Catskill Made Summer 2015 Issue: June 21, 2015
Liberating the Exquisite Corpse
FOR SOME ARTISTS, GIVING UP CREATIVE CONTROL OVER THEIR ARTWORK IS THEIR WORST NIGHTMARE. BUT IN A NEW COLLABORATIVE ART EXHIBIT CURATED BY ELLIE AND AKIRA OHISO, CALLED EXQUISITE CORPSE OF THE CATSKILLS, CREATIVE CONTROL WAS TRADED FOR CHANCE, HUMOR, AND SURPRISINGLY PROFOUND RESULTS.
The concept was adapted from a surrealist parlor game developed by artist André Breton. Though exquisite corpse was originally intended as a way to pass the time at French cafes, it became an integral part of the Surrealism art movement, and of the way that period in art history is now explained. So the goal, says Ellie, was to “take an idea that, in its inception, was meant to be a game among friends [and was] turned into taught art history, back to its roots.” And in returning the game to its original form, she and husband/creative partner Akira transformed the normally “extensive” and editorial process of exhibit curation into something spontaneous, democratic, and fun.