Unnatural Consequences 2014-


Concept: Tanya Ury

Work­shops – a collec­tion of works:

Take a piece of paper; draw a face; fold the paper over to conceal the face – only a neck can now be seen; pass the paper on to the next in line, who will draw a torso to the waist; the proce­dure is then repeated and the next partic­i­pant draws legs to the knees, followed by another who draws calves, and the last person in line draws the feet.

The whole modus operandi can of course alter­na­tively be conducted with words: a story is begun — the paper folded over, to reveal only one or two connecting words, such as and” or then”, which will enable the next player to continue the story, and so on, till the end.

This tradi­tional children’s pencil-and-paper activity is also called Exquisite Corpse” from the Surre­alist artists’ version of the game.

The tech­nique was invented by Surre­al­ists and is similar to an old parlour game called Conse­quences in which players write in turn on a sheet of paper, fold it to conceal part of the writing, and then pass it to the next player for a further contri­bu­tion. Surre­alism prin­cipal founder André Breton reported that it started in fun, but became playful and even­tu­ally enriching. Breton said the diver­sion started about 1925, but Pierre Reverdy wrote that it started much earlier, at least before 1918. In a variant now known as picture conse­quences, instead of sentences, portions of a person were drawn.1

Divided into groups of five, work­shop contrib­u­tors produce several poetic narra­tives and in a second phase surreal images, that may be exhib­ited later. To heighten the intrigue of this game, long banners of paper (as well as inks) are provided and time will be allowed for group members to discuss a story­line amongst them­selves, before passing the paper on to the next group.

Costume is often worn in the work­place: a suit, a nurses outfit, police regalia — in the army, a mili­tary uniform. Work­shop contrib­u­tors will have collected and brought along maga­zine cuttings of various uniforms and social symbols, to assist them as an extra game element in devel­oping this Unnat­ural Conse­quences in which portrayed char­ac­ters may be illus­trated wearing formal or army costume.

Invented stories might encom­pass diverse philoso­phies including an imag­ined life in the mili­tary or other regi­mented lifestyles, to reflect and parody our vision of nation and society, past and present. In the context of EL-DE-Haus and the Hair Shirt Army exhi­bi­tion, which inti­mates an army that did not protect its people, an army that served badly or a ghost army of victims, the uniform is a perversion.

In everyday clothing we reveal ourselves: to which social grouping we belong or aspire, to which culture and to which orien­ta­tion — sexual or polit­ical. Offi­cial wear stan­dard­ises but with the Unnat­ural Conse­quences tactic of discred­iting the uniform the normal Conse­quences game is exploded and the game becomes a social statement.

1 en​.wikipedia​.org/​wiki/…

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