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0152 - C7-7
Divide & Conquer
Maureen Cummins
Artist’s publication, n.p
Edition: #20/40
Inscription: Signed by the artist
Notes: The text of this project is excerpted from a manuscript that the artist discovered while in residency at the American Antiquarian Society in the Fall of 2000. The handwritten pages, which numbered over three hundred in length, comprised the transcript for a series of congressional hearings held in 1871. The purpose of the hearings was to gain information about the activities of the group known at that time as the Ku Klux, a widespread organization that was responsible for a virtual reign of terror throughout the south in the decades following the civil war. The transcripts bear witness not only to the horrific acts of the KK, but also to the way in which they divided a community along racial lines by targeting anyone who resisted their vision of racial separation and white supremacy. The physical form of this project is based on the exquisite corpse - a literary game invented in the early twentieth century by the surrealists. In the game, each player took a turn writing on a piece of paper, then folded it so that only the last word would show, and passed it on to the next player for his or her contribution. The game was later adapted to drawing and collage. The beige drop-back box has three divisions in which the cards fit. These represent the traditional exquisite corpse categories of head, body and legs. The text is printed on the back of the illustrated cards.

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