Exquisite Corpse Games

V 2.0 A Surreal Art Game Where Arts and Science meet

Artist Jose Rodeiro ECG 2019

The French bouquet floating behind Breton’s head signifies his past, symbolizing his poetry prior to the invention of “Exquisite Corpse,” e.g., when describing in the poem “L’Union libre”(‘Free Union’) (1921)  his first wife, Simone Collinet’s  breasts, Breton wrote:  “Beneath the dew-moistened roses, my wife’s breasts are haunted ghostly specters,” or “My wife’s ghost-breasts are roses under dew.”  This unique poetic approach (utilizing highly discordant imagery) represents one of the poet’s early attempts at Surrealist automatism; but notice he is fully engaging his imagination and creativity to fashion these early Surrealist images. However, in his post-1925 poetic imagery, the playful mechanical nature of the Exquisite Corpse Game inexorably freed him from such individual personal aesthetic considerations.  For example by 1928, when he turns to prose in order to describe a panging adulterous “love-at-first-sight” fascination with a somnambulant young woman slowly ambling along a Paris street identified (in art history) as Leona Camile Ghislaine Delacort (1902-1941) known to the world as Nadja (aka “Nadie” meaning “No one”), which he pursued for only 10 days, and then proclaimed in prose, “You will never fully comprehend that true love is the heart of a heartless flower.”  Thus, the entire French bouquet depicted above his head is a florid halo heralding Breton’s Surrealist theory of imagery, which derives from Pierre Reverdy’s Theory of Imagery (1918): “A true image is a juxtaposition of two more or less distant (or remote) realities. And, thus, a true image is a pure creation of the mind, because the more extreme the juxtaposition, the stronger and more memorable the image, and as a result ultra-discordant images deeply linger, forever haunting observers’ minds. Thereby, ultra-contradictory irrational images poetically convey greater emotional power.”

Dr. Rodeiro is an alumnus of Jesuit High School of Tampa.  And, has lectured as a Visiting Professor, Department of Visual Poetics, UNESP (Sao Paulo University, Bauru), Brazil, fall 2011, and as a Visiting Professor, Art Department, UNESP (Sao Paulo University), Sao Paulo, Brazil, fall 2011.  And, he worked in Barcelona, Spain, from 1985-1986, during his Visual Artist Fellowship in Painting from the National Endowment for the Arts, [(Washington, DC)]. He is a former-Professor of Studio Art and Art History at New Jersey City University (Jersey City, New Jersey); as well as within the University of Maryland System’s Frostburg campus, along with teaching art history within Pratt Institute’s Graduate Program, and color-theory courses for Professor Salvatore Tagliarino within the Design Department, Tisch School of the Arts, New York University, NYC, NY. 

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