The Power of the Artistic Duo
Our November 2016 issue featured a number of creatives who work in pairs to produce poignant collaborative work. Visual artists Maja and Gerhard Marx, who is also a renowned sculptor and filmmaker, have two very successful and separate careers, but being married with children means their practices often overlap. We sat down with this powerful pair to find out more about their individual careers as well as their joint ventures. How did you meet? In 1995 Maja was living in an old forestry house in the mountains. Gerhard was hitchhiking solo. It’s a long story, but Gerhard knocked on Maja’s door late one night and she made him tea and oats. What is your working relationship like? We both work constantly on our own individual projects but it all overlaps unofficially, as we’re always involved in what the other is making through discussion, mutual interest and the inevitable sharing of space. Sometimes it officially overlaps: we have created public artworks and a fair number of performances and films together. One of the most significant to us is the Paper Pigeon sculpture in Ferreirasdorp, Johannesburg. How is intellectual property considered? When collaborating, both parties need to remain aware of the negotiation between ownership and sharing. The challenge is to respect each collaborator’s territory and to create something that could not have been possible were it made by an individual.