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Collaborations 1978-2010

 

In the late 1970s, I worked with Igor Lutz (in 1978-1979). After that, from 1980 to 1983, I worked with Vitya Skersis. Later, in the period from 1987 to 1990, the group was reconstituted when we were already abroad (we made three exhibitions in the framework of the project “The Brothers Karamazov”). From 1983 to 1984, I worked with Nadezhda Stolpovskaya, and the theme of our work was, once again, an examination of the phenomenon of collaboration and its methods. There were also collaborations with Andrei Filippov and Konstantin Zvezdochetov, and even if I have to say that the results were not that interesting, they were all three meters in size. In 1997, “The Dead End of Our Time”, a joint project with Sergei Anufriev, was shown in Moscow. In my opinion, this subject is very interesting, but demands further development. At the same time, Sergei and I also examined the theme of “Corners”, which we documented in the form of a dialogue and in photographs. There were also scattered attempts at working together with the group Inspection Medical Hermeneutics, a collaboration that gave rise to the name “Union of Priests and Doctors”. Of course, I – as the publisher of the Pastor journal – took on the role of the priest. In 1995, I worked with Anton Gonopolsky, a young artist from Cologne.
Together, we made a piece for the puppet theater, based on the essay “Nathaniel Hawthorne” by Jorge Luis Borges. One of the most recent collaborations was working together with the composer Ivan Sokolov. Talking, taking photographs, and walking through a park in Cologne, we captured some very interesting material almost without noticing it. We then collected this material in the book “Strolls Down Lilac Avenues”. Around the same time, Ivan Sokolov wrote “A Requiem for the Soul of the Madeleine Pastry” at my request. (I carried out an action called “The Execution of the Madeleine Pastry”, in which the Proustian madeleine pastry was shot by an Austrian rooftop sniper.) The requiem was premiered in a church in Berlin, and its recording was released as a CD.

In Cologne, I also worked together with the artist Ivan Chuikov. Our collaboration had the revealing name “Torture by Dialogue...”. In all of this, one should never forget that most of the time, I work alone. One could say that collaboration supplies me with the possibility of working individually even more actively. Collaboration is a conscious departure from my line of working, which is why I never departed into any collaboration based on rational motives. Collaboration is a convenient form of working in a different mode, in a different space. This other space supplies me with a certain expansion of consciousness. In other words, collaboration is a method that allows me to do what I want in peace and quiet. All of these departures into collaboration were so powerful in terms of energy that they calmed down my individuality. It is a little like leaving my well-tread author’s path to climb into the bushes, the swamp, or the forest, leaving behind a space that I would have never entered consciously or approached with very much care. In this collaborative space, it is impossible to insist upon anything of your own, simply because you don’t know the local geography, and have no idea about the inhabitants of this country, this swamp. At the same time, it is possible that one coauthor takes on more work than the other, at least as far as technical issues are concerned. All of my characters are actually attempts to find my own coauthor on an individual level, a partner within myself; this is a separation on an individual, personal level. One could even say that my work as a whole is total collaboration or co-authorship, engendered by total inner loneliness.