The Beasting at 44 Gaukel

Book your time to play with the Beastagon! Viewings are available on Thursdays Nov 18th & 25th & Dec 2nd, 9th & 16th. Viewing appointments are 15 minutes for groups of no more than four people, made via eventbrite.ca. Proof of full vaccination must be provided by all visitors upon arrival at 44 Gaukel. 

The conception of this project began in February 2020, at an art party at 44 Gaukel Creative Workspace, featuring a blind collaboration experiment involving four local artists. Each had a set of black ink materials, one white illustration board and a few hours to create something resembling a figure, in their own style. These pieces were put together to form one large exquisite corpse.

What is an exquisite corpse?

 Exquisite Corpse is a drawing game popularized in the 1920s, and a technique wielded by early surrealist artists to make collaborative compositions. Each participant takes a turn drawing a portion of a wildly imaginary body, concealing their partial contributions from other participants until the figure is finished. 

Initial exquisite corpse experiment: Head by Vincent Marcone, upper torso by Luke Swinson, lower torso by Ethel Voronkova, legs and feet by Sumaira Tazeen

After success with the collaborative exquisite corpse, Vincent Marcone of My Pet Skeleton and Eric Rumble, coordinator of arts & creative industries from the City of Kitchener decided to turn this idea into a bigger project with 24 local artists. Over the course of several months, each artist was invited to 44 Gaukel to create their monster part. The artists were brought in one at a time and none of the artists knew what the others were creating. 

How was it made?

With the artists off to the races creating fabulous and freaky designs, the next challenge was to decide how this would be presented.  Eventually, design company Boko was contacted to create a multi-level, swiveling, wood structure. The most interesting hidden detail is how the four sections are able to rotate separately, which relies on a customized bracket & rollerblade wheels. 

The end product was The Beastagon, six full beasts, each composed of four sections created in different styles, and made at 44 Gaukel. The Beastagon is interactive and moveable so you can create your own beast! 

Learn more about how this project was created and all of the artists who participated by visiting the Beasting website.  There you will also find beast-making time lapses, artist interviews & more project details.

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