In The Exquisite Book, which sees its West Coast launch tomorrow night at Rare Device, 100 artists play upon a game invented by the Surrealists in the 1920s called the "Exquisite Corpse." In the original game, a paper is folded into three parts. One person draws a head, leaving only the neckline for the second person, who draws the midsection. The third draws the legs and feet. When the paper is unfolded, the character they jointly created is revealed. Way more fun than Hangman, yes?
Authors Julie Rothman, Jenni Volvoski and Matt Lamothe, who all met in art history lectures at the Rhode Island School of Design, took this concept a bit further to create The Exquisite Book. They invited 100 artists (including luminaries like James Jean, Jess Bliss, Carson Ellis and Mike Perry) to create a piece of artwork after seeing only the page of the artist immediately prior to them. A single horizon line connects the two pieces. It's like an elaborate, visual game of telephone.
The book, which enjoys an illustrated foreward by Dave Eggers, sees spontaneous connections between non-sequential pages (there seems, for example, to be a repeated theme of pirate boats) and is a fascinating study on the artistic process.
Head out to Rare Device tomorrow night to celebrate the book's launch with a signing and a live drawing (!) event.
Thursday, October 14 from 7-9PM @ Rare Device (1845 Market Street)