mall known as the Carrousel du Louvre, and sell a single ticket for both locations. Set up prime selfie stations, and let more curious visitors learn about the mysterious Gioconda with supplementary exhibits. Get it up in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics. Let Kylian Mbappé inaugurate it, maybe with Carla Bruni alongside. Sell macarons.        她需要自己的空间。也许可以在杜伊勒里宫为她建造一个临时展馆,满足游人的需要。可以通过名为卢浮旋转木马(Carrousel du Louvre)的地下商场,把它和主要博物馆连接起来,一张通票可以去这两个地点。设立最佳自拍站,用补充展品让更多好奇的游客了解神秘的乔孔达。在2024年夏季奥运会之前把它建好。让凯丽安·姆巴佩(Kylian Mbappé)来主持开馆典礼,或许再加上卡拉·布吕尼(Carla Bruni)。展馆出售马卡龙。
        It will need to be big, but I cannot conceive of an easier fund-raising project. The Mona Lisa Pavilion will instantly become the most popular attraction in the most popular tourist destination on earth. Surely, having spent more than a billion dollars to launch the Louvre Abu Dhabi, the potentates of the United Arab Emirates would be glad to fund the new facility, especially if it came with naming rights. The Sheikh Zayed Mona Lisa Pavilion: it has a ring to it, n’est-ce pas?        它得盖得很大才行,但我想不到比这更容易融资的项目了。在这个地球上最受欢迎的旅游目的地,蒙娜丽莎馆将立即成为最受欢迎的景点。当然,在花费了超过10亿美元来启动阿布扎比卢浮宫之后,阿拉伯联合酋长国的权贵们会很乐意为新设施提供资金,尤其是假如新设施带有冠名权。谢赫扎耶德-蒙娜丽莎馆:感觉有光环,不是吗?
        We have models for this. Picasso’s “Guernica” was shown in its own pavilion in Madrid for over a decade, before the opening of the Reina Sofía Museum. A more relevant example — given that the Mona Lisa is nowadays less a work of art than a holy relic — is the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the holiest artwork in Mexico City, venerated by millions of pilgrims a year. Worshipers of the Virgin stand on moving walkways. I can picture the same travelators in front of the Gioconda, smoothly guiding tourists past the Leonardo and into the gift shop.        我们有模板。毕加索的《格尔尼卡》(Guernica)在马德里属于自己的展馆里展出了十几年,直到雷纳·索菲亚博物馆(Reina Sofía Museum)开放。考虑到现在的《蒙娜丽莎》与其说是艺术品,不如说是一件圣物,还有一个更贴切的例子,那就是瓜达卢佩圣母像,它是墨西哥城最神圣的艺术品,每年有数百万朝圣者对它顶礼膜拜。圣母的崇拜者站在自动人行道上。我可以想象,在乔孔达前面安装同样的自动人行道,平稳地引导游客经过列奥纳多,进入礼品店。
        This Paris pavilion, like the Mexican basilica, would be a pilgrimage site for a sort of worship: the worship of fame, and of one’s own proximity to it. Let Samsung or another electronics company install ultra-hi-res cameras around the Gioconda. Let visitors strike a pose on the moving walkways, and then download their cutest selfies with the Leonardo under glass. Perhaps, in exchange for further naming rights, Jeff Koons could have a handbag concession at the exit of the Sheikh Zayed-Louis Vuitton Mona Lisa Pavilion.        这样一个巴黎的展馆,就像墨西哥的那座教堂一样,会成为一种供人崇拜的朝圣之所:对名气的崇拜,对自己接近名气的崇拜。让三星或其他电子公司在乔孔达周围安装超高分辨率的相机。让游客在自动人行道上摆姿势,然后下载他们同列奥纳多作品最精彩的自拍照。或许,为了换取更多冠名权,杰夫·昆斯(Jeff Koons)可以在谢赫扎伊德-路易威登-蒙娜丽莎馆出口处开一个手袋专卖摊位。
        In the early 1990s, with the opening of I.M. Pei’s pyramid and the expansion into the Richelieu wing, the museum’s curators actually considered relocating the Mona Lisa. They balked — on the grounds that this mid-tier Leonardo needed to be grounded among her Cinquecento brothers and sisters. That might just have been true a quarter-century ago, when the museum had less than half its current attendance. In a Louvre of 10 million visitors, such a belief isn’t just wrong; it’s dangerous. The Mona Lisa is a security hazard, an educational obstacle, and not even a satisfying bucket-list item.        1990年代初,随着贝聿铭设计的金字塔的开放和黎塞留侧翼的扩建,博物馆的策展人实际上考虑过重新安置《蒙娜丽莎》。他们犹豫了——因为这件列奥纳多的中期作品需要和其他16世纪意大利艺术品安放在一起。在25年前可能的确是这样,因为当时博物馆的参观人数还不到现在的一半。在一个拥有1000万游客的卢浮宫里,这样的想法不仅是错误的,而且是危险的。《蒙娜丽莎》是安全隐患,是教育的绊脚石,甚至不是一个令人满意的愿望清单项目。
        No work of art should make people miserable. Let Paris’s millions of future visitors enjoy the art, the shopping, the sweets and the selfies at the Sheikh Zayed-Louis Vuitton-Samsung Galaxy-Ladurée Macarons Mona Lisa Pavilion. Then let them rediscover the Louvre as a museum.        任何艺术品都不应该令人痛苦。让巴黎的数百万未来游客在谢赫扎伊德-路易威登-三星-拉杜丽马卡龙蒙娜丽莎馆享受艺术、购物、甜食和自拍吧。然后让他们把卢浮宫重新当做博物馆。

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