Art studio at Cal U. Art studio at Cal U.

'EXQUISITE CORPSE': EXHIBIT BRINGS SURREALISM TO LIFE

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Posted on March 1, 2012

The Department of Art and Design resurrects an old parlor game with Over My Dead Body: Reviving the Exquisite Corpse, an exhibition opening at 3:30 p.m. March 8 in the Vulcan Gallery, inside Vulcan Hall.

The exhibition will remain on view from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays through March 16.

About ‘Exquisite Corpse’

The exhibition is based the surrealist game Exquisite Corpse, a name taken from the original French term cadavre exquis, or “rotating cadaver.”

“This game is essentially a sort of social experiment in which a group of people collectively participate to make a drawing or written phrase, but none of the participants can see or know what the rest of the group is doing,” explained Valerie Herrero, a fine arts major and president of the Associated Artists of Cal U.

“Only in the end is the work revealed.”

About the exhibit

Over My Dead Body will feature paintings, drawings, installations, prose, poetry and music created by students and faculty in the departments of Art and Design, Philosophy, and English, as well as the University Honors Program.   

Artworks will be unveiled and installed at the opening event.

Most were created by multiple artists who didn’t see the result of their collaboration until after it was complete.

In one project, for example, students each blindly contributed a word — a noun, an adjective, a verb — to create a sentence revealed only after they each had said their piece.

Poets, musicians, painters and sculptors used a similar approach to building collaborative compositions.

“Everyone has a different perspective, and this exhibit will showcase that,” Herrero said. “There are hundreds of different ideas that play into one central idea of a group working together. 

Photo of art exhibit.
Cal U Department of Art and Design faculty members Maggy Aston (left),Todd Pinkham (center) and junior Valerie Herrero (right) display and work on projects for “Over My Dead Body: Reviving the Exquisite Corpse.” The collaborative exhibit opens at 3:30 p.m. on March 8 in the Vulcan Student Gallery, located on the first floor of Vulcan Hall. The exhibit will then be available for weekday viewing through March 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.