Cadavre Exquis

18 December 2020 – 13 February 2021

Galeri Nev İstanbul’s new group show “Cadavre Exquis”, borrows its title from the collective drawing game “Le Cadavre Exquis” which Surrealist artists of the 20th century used to play. Curated by Gizem Gedik, the exhibition brings together works of Ani Çelik ArevyanKerem Ozan BayraktarNermin ErTayfun ErdoğmuşAli KazmaEkin SaçlıoğluHale TengerNazif Topçuoğlu and Nergiz Yeşil.

Although we tend to romanticise death, the body itself becomes waste as soon as its contact ends with oxygen. The organic substance is scattered, mixed, transformed and continues to interact with various organisms in a different form. According to the medical terminology, “cadaver” expresses the state of bodily waste gaining a function and becoming an object of knowledge. In the exhibition, we come across this term as metaphors of the organic-based material used for different purposes together with their representations. Works that build a unique dialogue with each other, especially on the relationship between ideas and materials in the display also give references to areas such as art history, epistemology, and artificial intelligence technology.

Inspiring the title of the exhibition, “Le Cadavre Exquis” is a collective drawing game specifically played by the Surrealist artists in the 20th century, based on random drawing. Surviving to this day in various forms, this play was brought in a visual dimension based on automatism and the subconscious by artists such as Yves Tanguy, André Breton, Max Ernst and Victor Brauner. During the game the first player starts drawing a part of the human body, later on folds the paper and passes it to the one next to him and in the end a collective composition, an experimental integrity appears once the paper unfolds, which consists the images created by the artists without seeing each other’s drawings. The game, which has become an area of experiment, a research method, even a system of reasoning for Surrealist artists, has also inspired some international exhibitions that were based on drawing and deforming the figure.

Bringing together the works of nine artists from different practices in Galeri Nev İstanbul, “Cadavre Exquis” offers a physical and intellectual space for other possibilities of existence beyond the dualities such as motion and statis, organic and inorganic, life and death, representation and reality, fragmentation and wholeness.