Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau

As the year 5-6 students began to finalise their individual projects in Visual Arts and Design and Technologies, Renata and Leslie decided to combine elements from both subjects to a whole class collaborative project. Using their mythological creatures from Visual Arts sessions, each student chose the top, middle or bottom portion of their previous artwork to enlarge and contribute to a large scale kinetic Exquisite Corpse sculpture.

Exquisite Corpse is a surrealist art form that began in the 1920s from a word game where one person would write down a word or phrase, cover it and pass to the next (and so on) until a phrase is formed. The name is derived from the phrase “The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine”, from the initial game played. It quickly evolved from verbal collages into drawings. Each person would draw an image, fold the paper and pass it on. Only when each individual had contributed to the piece was the whole image revealed. The Museum of Modern Art describes this surrealist art form as “a perfect parlor game, involving elements of unpredictability, chance, unseen elements, and group collaboration – all in service of disrupting the waking mind’s penchant for order.”

The students’ images will form new mythological creatures each time the kinetic sculpture is moved into a new position. The result will be a variety of unusual and sometimes humorous combinations of features, all collaboratively created by the class. This kinetic Exquisite Corpse sculpture will be displayed at our arts festival in term three.

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“A school has the responsibility not only to engage their community in the pursuit of academic skills but to promote an attitude of life-long learning and thus keep the light alive in children’s eyes.”

Gillian McAuliffe

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