SD: Do you feel like it’s some sort of a spatial prerequisite or is the studio a fluid structure, a way of (net)working, at times even a mood that could be adapted anywhere?
A22: We first let ideas, dreams, and energies pool. Therefore, in our practice thinking and discussing are as important as doing. It must be the fact that we work as a collective. It must be that we don’t have a proper studio space.
We nailed this way of working, and it functions even when we are in different cities.
There is little place for mistakes though; talking so much about things means we only keep ideas we really like. Also, we can’t afford to produce something we don’t believe in 100%.
We tried the other way around when we had the opportunity – in Solitude, working on our Positive Destruction series of painted objects or in Brussels where we have a room to test some ideas and to experiment with several materials like glass wool, steel wire, various textiles we found here, etc. Many things will never see the limelight, yet by trial and error we learned a lot and advanced with some ideas we would have never thought of otherwise.
Even if for us studio is more of a mood – we can call a table our studio, or a library, any room, or even the notebook – we do have a sketch of an ideal studio space: It has to be large, very high, with wide windows and perfect light, a long table for dinners. Pretty much like the studio our friend Farid Fairuz had at ADK in Berlin plus a great library, and a fine sound system.
As add got really full of things, more recently all the gatherings of more than 5-6 people are happening at CIRCA 1703 – 3071, a place we love, the studio-cum-wonder box filled with vintage design pieces of our architect friend Laura Paraschiv. She made us feel like the hosts of her place.
SD: And what about the public mission of this kind of »studio-and-more-space«?
Do you sometimes feel the need to work in a more secluded space, to separate the work for Apparatus 22 a bit and the other layers that gravitate around it?
A22: A space that would allow both concealing work in progress and a vivid social layer would be perfect for us.
We don’t really like to show works that are not finished, not even in the studio. We do that of course with very close friends or when it is something for a project in co-production and we have to show some progress.
On the other hand, to open a context for discussions and for exchanging ideas with other artists, curators and other participants in the art ecosystem and beyond is paramount.
We remember the first time we spent in Solitude.
We didn’t work on anything palpable although those dream-like studios were under our feet. We were depressed with the loss of Ioana and felt more like reading and discussing.
Then smoothly, we turned our studio into a meeting place, very much around eating. It often happened that there were a dozen of people in one of our studios gathered there spontaneously. It felt like having a sphere of luminous energy, abstract and imaginative; and truly real.