Call CSI Miami, we found an Exquisite Corpse!In , - On August 17, 2016 - 0 comments
From the Blog of Audrey Decker, SAM co-founder
Call CSI Miami, we found an Exquisite Corpse!

The masterpiece of Street Art for Mankind will be … an exquisite corpse. But no reason to call CSI Miami! An “exquisite corpse” is far more fun and far less scary than it sounds. And we will explain you here what it is and why we love it.

What is an Exquisite Corpse

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The Exquisite Corpse, Cadavre Exquis in French, is a collective game invented by the French surrealists in 1925. In that game, several people create a sentence or a drawing with no information or only a glimpse at what the previous person did.


“Exquisite Corpse” sentence

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At first, the game was a played with sentences. It works like this: each participant writes one after the other a part of a sentence in the order subject – verb – complement without knowing what the previous one did. The first sentence ever created has given its name to the game. It was:

“Le cadavre – exquis – boira – le vin – nouveau”

“the exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine”


“Exquisite Corpse” DrawingScreen Shot 2016-08-18 at 3.36.33 PM



Later on, the game was adapted to drawing. People take a paper and fold it into three or more sections. The first person starts with the top section that will be the head then the section is folded so that no one can see it except little marks onto the middle panel so that the next person will see where the neck ends. Then the second person does the middle section (torso) and the third person the last section (the legs) with the same principle. The full exquisite corpse is discovered when the paper is unfolded. For more information and to play the game yourself,,go here.

The exquisite corpse … a revolution?

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Edmund Freud

Influenced by the psychologist Freud, the artistic movement called Surrealism was seeking a revolution against the constraints of the rational mind. They believed that creativity coming from the depth of the subconscious was more powerful and authentic than any product of conscious thought. They used several techniques to bring to the surface the subconscious, and the exquisite corpse was one of their favorite one.

Celebrities who played the Exquisite Corpse

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Frida Kahlo

Whether it was in its sentence or drawing form, many French but also international artists have played the game in the 1930s. It includes Jacques Prevert, André Breton, Max Ernest Frida Kahlo . Joan Miró or Henry Miller. Writers and painters were mixing their talent in this incredible fantasy!

The Exquisite Corpse in Street Art for Mankind

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With SAM, the Exquisite Corpse will not be done on paper, but on huge 20 to 40 feet containers. Over 30 well-known and talented artists will work together on 16 containers, during 10 days, bringing together 12,000 square feet of art. At the end of the exhibition, the exquisite corpse will be dismantled and sold in auction to the profit of the fight against child labor. Dream was at the center of the surrealist philosophy. With SAM, it will guide us to dream bigger, of a child-friendly world!

The Exquisite corpse is a perfect game involving unpredictability, chance, unseen elements and group collaboration. It disrupts the mind’s penchant for order. It encourages us to “let it go”. And in our current world, nothing feels better than to “let it go”, isn’t it?

I would love to receive some exquisite corpse from all of you! I would publish them on Street Art Mankind social media walls. Let me know!

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