Have you ever played Telephone — when someone whispers in your ear and you pass the message along? The game of Exquisite Corpse, invented by a playful group of artists who called themselves Surrealists, is similar. You begin drawing, then let a partner add to it. Like a ripple effect, how will the artwork change as it passes between you?
Ask someone at home with you to be your partner. (If you’re patient, you can even collaborate on this challenge through the mail.) Then gather tools to draw or paint, and fold a piece of paper into thirds.
The top piece of the paper is all yours. Imagine that this drawing could become a person, and you’re starting with the “head”. But it doesn’t have to be a human one — it could be the head of an animal, or a robot, or a funny-shaped cloud, just to name a few. When you’ve finished, hand the paper over to your partner to pick up where you left off. Imagine that you’re adding a “torso” to this body. What things will you choose to continue, and what will you change? Could you bring in a new color, or a different kind of tool to draw with? For an additional challenge, trade drawings without looking at what your partner has previously drawn.
Finally, hand the paper back to Partner #1 to complete the “legs” or “feet” of this creation. Step back and admire the Exquisite Corpse you made together. What kind of body did you create?
Find a CMA Studio Challenge that speaks to you and share your creations on social media by tagging #myCMAstudio.
Emma Brown is an artist and photographer from a nice cornfield in Pennsylvania. She works in Visitor Experience for Columbus Museum of Art and can be found sleeping in and looking at photographs on her days off. emmabrownmakesart.com @instagrandmabrown
#myCMAstudio is a digital version of our drop- in program, Open Studio. Which is currently unavailable to the public due to Covid-19, and part of CMA’s JPMorgan Chase Center for Creativity Studio to explore ideas, solve creative challenges, and collaborate with friends and family.