Rules of the Game is a collaboration between Melissa Brown and Small Editions consists of 5 winner-take-all poker games, a limited edition book, and 5 new art collections. The game is Texas Hold ‘ Em and the wager is art, specifically original works on paper and one-of-a-kind artist’s books. Four artist-poker players will each wager an original work. The fifth poker player, representing an institution, will be admitted to the game by purchasing one copy of Rules of the Game by Melissa Brown.
Rules of the Game itself is about strategy and the illusions people create in order to give themselves an advantage. The book is a manual for how to play the game—to recognize and use these illusions to the player’s advantage. Ownership of the book gives its owner an advantage. It contains useful knowledge that could be applied to a poker games, in terms of acting, strategy and technique. It additionally is an art collection, an archive, and contains a wager. This wager, a one-of-a-kind print on aluminum by Melissa Brown, is the only ticket into one of 5 curated-winner-take-all poker games. Determined during a tarot card reading in the presence of the artist and publisher about strategy and prosperity in the game, these prints are inspired by the selection of cards from the major and minor arcana, and each represents a different aspect of strategy for the game.