‘The Unfettered Bound by Gluttony’ is an ongoing collaborative mixed media project between Diogo Duarte and Jessica Mitchell, where both artists jointly create a cosmos of their own individual and intertwined lives.
The duo has been co-creating work since 2016. Both artists are deeply interested in the process of collaborative art-making, the intentional and haphazardous intersection of their own life stories and how this offers challenges to preconceptions around authorship of art work. So far, the body of work comprises of exquisite corpses, a world touring single edition laminated zine, and a mutually created tapestry using the Portuguese medieval technique of Arraiolos is currently being developed.
Exquisite corpse is a game created during the Surrealist movement whereby a piece of paper is folded several times and each player takes one side of the folded sheet and draws on it. Once he or she is finished, they pass it on to the other player as it’s their turn to draw. In essence, each player draws ‘in the dark’ from what the other has previously drawn. The result is a co-produced Surrealist Frankenstein’s monster, of sorts.
Diogo and Jessica took inspiration from this game and since the Covid-19 lockdown they have been co-creating exquisite corpses of each other’s life ‘villains’, ‘heroes’, ‘lovers’ and ‘fools’. Using only materials found within their homes, they’ve been posting drawings back and forth to each other. The only information each has is what character is being drawn. Exquisite corpses allow the artists to continue to explore their collaboration during this period of separation and also to explore their personal assumptions around what art is ‘supposed’ to look like. The process allows Diogo and Jessica to continue to be privy to each other’s private worlds in a way that feels meaningful and also playful. The choice of characters springs from each artist’s love of heroic and mythological stories, filled with great ‘villains’, ‘lovers’, ‘heroes’ and ‘fools’. Each will be drawn in turn and will find their place in the artists’ co-produced mix media cosmology.
**In May 2020, Diogo and Jessica opened up the exquisite corpse game to ten fellow friends and invited them to draw their own life ‘villains’, ‘heroes’, ‘lovers’ and ‘fools’ in collaboration with each other in an attempt to continue to build bonds in a time of separation. The only information shared between artists is a two sentence descriptor of the person being drawn. Each exquisite corpse was created by up to five artists.