If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Unlock Art: Great Double Acts

This video brought to you by Tate.org.uk

Rock duo Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart know a thing or two about creative partnership. Challenging the popular myth that art is made by solitary, angst-ridden individuals, they celebrate some of the art world's most interesting collaborators, such as Marina Abramović and Ulay, Gilbert & George, and Jake and Dinos Chapman. Explore the art of collaboration in this brief history of artists who work together.
Created by Tate.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

hello this is Alison Mosshart this is Jamie Hince together we are the rock and roll band The Kills I'm gonna tell you about double axe in art Jamie and I have been working together for 12 years now I know all about both the pain and the pleasure of being in a duo just think of all the great creative partnerships have been Lennon and McCartney Jagger and Richards Laurel and Hardy Chuck Adiemus and pliers double axe have always been popular in music and entertainment but they also have their place in the art world perhaps the most famous contemporary partnership is that of Gilbert and George who joined forces in 1967 deciding that two people make one artist they even use the musical duo Flanagan and Allen as a template for one of their performances collaboration is the key to a successful double acts if you're not both pedaling the same way everyone look here's some other artistic double acts in forsyth and Jane Pollard Elora and Cal's ADEA Al Green and drag sect Jake and Dinos Chapman family artists as it take to change a light bulb one but it takes someone else to tell them when to stop screwing it in these artists are all challenging the popular myth that art is made by solitary angst-ridden artists in fact artists have always collaborated in one way or another in the Renaissance and Baroque periods an artist studio or Atelier would often contain many artists working under the one master and the tradition continues in contemporary art practice with Jeff Koons and plenty of others collaborating with other artists artisans and plain old employees to make original art work now we're going to look at some artists that have been inspired by one another love has been the foundation of many of the double acts we see here's a sculpture from Raiden studio who's actually made by the artist Camille Claudel who's riddens inspiration lover and also his studio assistant Jeff Koons turns up in this section too for his very close collaboration with the erotic actress and politician chichi Lena here a Marina Abramovic in who lay who were once inseparable they wanted to see if it was possible to become one the romance ended but did the art look what happened when Olay visited marina for her performance the artist is present Tim Noble and see Webster have used their art to explore the intensity and difficulty in being both collaborators and husband and wife here's falling apart in which their projected silhouette is in a gradual state of fragmentation perhaps one of the most unusual collaborations was between the painter Lucian Freud and the Maverick performance artist Leigh Bowery Bowery took his costumes off and posed for Freud for four years until he died in 1994 he said of the painter I sometimes felt like I was undergoing psychoanalysis with him his work is full of tension like me he's interested in the underbelly of things some artists are interested in the psychological aspect of collaboration here are Jane and Louise Wilson in 1993 they videotaped themselves under hypnosis to investigate the intense nature of their relationship other double acts focus on physical collaboration here's Harrisson and wood putting their bodies to the test the greatest collaboration in art is the one between the art and you the person who experiences it today the artist is an audience double act is stronger than ever the artists find evermore inventive ways to bring you the viewer in on the action and make you part of the work after all what does that experience made if it's not shared you