As we will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Surrealism in 1924 (the First Manifesto was published on 15 October 1924, but it’s already earlier in that year that we witness a shift from Parisian Dadaism to Surrealism), we would like to invite you to have some summer fun with your friends playing this favorite Surrealist game: Cadavre Exquis (Exquisite Corpse). We will publish some in the Winter issue, so start now and make sure you save them!



For three or more players.

Each player receives a sheet of paper and folds it into equal sections, as many as there are players and usually with the lines horizontal to the proposed picture. The sheets are smoothed out and each player draws whatever he will in the top section, allowing the lines to cross the crease by a few millimeters. The sheet is then refolded back onto this crease to conceal the drawing and passed to the next player who begins the next section from these lines. And so on, until the last section, when it is unfolded and the result revealed. (The sheet may be passed back for the first player to furnish it with a little before the picture is revealed.)

(Adapted from: Alastair Brotchie and Mel Gooding, ed. A Book of Surrealist Games. Boston and London: Shambhala Redstone Editions, 1995, pp. 25 and 73. You can download a pdf of the book here).


Image at top: Man Ray, Max Morise, André Breton, Yves Tanguy (from top to bottom), Cadavre Exquis, colored crayon, pencil, and pen and ink on paper, 12 x 7 7/8 in. (30.5 x 20 cm), 1928, Sotheby’s, Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale, 4 May 2011, New York (photo: Sotheby’s).

See more examples from the same participants here, here, and here. More examples are available on the MoMA site, here.