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Parallel Practices

Exquisite Corpse

Fall/Winter 2019
Art / Fashion

The creative technique known as Exquisite Corpse – or exquisite cadaver – refers to a method by which words or images are collectively assembled by a group of collaborators; each participant adding to a composition in sequence until the work is complete.

Posted March 11th, 2019 By Colby Mugrabi

André Breton, a French writer and principal founder of the Surrealist movement, reported that this playful and enriching game was developed around 1925 at a friend’s residence on the outskirts of Paris. Similar to an old parlor game known as Consequences, in which players take turns writing on a piece of paper, concealing their text and passing the sheet along to the next player for further contribution, exquisite corpse evolved from this concept and was adapted to include drawing and collage. This creative pastime became a favorite amongst artists such as Yves Tanguy, Marcel Duchamp, Joan Miró and Man Ray, often partaking in this group activity during surrealist gatherings at French cafés throughout the 1920s and 30s.

While the exquisite corpse technique famously evolved into ‘mix and match’ games played by children – often seen in books in which pages are cut into thirds or fourths, allowing for the playful mixing of images and objects - elements of this creative methodology permeated the art world throughout the 20th century. Similar examples of this concept are seen in Andy Warhol’s Female Movie Star Composite drawings from the 1960s, as well as through the work photographer Jean-Paul Goude, whose post-modern images of exaggerated scale and proportion seek influence from the exquisite corpse methodology.

With the fall/winter 2019 fashion show season having just come to a close, Minnie Muse is employing the exquisite corpse technique to re-imagine some of our favorite collections of the season. From the powerful girl gangs seen at Prada and Louis Vuitton, to the exaggerated silhouettes of Marc Jacobs and Comme des Garçons; as well as the mixed-gender runways of Gucci and Balenciaga, and JW Anderson and Paco Rabanne's unqiue take on fall/winter wear, the collections had us excited for the forthcoming season. Take a look below and see how we re-styled some of our favorite shows.

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