Surrealist Game: The Exquisite Corpse

By: Alison Caplan, Director of Education

Exquisite Corpse in action

The Surrealists didn’t have Apples to Apples or Pictionary in their day, but they did participate in parlor games that helped get their creative juices flowing.

In the 1920’s, surrealist artists played a game based on chance and accident called Exquisite Corpse. The goal of the game was to make a kind of collaborative collage using words or drawings. The name Exquisite Corpse is the result of an early game, where the finished sentence read “The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine.”

In the days leading up to the Real/Surreal opening, museum staffers decided to take a surreal lunch break and attempt some Exquisite Corpse drawings of our own. The game goes like this: one artist starts a drawing, then folds the paper to hide most of the image. The next artist continues the drawing based on the small part she can see. The drawing is passed along to other players until the fantastical, wacky, surprising image is complete.

What do you think of the results? We should probably keep our day jobs right?

Now  try your hand at an Exquisite Corpse drawing! Need inspiration? Check out the Real/Surreal exhibition and create your own collaborative drawing with museum visitors at the show.

One of the finished drawinsg.

One of the finished drawings.


Countdown to Gift Giving 2012: Day 18

Games by Funnybone Toys incorporate strong design principles to stimulate creativity and give your brain a workout. These games are designed to be enjoyed by players of all ages.

ARRAY: Connect the cards to build a beautiful array of colors. You can play Array on a table – but for even more fun, play it on the floor and see how big your array can grow!

CUBU: Visual illusion leads to confusion as you try to follow number and color sequences, don’t forget to watch out for the action cards that could completely disrupt your turn! Get to 100 points first to win CUBU!

SPECTRIX: Build and expand groups of beautiful color sequences and matches. Mix and match your own and other players’ cards into strategic groups to be the first to play your entire hand.