Art forms such as opera, theatre and dance routinely remind us of the power of ensemble performance, but examples of collaborative practice can also be found in fields more usually associated with solo activity. Artists’ colonies and shared studios fostered close working relationships between painters such as Picasso and Braque, and Gilbert & George have spent their whole working lives as a collaborative duo. In poetry, the Japanese renga form is a structured but improvised collaboration; Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads marked a notable attempt at a joint venture; Eliot’s The Waste Land was transformed by Pound’s editorial input. Current academic research often foregrounds interdisciplinary approaches, while theories of intertextuality emphasise the interconnectivity of different works and the reader’s interpretive role in a text’s meaning.
But artistic dialogues can also be combative and provocative, as in medieval flyting, the Dozens, and rap battles. Drawing on the works of others may result in appropriation, pastiche, parody or plagiarism. Historically, collaboration can be problematic or even dangerous: during wartime it became a dirty word, the opposite of resistance. In our increasingly polarised ideological landscape, is political compromise achievable, or even desirable?
Many thanks to the following people for reviewing and editing this issue:
Agana Agana, Hedda Annerberg, Malva Soto Blamey, Ana Calvete, Juliette Casini, Alejandro Cathey Cevallos, Rachel Chung*, Eliza Cottington, Mara Curechian*, Priyanjana Das, Maxime Geervliet, Adrija Ghosh*, Giorgio Guerisoli, Grace Henaghan, Mengtong Huo*, Alba Knijff, Jiachen Li, Claire Lober, Ezra Maloney, Ella March, Molly McCracken, Amy McVeigh, Keara Mickelson, Kris Moody, Trishna Mukerjee, Fiona Murphy, Frances Rowbottom*, Rachel Schlotzhauer, Shixin Sun, Rebecca String, Amy Waterson*
Dorothy Lawrenson and Dominic Richard, Editors-in-Chief