From Six thoughts about sculpture arising from conversations with Anderson Inge and Bruce Gernand

Collaboration means working together. But in occupied France sixty years ago, ‘collaboration’ meant consorting with the enemy; how did collaboration become a name for despicable activity? The opposite of collaboration back then was ‘resistance’ – so maybe it was the power of the dialectic at work.

Or maybe it was that the monadic modern element, the individual human being, had better work alone if it was ever going to create a better world. You would have to be Hannah Arendt to sort it out. Artists collaborate a lot just now, so a lot of us know what it feels like. Part playfulness, part stubbornness, part resignation, part miracle.

A successful collaboration is more than its makers. It has a life of its own, not requiring love or support from any of them. Part of me thinks it’s a way of letting the works themselves tunnel their way to freedom. The ones that are successful are the ones that get away.

Paul Shepheard
London 2007

Author of “What is Architecture?, The Cultivated Wilderness and Artificial Love”