Monday, October 25, 2010

inspiration: claude cahun



happy birthday, claude cahun. cahun was born on this day in 1894.
In many ways, Cahun's life was marked by a sense of role reversal, and her public identity became a commentary upon not only her own, but the public's notions of sexuality, gender, beauty, and logic. Her adoption of a sexually ambiguous name, and her androgynous self-portraits display a revolutionary way of thinking and creating, experimenting with her audience's understanding of photography as a documentation of reality. Her poetry challenged gender roles and attacked the increasingly modern world's social and economic boundaries. Also Cahun's participation in the Parisian Surrealist movement diversified the group's artwork and ushered in new representations. Where most Surrealist artists were men, and their primary images were of women as isolated symbols of eroticism, Cahun epitomized the chameleonic and multiple possibilities of the female identity. Her photographs, writings, and general life as an artistic and political revolutionary continue to influence countless artists, namely Cindy Sherman and Nan Goldin.
i think it's unsurprising that i have a very special place in my heart for claude cahun and their art. the 1920s are definitely one of my favourite eras in terms of film, art, fashion, architecture... pretty much all around aesthetically i find it most dear to me. one of my favourite artists working in that era was claude cahun. the playing with identity, the use of photography, art, and clothing to express those different identities... it always stuck with me.


que me veux-tu? (autoportrait double); claude cahun, 1929.


auto-portrait; claude cahun, 1925

i.o.u. (self-pride); claude cahun, 1929-30

"sous se masque, un autre masque. je n'en finirai pas de soulever tous ses visages."

"under this mask, another. i will never succeed in unearthing all of these faces."



LINKS:
claude cahun on wikipedia
thoughts about bahaus + gender
Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman edited by Shelley Rice
(someone, please buy me this book. three of my favourite people, artists, icons combined in one book!)

LINKS IN FRENCH:
De l'Éros des femmes surréalistes et de Claude Cahun en particulier par Georgiana M. M. Colville
Une héroïne impossible: Claude Cahun par Agnès Lhermitte

9 comments:

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hey! i commented on one of your earlier posts but wanted to welcome you to comment on my give away for worn journal issue 6. i think of it as a mag you would (and prob already do!) enjoy!

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