|Exquisite Corpse variation by Jimmy Roberts and Brian Christopher. Each completed a panel while viewing only the edge of the preceding panel.|
Like the guillotine, the topic of last week’s Thursday term, exquisite corpse is an art term that is much less morbid than its name implies. The phrase refers to a game or method of making collaborative art, in which participants take turns adding to a piece of visual or written work.
The practice was started by the Surrealists who took turns writing sections of a sentence following certain rules, for example a noun or an adjective, folding the paper over their work, and passing it onto the next person. The game took its name from the first result of the game, which read “Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau” (The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine). Other notable poems include “The dormitory of friable little girls puts the odious box right” and “The Senegal oyster will eat the tricolor bread.” The Surrealists also converted the game to a visual practice, by assigning each artist a body part, which combined to create an abstract where to buy provigil in india figure. Although this seems to fit in with the caricature of Surrealists as embracing randomness and illogic above all else (Q. How many surrealists does it take to change a lightbulb? A. Fish!), the surrealists believed that this practice aligned with their ideal of creation as a community activity and their focus on collage.
|Exquisite Corpse letterpress project|
The technique is still utilized by artists and students from all over the world. Another form of the practice is called exquisite corpse by airmail. In this variation one artists begins working on a piece and then mails it to another artist, who adds on to it before sending it along.
Intrigued? This Winter, the Center will be holding a new class, in which participants will use type and lino blocks to print an exquisite corpse on our Vandercooks. Keep an eye out for this exciting opportunity on our website, and have a truly exquisite day!