The Exquisite Corpse Will Drink The New Wine

(Nude, by Yves Tanguy, Joan Miró, Max Morise, and Man Ray)

“Surrealist poets in 1920’s Paris created their own variation of 19th century parlor games in order to explore a central tenant of Surrealism, a belief in the power of the subconscious.  The name ‘exquisite corpse‘ derives from Andre Breton’s initial experiment, which resulted in the poetic phrase ‘Le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau,’ or ‘The exquisite corpse will drink the new wine.’

Art critic Nicolas Calas observed that these poetic fragments reveal the ‘unconscious reality in the personality of the group’ and fulfill Comte de Lautréamont’s injunction that ‘poetry must be made by all and not just one.’  Artist Max Ernst displayed a more measured response when he called the process evidence of ‘mental contagion.’  However, once free of conscious control, Surrealist artists, writers and musicians found themselves able to explore accidental juxtapositions that were puzzling, comic and surprisingly beautiful.”  (via Danforth Museum) ♥

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