The Exquisite Corpse Game

corpse image 1The 'Exquisite Corpse Game' was invented by surrealists. The name is derived from the phrase that resulted when Surrealists first played the game, "Le cadaver exquis boira le vin nouveau," or "The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine." It is similar to an old parlor game called, 'Consequences' in which players write in tum on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contribution. Surrealism principle founder, André Breton, reported that it started in fun, but became an important part of their playful and eventually enriching way of interacting with each other. He writes that the game developed around 1925 at the residence of friends in an old house at 54 rue de Château (no longer existing). In the beginning were Yves Tanguay, Marcel DuChamp, Jacques Prévert, Benjamin Péret, Pierre Reverdy, and Andre Bréton. Other participants probably included Max Morise, Joan Miró, Man Ray, Simone Cooinet, Tristan Tzara Georges Hugnet, rené Char and Paul and Nusch Eluard.

Eventually the original word/sentence game morphed into a variant now known as "Picture Consequences." Instead of sentences, portions of a person were drawn producing a result similar to children's books in which the pages were cut into thirds, the top third pages showing the head of a person or animal, the middle third the torso, and the bottom third the legs, with children having the ability to "mix and match" by turning pages.

corpse image 2a

It was this latter form of the game that inspired a group of Tampa artists, headed by Jeremiah Jacobs, to bring the game into an updated, twenty-first century transmutation. Thus, three years ago the first 'Exquisite Corpse' game was played in Florida by a group of Tampa area artists. The exhibit was held at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. Last year they attracted more than forty artists with some coming as far away as New Mexico, New York, Texas and Aleksandr Chudin came from St. Petersburg, Russia!

Rousso combines her love of fashion and glass into a unique form of wearable glass corsets, bandeaus, and swimwear which have appeared on catwalks at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, Centre Des Sciences de Montral, Canada, The Glass Art Society's Conference shows in Corning, NY and Toledo, OH, Sinaca Studio in Fort Worth, TX and WMODA in Dania Beach, FL.


Now, the Benzaiten Center for Creative Arts will be hosting the first traveling show of the game right in the heart of Palm Beach County. "The City of Lake Worth is the perfect place to hold this exhibition," says Benzaiten Founder and Board President, JB Berkow, continuing, "The city is known for its artsy and quirky attitude, which makes  it the ideal place to hold this incredibly outlandish, offbeat and unconventional show!" However, as offbeat and weird as the show might be, JB claims that, because of the high-caliber artists who played the game, the end results are the highest quality art one can see anywhere. "each of these artists put a hundred percent thought and effort into this exercise and the results are spectacular," says JB.

The opening night reception for the exhibit will be held Friday, February 9th from 6pm to 10pm to coincide with the timing and feel of Mardi Gras. There will be a New Orleans style brass band and displays of art by local artists who specialize in the weird and unusual. The show will remain on view at the center for tow months until three center's fourth annual gala: "A Night of Latin Pleasures."

These are just a few examples of the amazing Exquisite Corpses that will be on view and for sale at the center. The show will be open to the public from February 10th through April 1st.


Friday, February 9, 2018
At the Center
5:00PM Private Sponsorship Reception
To Judge Best in Show
6:00PM – 10:00PM
Multiple Live Glass Demonstrations
Live Band, Wine, Signature Drink & Munchies
$25 per person

Register Now


To help sponsor this show and be eligible to attend a special sponsorship reception to help judge Best in Show, please contact Anita Holmes at the center at 561.508.7315