Pass the postmodern parcel
André Breton’s parlour game, Exquisite Corpse ( cadavre exquis) was quite the thing among surrealists in the early 20th century. The rules are simple and older again: each player adds a contribution based on the tail end of the previous collaborator’s entry. So we end up with mad stuff altogether, such as “the exquisite corpse will drink the new wine”, a sentence generated by an early game between Marcel Duchamp et al, and the phrase from which the game derives its name.
Filmmaker Neasa Hardiman, best known as the director of BBC’S Tracy Beaker’s Return, utilises this fancy variation of Pass the Parcel to form the spine of this award-winning art-short. This Is Going To Take More Than One Night features wildly varied contributions from the artists Isabel Nolan, Alice Rekab, Bea Mcmahon and Sarah Pierce, plus a troupe of seven dancers. T-shirt slogans become white-board rants become academic lectures become Dadaist ditties. Non-sequiturs reign as we’re variously informed to beware of cousin mosquito and filled in on the correspondence of Suprematist artist Kazimir Malevich. It doesn’t all hang together and it doesn’t have to. As Nolan sagely points out, our brain fills in gaps in our vision.
Ms Hardiman is scheduled to direct her spooky debut feature, To Hell With Music, later this year. Expect the unexpected.