INTERVIEW WITH QWERTY
Under what conditions is collaboration not possible?
With: no love, no wine, no fantasy, no friends, no artists, no body, no brain, no food, no feelings, no money, no music, no movies, no literature, no open mind, no self confidence, no humor, no happiness, no feelings, no trust, no anarchists, no divas, no beer, no craziness, no flow, no will, no sleep
Hannah Arendt recalled her friend and novelist Mary Mccarthy in this way: ‘It’s not that we think so much alike, but that we do this ‘thinking business’ for and with each other’. Shortly before dying, Arendt realized that she was not going to be able to finish editing her last book, The Life of the Mind. She asked Mccarthy to finish it for her. How does “thinking alike” and “thinking together” feed collaboration?
qwerty has existed in 7 years, but the artists in qwerty have collaborated in various other group constellations for many, many years.
We know each other very well, and can easily finish an idea on behalf of the group, if it is required.  In many cases, the group has to take decisions, because everybody isn’t present at all exhibitions.  We trust each other and the decisions, so far so good. It is very important for the flow and the dynamic that we think together, and allow that. We don’t think alike, but we like to think together.
Can you tell us a story about collaboration and romance?
Collaboration should always be a romance.
When we look at a forest, the first thing we see are the trees, individually striving to reach the light.  What we don’t see is the massive mychorrhizal network underneath our feet.  While fungal networks cannot produce their own food, they are nonetheless responsible for distributing resources and information throughout the forest: they are the mediators that help the other plants to work together.  What and/or who mediates collaboration, and what are its effects on the process?
It is the personal contact with our audience, which generates new possibilities.  We make a beautiful forest, which attracts people. During the process of exhibiting, we have discovered that our main goal has been the conversation with our audience.
What have you brought with you to Brooklyn? What will you leave there?
We have brought our own art-clothes-fashion-collection, we intend to bargain and exchange a lot of new clothes. We intend to bring home new friendships and clothes that we can take with us to other countries. (We exhibit clothes we exchanged in St. Petersburg and Stockholm).
How does that which is left unsaid permeate the nature of collaboration and how that collaboration works?
If you always say everything you feel, you can’t work together with other people. We try to be stoic and honest at the same time.
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