Monday, January 4, 2010

Exquisite Corpse Fun

In October I invited seven artist/friends to play the game Exquisite Corpse. A method by which a collection of words or images (Images in our case) is collectively assembled, the result being known as the exquisite corpse. The game was invented by the Surrealists and is similar to an old parlor game called Consequences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. The technique got its name from one of the initial writings, "Le cadavre / exquis / boira / le vin / nouveau" (The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine). It seemed like the perfect game for fall and Halloween.

We played with abit of a twist. The body was broken into proportionately correct sheets of paper, i.e. the head is around 1/8 of the body. First we word associated body parts to warm up. For example what does arm make you think of? Then we all drew, one part at a time. The results were then put on the floor were each of us choose in turn our body, part by part.

This is where we really changed the game, everyone went home with there body and we agreed to reassemble in January. Once home your body was the inspiration for a piece of art. Everyone received canvas, paper or velum that was 2’ x 4’. Your only obligation was to your art and to keep the sense of play, after all this is was a game.

The players are Antonia Consentino, Judy Nachazel, Tracy Potter, Nancy Ferguson, Susan Bainbridge, Rath and myself. If you’re as interested as we are, (no one has seen all of the finished pieces) come to Packards Pluss on January 14th at 7:00 for the unveiling. If you would like to get into the swing of things, we planning on coming dressed as a favorite artist, you can play too. The work will be up for at least a month.