Charles Steckler, Exquisite Corpse (torso) 2021
The Body Exquisite
Curated by Opal Moore
Surrealism as idea, pursuit and practice was spurred if not inspired as artists and poets observed a world emerging from the cataclysm of war (1914 – 1918). André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp and many others had reason to wonder whether rationality, or the conceit of human reason, would prove sufficient to preserve life and society. They turned to dreams (among other fascinations) determined to access the unconscious mind and in the process experiment with new and unusual art practices. Perhaps the imagination needed to be reaffirmed! The cadaver exquis or exquisite corpse, as mental and creative game, was in part meant to fire the imagination, inspire spontaneity, mental play and acuity.
For this Exquisite Corpse issue, I addressed the literal language of the game. The poets featured here were invited to contribute a poem “inspired by, interested in or expressive of” the body, exquisite. The body, human. I am grateful for the enthusiastic and generous response of poets to this call.
Click on the poet's name or photo to read and hear their poem.