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An amusing rebus

Create a rebus based on your first or last name.

Paul-Émile Borduas introduced Riopelle and his artist friends to André Breton’s surrealist movement and its principles of avoiding imitation and letting go of preconceived notions. Games were one of the ways surrealist artists came up with new ideas. Jean Paul loved playing, in all its forms. For example, it’s said that he would amuse himself by signing his last name using a rebus.

A rebus is a way to combine different phonetic elements (words, letters, numbers, drawings and symbols) to reveal a message when each of the elements is sounded out together.

This project asks participants to create a rebus based on their first or last name, as a way of paying homage to Jean Paul’s love of games.

Activité 1 : Instructions for playing the game online

  1. Write either your first or last name on some scrap paper;
  2. Break the syllables down one by one and associate each one with a homophone;
  3. Draw a few different ideas for each syllable;
  4. Feel free to find images online to use in observation drawings, if you like;
  5. Draw the final version of your rebus using the online drawing interface;
  6. Print the drawing;
  7. Have your friends decipher the rebus;
  8. Display all of the rebuses in the classroom;
  9. If you wish, share your creations through the RIO Gallery.

Activité 2 : Instructions for playing the game on paper

  1. Write either your first or last name on some scrap paper;
  2. Break the syllables down one by one and associate each one with a homophone;
  3. Draw a few different ideas for each syllable;
  4. Feel free to find images online to use in observation drawings, if you like;
  5. Draw the final version of your rebus on a new piece of white paper;
  6. Have your friends decipher the rebus;
  7. Display all of the rebuses in the classroom;
  8. If you wish, share your creations through the RIO Gallery.