“Exquisite corpse” is a method by which a collage of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in a sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see the end of what the previous person contributed.
corpse (n.) – 1. archaic: a human or animal body, whether living or dead; 2. a dead body, especially of a human being
exquisite (adj.) – 1. carefully selected; 2. archaic: accurate; 3. marked by flawless craftsmanship or by beautiful, ingenious, delicate, or elaborate execution; 4. accomplished, perfected; 5. pleasing through beauty, fitness, or perfection
The body is paradox incarnate; it is one’s most personal possession, yet it is also the most universal. Art, too, embodies a dichotomy: the creation of art is customarily a private endeavor, yet art thrives in a public forum; no matter how hermetic or misanthropic its creator, art feeds off of its viewer—art enjoys adoration, delights in disgust, revels in revulsion. The interplay between private and public, between self and other, sits on a tenuous scale. What happens, then, when we subvert the private completely? When artists collaborate—when the body is bared—we breach the solipsistic citadel into which so many artists retreat; we reject that insular conviction in which one’s own reality is the only truth. Indeed, this world is filled not by one, but many. Sabotage the solitary artist’s secluded cell. Desecrate the supposedly sacred sanctuary designated as the body. This destruction results in the death of a self—the corpse—but there lies a certain beauty in uniting seemingly disparate parts to build a whole, making that death, truthfully, exquisite.
Exquisite Corpse is a curated show that asks artists to kill comfort and convention for a chance to step into the new. Those selected for the exhibition will be arranged into small groups, with no more than three artists per group. Each group will collaborate on one work of art.* This means that new work will be created specifically for this show; artists are not submitting pre-existing works. Collaborations can be anything and everything from sculptural to sonic to performative to cinematic—there are no restrictions on medium or dimensions. Each group will decide whether to have its artists work separately and pass on the piece from one artist to another, have all artists meet and work together at once, have the artists engage in a back-and-forth exchange, or any other means through which a collaborative piece can be created.
*If the artists choose, they may collaborate on multiple works of smaller size.
Visit this page for application instructions and guidelines.
Artist application deadline: Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Exhibition opening: Friday, September 2, 2011 at the Fulton Street Collective, Chicago