The E Corpse
An Online Exhibition
Nine Exquisite Corpses
Curated by Deanna Sirlin
Steven L. Anderson, Andi Arnovitz, Emily Berger, Tracy Burtz, Philip Carpenter,
Sue Coe, Lesley Dill, Ellen Hackl Fagan, Daniele Frison, Edward Austin Hall,
José Heerkens, Marikke Heinz-Hoek, David Humphrey, Benjamin Jones,
Nimet Keser, Cynthia Knott, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel,
Pam Longobardi/Craig Dongoski, Joanne Mattera, Masud Olufani,
Carolanna Parlato, Joe Peragine, Nicolette Reim, Anne Russinof,
Wolf Sakowski, Charles Steckler, Liat Yossifor
The pandemic has made us all think more about the body, our mortality and the physical. During this time, collaborating and making connections with others has been difficult. Early in 2020, when many of us were under lockdown, musicians performed via Zoom; each stayed in their own home but were able to perform together on the grid. These performances, presented in a Hollywood Squares-like format, were inspirational and healing. For many visual artists, collaboration has become almost impossible during these Covid times. However, chance, experimentation and risk are all part of being an artist. To enable virtual group work, The Art Section revived a collaborative idea from the last century, The Exquisite Corpse.
The history of this process dates from 1925, when Yves Tanguy, Jacques Prévert, André Breton, and Marcel Duchamp created a poem collectively. Each wrote down a noun, an adjective, a verb, an adverb, and an object to create a sentence. The line of poetry that resulted was, “Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau” (“the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine”). Le Cadavre Exquis /The Exquisite Corpse was born. Visual artists adopted the process and made Exquisite Corpse drawings. Each artist added a body part by drawing or collaging, folding or covering the paper so the next artist could not see what was done before.
Many artists in the last century made these corpses; the collaborations are witnesses to these artists having been in the same room. Joan Miró, Man Ray, and Tanguy made them. Frida Kahlo was a great fan of the process. The Chicago artists’ group known as the Hairy Who made a series of works in the 1960’s, and Jake and Dinos Chapman made a series in 2000 that are in the Tate’s collection.
I asked 28 artists (two are a couple that choose to collaborate) to take this leap and collaborate digitally in the fashion of the Exquisite Corpse. Each artist was assigned a body part (head, torso, or feet) and instructed to line up their image with the marks on a template. Each addressed these instructions in their own choice of medium: drawing, painting, collage, and photography. They did not know with whom they would be collaborating. Some did not follow instructions; they are artists.
As the digital files were received, the bodies were created by lining up the individual body parts on the computer. The result is nine Exquisite Corpses, each unique and made by three artists who did not see one another’s contributions until now. These Exquisite Corpses are works available only on The Art Section; they are collaborations by chance among artists from five different countries.
Many thanks to all the artists,
To view the individual Exquisite Corpses click on each image below to see it larger.
Deanna Sirlin is an artist and writer from Brooklyn, New York currently living and working outside of Atlanta, Georgia.
Head: Sue Coe, New York, New York
Torso: Benjamin Jones, Tybee Island, Georgia
Legs: Nicolette Reim, Atlanta, Georgia
New York, New York
Head: Cynthia Knott, Savannah, Georgia
Torso: Charles Steckler, Schenectady, New York
Legs and Feet: Daniele Frison, Venice, Italy
Head: Pam Longobardi/Craig Dongoski, Atlanta, Georgia
Torso: Liat Yossifor, Los Angeles, California
Legs: Caroline Lathan-Stiefel, Avondale, Pennsylvania
Head: Lesley Dill, New York, New York
Torso: Joanne Mattera, New York, New York
Legs: David Humphrey, New York, New York
Head: Nimet Keser, Adana, Turkey
Torso: Andi Arnovitz, Jerusalem, Israel
Legs: Philip Carpenter, Atlanta, Georgia
Head: Carolanna Parlato, New York, New York
Torso:José Heerkens, Zeeland, NL
Legs: Steven L.Anderson, Atlanta, Georgia
Pam Longobardi/Craig Dongoski
Los Angelos, California
Head: Joe Peragine, Atlanta, Georgia
Torso: Ellen Hackl Fagan, New York, New York
Legs: Masud Olufani, Atlanta, Georgia
Head: Emily Berger, New York, New York
Torso: Marikke Heinz-Hoek, Bremen, Germany
Legs: Wolf Sakowski, Nürnberg, Germany
Head: Edward Austin Hall, Atlanta, Georgia
Torso: Anne Russinof, New York, New York
Legs: Tracy Burtz, New York, New York