Claude Cahun : a sensual politics of photography by Cahun, Claude; Cahun, Claude; Doy, Gen

By Cahun, Claude; Cahun, Claude; Doy, Gen

The first full-length name in English at the celebrated photographer Claude Cahun whose paintings used to be rediscovered within the Eighties.

This vigorous and unique publication seems to be at Cahun and her oeuvre within the contexts of the turbulent instances during which she lived. Surveying ordinary postmodernist ways to Cahun, born Lucy Schwob, Doy is going additional, positioning Cahun's pictures as a part of her existence as a girl, lesbian and political activist within the early 20th century. Doy considers Cahun's relationships with Symbolism after which Surrealism and her method of gown and masquerade, assessing the pictures within the context of the placement of ladies on the time and in the winning style and wonder tradition. She additionally can pay recognition to her curious photographs of developed items and re-evaluates the prestige of Cahun's small-scale snapshots as photos.

Enormously readable, 'Claude Cahun' finally presents a fuller photograph of this significant artist's lifestyles and work.

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An example of this is the anti-Nazi activity undertaken by Cahun and Malherbe in the Channel Islands during the Second World War. 6 Though it is illuminating to use theories of masquerade and the performance of gender identities in order to analyse some of Cahun’s photographic self-portraits, it is always important to remember that Cahun was an actual person who made and wrote about her work, and took decisions (most likely also with Malherbe) about how her images would look. I do not mean by this that I equate the meanings of the works with the artist’s intention.

47 The Surrealists were to re-invent hysteria as an empowering and admirably creative anti-bourgeois condition. Their views, however, did not change the situation of the majority of mental patients. 50 She described her father as a rationalist, a Cartesian, a supporter of science and clarity against Symbolists, Russian novels and German philosophers; a man who did not understand her and preferred not to know about her literary works. However, she recounts a visit with her father to the Louvre in 1905 or 1906, where they saw works by Leonardo.

They all seemed to me to describe Cahun’s photographs, in terms of what they offered the potential viewer. 33 In this seminar, Lacan states that the self is determined by the gaze that is outside it – the self becomes a picture. The gaze embodies light and its object is thus ‘photographed’ (p. 34 Lacan, by analogy, links the photographic image to the image of the self in the psyche of the other. This image can never coincide with our own self-perception, whether the self-image is in a (metaphorical) mirror or in a photograph.

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