Exquisite Things {from the Haffenreffer Museum} connecting collections | collecting connections

Visit the Exquisite Things website

This exhibit was located at Brown University's Roberts Campus Center from November 2010 through May 2011. 

This is an exhibition of things, the way we connect to them and the way we create meaning by making connections between things. The objects in this exhibition were chosen using a variation of the game exquisite corpse. Nine people (the museum's curator and eight students) each selected one thing - in sequence, one after another. Rather than following a specific theme, each person chose their object based only on how they thought it connected to the object that someone chose immediately before them. The result is not just an exhibition of objects from the museum, but also an exhibition of the relational spaces between things: how connections are perceived and how we make meaning through those connections.

We welcome you to encounter these things for yourself, wonder why they were chosen and tell us what you think the connections are. You can add your connections to our growing collection by playing the game here { www.exquisitethings.info }. 

Exquisite corpse was invented by the Surrealists in the 1920s. In its original form, it was a game played by multiple individuals who, by building on each other's work in turn, created a new collective work that no one individual would have imagined on their own. Traditionally played with words (and later adapted to images), players would write a text, conceal the majority of it, and pass it to the next player who would continue to write from where the previous player left off.
In this exhibition, we have adapted the game exquisite corpse and applied it to the selection of objects from the Haffenreffer Museum's collection. 

By the students of ‘Things: The material worlds of humanity’ John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities & Cultural Heritage
Instructor: Dr Ian Russell
Exquisite Things is a collaboration between the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, and the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.


Exquisite Things exhibit discussion from Haffenreffer Museum of Anthro on Vimeo.