Surreal games: “The exquisite corpses” | MÁS LITERATURA


The exquisite corpses

The game was always an important factor for the avant-garde artists, because they considered that the ludic aspects were essential to refresh and renew the literary or plastic oeuvres. In fact, Tristan Tzara, one of the greatest representatives of Dadaism, commented that, to make a dada poem, it was necessary to cut out words from a newspaper, place them inside a bag, shake, and then take out the words at random to paste them on a paper, and thus obtain a poem.

These actions generated a position against the academic norms to create art. Therefore, the game broke with the serious and hermetic attitude of the intellectual groups of the early 20th century and, in this way, opened the path to new possibilities of conceiving an anti-aesthetic and anti-normative art.

Following the Dadaist influence, the surrealists later created their own game: the exquisite corpse, or in French “Le cadavre exquis”. This method of creation was a game of consequences. That is to say, a person drew or placed a phrase on paper, then passed it to the next person to continue with the work and thus, consecutively, the page was turned until a poem, a story, or a painting was finished.

The exquisite corpses
The exquisite corpse. Yves Tanguy.

Through the exquisite corpses there was a collective idea of ​​an oeuvre, breaking with the idea of ​​the artist's individual work. André Breton mentioned the following about the exquisite corpses: "What was exciting for us in these types of productions was the certainty that, for better or worse, they represented something that was not possible by the work of a single mind."

Breton, being one of the greatest representatives of surrealism, participated with his companions in the creation of exquisite corpses, mainly with Marcel Duchamp, Benjamin Péret, Yves Tanguy and Pierre Reyerdy. This group used several techniques to make their works, as they used drawing or collage to generate surreal oeuvres.

In this way, figures were born that apparently lacked meaning, but that gave it the style and identity of an avant-garde that was tired of the prevailing rationalism in the creation of 20th-century art.

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