新概念三册第18课:Electric currents in modern art 课文+听力文本

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Lesson18 Electric currents in modern art


Modern sculpture rarely surprises us any more. The idea that modern art can only be seen in museums is mistaken. Even people who take no interest in art cannot have failed to notice examples of modern sculpture on display in public places. Strange forms stand in gardens, and outside buildings and shops. We have got quite used to them. Some so-called ‘modern’ pieces have been on display for nearly fifty years.

In spite of this, some people–including myself–were surprised by a recent exhibition of modern sculpture. The first thing I saw when I entered the art gallery was a notice which said: ‘Do not touch the exhibits. Some of them are dangerous!’ The objects on display were pieces of moving sculpture. Oddly shaped forms that are suspended from the ceiling and move in response to a gust of wind are quite familiar to everybody. These objects, however, were different. Lined up against the wall, there were long thin wires attached to metal spheres. The spheres had been magnetized and attracted or repelled each other all the time. In the centre of the hall, there were a number of tall structures which contained coloured lights. These lights flickered continuously like traffic lights which have gone mad. Sparks were emitted from small black boxes and red lamps flashed on and off angrily. It was rather like an exhibition of prehistoric electronic equipment. These Peculiar forms not only seemed designed to shock people emotionally, but to give them electric shocks as well !

现代雕塑不再使我们感到惊讶了。那种认为现代艺术只能在博物馆里才能看到的观点是错误的。即使是对艺术不感兴趣的人也不会注意到在公共场所展示的现代艺术品。公园里、大楼和商店外竖立着的奇形怪状的雕塑,对这些,我们已经司空见惯了。有些所谓的“现代”艺术品在那里已经陈列了近80年了。

尽管如此,最近举办的一次现代雕塑展览还是使一些人(包括我在内)大吃了一惊。走进展厅首先看到的是一张告示,上面写着“切勿触摸展品,某些展品有危险!”展品都是些活动的雕像。人们所熟悉的是悬挂在天花板上、造型奇特、随风飘荡的雕塑品。这些展品却使人大开眼界。靠墙排列着许多细长的电线,而电线又连着金属球。金属球经过磁化,互相之间不停地相互吸引或相互排斥。展厅中央是装有彩色灯泡的许多高高的构件,灯泡一刻不停地闪烁着,就像失去了控制的红绿灯。小黑盒子里迸出火花,红色灯泡发怒似地忽明忽暗。这儿倒像是在展览古老的电子设备。好像设计这些奇形怪状的展品不仅是为了给人感情上的强烈刺激,而且还想给人以电击似的!

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