We all know the game where we start a drawing, hide what we have drawn and let someone else continue the picture. Not many people know that its actual name is “The Exquisite Corpse” and it was invented by surrealists in the 30’s, pioneered by André Breton. The concept of this mere childhood game is a lot broader than it initially seems.
When I was a child, the exquisite corpse was played to both entertain and to break the ice in classroom settings. In one sense you could say that this game attempted to fill the void of loneliness. Also, the segments of each drawing can be analysed from a psychological stand point to try and gain insights into who a person is. A logical progression could show signs of an intelligent person; an elaborate progression would show a creative mind ; an innappropriate progression could show signs of an immature mind. If each part of the drawing can tell us a lot about an individual player then the exquisite corpse is a gateway to knowing someone, filling the void of the absence of knowledge.
There are many perspectives taken on the theory of the exquisite corpse. The Steve Sandvoss film, “The Exquisite Corpse” and the famous novel “Frankenstein” demonstrates filling the void of companionship. Frankenstein’s monster was constructed to remove the pangs of loneliness, though it did not work too well in his favour. In the Sandvoss film, multiple women are harvested in order to save one life, curing death, filling the void, once again, of loneliness and to eradicate the feelings of the loss of a loved one.
In the movie “The Exquisite Corpse Project” the concept of the exquisite corpse was taken to a written form, in order to bring a group of friends together for one last time. The concept was used to mask, for just a few moments, the fact that they will all soon be dispersed and will inevitably be lonely without their close companions near. Each section scripted by each individual, can be psychoanalysed, each segment represents each person and shows that there is quite a contrast in everyone’s writing style. This could possibly be a metaphor for psychological distancing between each character as their inevitability of leaving each other becomes more real.
The anthropmorphising and personifying of the exquisite corpse is a matter of life. The international film project of the exquisite corpse brought people together for one common finality just like the process of farming and produce selling. Someone will plant the food, but it takes many people and stages before that food can be eaten after being bought. This process would be for the inevitable filling of the void of hunger.
In applying the exquisite corpse concept to the bigger picture, life is what it is all about. Life is made up of segments and the final outcome of each set of segments will fill some sort of void.