Beautiful/Decay's Exquisite Corpse assembles a collection of artists who actually consider the body—and all the strange and wonderful things it does—as the impetus for their creative practice. Although named after the very specific Surrealist-invented traditional game of Exquisite Corpse, we have re-appropriated the concept to instead reflect a group of artists who, in a broader sense, morph, bend, or break traditional renderings of the body. Far from the classical, mimetic figuration of the Renaissance, these selections of artists twist and turn corporeality into brand new forms.
Included in this book are Fumie Sasabuchi’s macabre skeletal It girls repurposed from the pages of high fashion magazines; Nick Cave’s spectacular “soundsuits” (named for the sounds they make when worn); Justyna Koeke’s absurdly humorous performative sculptures; Zhou Fan’s dream-inspired philosophical paintings brimming with the secrets of the sublime; Thorsten Brinkmann’s Neoclassical conceptual portraiture; Rachel Niffenegger’s ethereal death masks that straddle agony and transcendence; and Mark Silipo’s illustrated ghost-world of the iconic ironic.
If that’s not enough, we’ve invited 26 artists from around the world to play the actual game of Exquisite Corpse (conducted entirely through blood, sweat, tears and e-mail) with our design team. We figured we’d get submissions that included the usual standard human combo of head, torso, feet... But the final results were actually far from traditional, or expected!