Last year TASIS photography students tried a project for the first time called an Exquisite Corpse. It ended up being a well-received activity, and early this fall we started two new Exquisite Corpse chains.
The parlor game Exquisite Corpse developed from a Surrealist working of a game called “Consequences” in which participants would write a sentence in turn on a sheet of paper and fold the paper to conceal part of the writing before passing it on to the next contributor. The corpse of the title came from artists drawing body parts on a part of a sheet of paper and folding it to conceal the image from the next person. The results can be surprising and serendipitous.
In our Exquisite Corpse, the first player was given a phrase from which they were asked to produce an image. In turn that image was delivered to the next person and so on until each photographer had a chance to respond. Like a visual game of “Telephone,” participants add an image to the chain while only knowing the image that came before their own.
Each of our image chains are not a collection of photographs but, rather, an unfolding story that evolves from multiple points of view one image at a time. While the particulars of each photo can be interesting, the stories are found in the surprises, mystery, and disconnects that mark the trajectory of each narrative. The strange, illogical juxtapositions are what attracted the Surrealists to the form. The excitement of creation and collaboration is what drives us to seek what meaning, if any, will develop at the end of our chain.
Please enjoy our second two Exquisite Corpse stories created by the students working with photography for IB CAS creativity or in advanced photography courses (IB first and second year/ Advanced Placement). Click on the title of each story and use the arrow on the right to follow the story sequentially.)