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Art Term: Exquisite corpse

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 1-9

Exquisite corpse
Definition and background:
A game adapted to drawing, collage and computer and even to playing through the mail, it derives from a word game called "Exquisite Corpse" whereby the first participant makes part of a drawing ending in lines going just over the fold of a piece of paper. It is folded in such a way that the second participant cannot see what the first drew except these lines, from which the second continues the drawing, and so on. Source: Daniel C. Boyer, Artist

Aleatoric techniques for producing either visual or literary art devised by surrealists in which several people collaborate in creating a text or an image. This activity is often called a game, and the product of this activity are also called an exquisite corpse or, in the original French, cadavre exquis. This game is based upon an old parlor game in which players take turns writing on a sheet of paper folded it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for another contribution.The surrealists' version of the game acquired its name from the results of the first use of the technique. This was a sentence in French: "Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau," meaning "the exquisite corpse will drink the young wine." The first works were sentences, and were first produced in the mid-1920s. Later literary works were typically poetry. These bizarre compositions were explained by Nicolas Calas as revealing the "unconscious reality in the personality of the group."Surrealism was embraced by practicioners of many arts, and so it was inevitable that visual artists would take it up, first to produce drawings and collages. The first such efforts, reminiscent of children's books that allow the making of pictures with multiple pages divided at various levels, involved assigning a section of a body to each player. Most resulted in images that only vaguely resembled the human form. Some of the participants in early exquisite corpses were Yves Tanguy (French, 1900-1955), Joan Mir? (Spanish, 1893-1983), and Man Ray (American, 1890-1977). Later adaptations have involved using other means of passing the work around, such as sending it through the mail; or using other media, resulting in sculpture, film, digital, etc.(pr. cadavre exquis as kə-DAH-vrə əks-KEE)Examples: An exquisite corpse drawing by Yves Tanguy, Man Ray, Max Morise, Joan Mir?, c. 1926.Andr? Breton (French, 1896-1966), Valentine Hugo (French, 1890-1968), Greta Knutson and Tristan Tzara (French, born Romania. 1896-1963), Landscape, c. 1933, colored chalk on black paper, 9 1/2 x 12 1/2 inches (24.1 x 31.7 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.Victor Brauner (Romanian, 1903-1966), Andr? Breton (French, 1896-1966), Jacques H?rold (Romanian, 1910-1991), Jeannette Tanguy and Yves Tanguy. (American, born France. 1900-1955), Figure, 1934, pencil on paper, 10 1/8 x 6 1/2 inches (25.6 x 16.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. An exquisite corpse drawing by Victor Brauner, Andr? Breton, Jacques H?rold and Yves Tanguy, 1935. Another by them.Related resources: http://www.exquisitecorpse.com/definition.html.Also see Fluxus, game theory, and incongruity.
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Last Updated: 2018-04-21 15:03:02
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