Opening reception: 2 September, 2011, 7–10pm
Closing reception: 17 September, 2011, 7–10pm
Exquisite corpse is a method by which a collage of words or images is collectively assembled. Each collaborator adds to a composition in a sequence, either by following a rule or by being allowed to see the end of what the previous person contributed.
“Artists are loners. I say this as an artist myself.” –Jenny Lam, Curator
You remember that kid in school, who, for group projects, would take over and complete the assignment herself because she thought that if she had full control, the group would get a better grade than if all members contributed equally? Yeah? Well, that kid probably grew up to be an artist.
What happens when we drag solitary artists out of their secluded studio cells to—horror upon horror—team up with other people, but also give them free reign to create whatever they want, however they want?
The creation of art is usually a private endeavor, yet art itself thrives in a public forum; no matter how hermetic or misanthropic its architect, art feeds off of its viewer—art enjoys adoration, delights in disgust, revels in revulsion. The interplay between private and public, between self and other, sits on a tenuous scale. What happens, then, when we subvert the private completely, when we breach the solipsistic citadel into which so many creative minds retreat?
Exquisite Corpse happens.
Curated by Jenny Lam, Exquisite Corpse is an independently run art show that features works across all media—illustration, photography, animatronics and pillow-making… and everything in between—by 40 artists from Chicago, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Amsterdam, and Melbourne. Arranged into groups and pairs, these artists—most of whom were strangers to one another before this project—were given one month to create new art, with no limitations or rules other than to work together. Some groups adhered to the exquisite corpse tradition, while others redefined the very idea of collaboration. Some have chosen not to unveil their pieces until the exhibition’s opening reception, marking the first time anyone, including the artists themselves, will see the finished products. Chicago artist Patricia Biesen remarked, “I’ve just created one of the most unique paintings of my entire career for this.” Relinquish control and renounce convention. Break out of your comfort zone and break free. The consequences can be, truly, exquisite.
Participating artists comprise Adriane Strampp, Adrienne Glover, Amanda Mudrovich, Asia Ward, Avisheh Mohsenin, Becket Flannery, Brittany Majka, Caitlin Bergh, Carrie McGath, Cassie Hamrick, Christine Nicklos, Deirdre A. Fox, Derail Howery, Diane Ponder, Gideon Ansell, Irene Wellm, Janet Mamon, Jennifer Cartolano Moore, Jes Standefer, Jessie Winslow, Jessica Drogosz, Julia Alekseyeva, KC Winter, Kirsten Perry, Lorraine Grandinetti on behalf of Frank Grandinetti (deceased), Mairin Hartt, Mark Pol, Melina Mejia Stock, Michele McMillan, Moca Garcia, Nicole Syrquin, Patricia Biesen, Peggy Shearn, Robin Monique Rios, Sandi Chaplin, Sioban Lombardi, Tara Riley, Tucker Rae-Grant, Veronica Stein, and Zachary Trebellas.
The opening reception will be held on Friday, 2 September, from 7–10pm, at the Fulton Street Collective. There will be opportunities to interact with the art—one performance piece takes shape in the form of an advice booth—and to actively participate in the creation of art; guests will be invited to collaborate with one another on their own exquisite corpses, which will be displayed on the gallery walls as they are completed throughout the night.
The exhibition will be on view through Saturday, 17 September, on which there will be a closing reception from 7–10pm. At the closing, there will be a performance piece that involves body painting, rolling of the body onto a blank canvas, and destruction of said canvas. Admission to both receptions is free.
Born in 1987, Jenny Lam is a Chicago-based artist, artist agent, writer, and independent curator. Her past exhibitions include Somnambulist, which she curated through 4Art in the internationally renowned Zhou B Art Center. She graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York, where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts. In New York, she served as the President of Postcrypt, Columbia’s undergraduate art gallery, and interned at Christie’s and at Eyebeam Atelier. She contributes to Sixty Inches From Center.
For exclusive previews of the artwork and behind-the-scenes looks into the artists’ processes, visit http://artistsonthelam.blogspot.com.
For the show’s Facebook event page, visit https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=108052089292307.