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Waiting for Salmon


Site-informed Video, Letterpress Printing on Detail Paper


"inner ) outer", Tent Gallery, Edinburgh, UK 

I am standing here,

waiting for Salmon.

It is not likely that Salmon will come.

But it is not impossible.

It might come, or it might not.

Therefore I cannot give up.

I wait and I wait.

Until decisions need to be made.

I shall keep waiting for Salmon,

no matter what will show up.

At Gaur dam hydropower station, I stood on the concrete structure of the salmon ladder and leaned on the fence with video camera on my shoulder. I was waiting for salmon to show up, or not. I was not entirely sure what footage I was expecting to get. In the video, salmon didn’t come after all, but the action of waiting grown into the core of this project. This is a work about waiting for something that is absent, in response to the salmon ladders commonly built close to Scottish hydropower stations. Salmon ladders work as alternative routes for adult salmons to return to upstream thus fulfilling their migration. For decades the number of wild salmon in Scotland has reduced significantly, they can almost be taken as absent in their original habitat. However, it’s not impossible to see them yet. This brings out the purpose of waiting: I waited for salmon as if waiting for a Godot who I had no idea when, where, or in what way it will show up. I might even not know what exactly this Godot is, but I knew that I couldn’t give up the hope. Eventually, what I was waiting is perhaps the moment which I finally feel that I can finish waiting.

這是一個關於「缺席」以及「未知」的作品。蘇格蘭高地遍佈著水力發電廠,而這些水壩旁通常都闢有一條「鮭魚階梯」(Salmon Ladder),目的在於引導野鮭沿著這條替代路線返回河的上游,完成洄游產卵的生活史。相較當時大量鮭魚帶來的利潤尚使人類願意興建此類基礎設施,現今野鮭數量已大幅下滑。

我站在高地南部Gaur dam power station的鮭魚階梯旁,扛著攝影機等待野鮭出現,或者不出現,我其實並不清楚我到底希望拍到什麼樣的畫面,但等待的過程與這個動作本身,成為這個作品的中心思想。作品中我等待的野生鮭魚象徵著所有因各種原因數量顯著下滑甚至瀕危的物種,在其原生棲地已經缺席的狀態;但同時我等待鮭魚就如同等待一個乍現的靈光或希望,又或者是等待一個不知何時、何地、以何種方式出現、甚至究竟是什麼東西的果陀。最終,我等待的或許是自己決定終結等待,起而行動的那個瞬間。

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