Claude Cahun at the Jeu de Paume
Long before Cindy Sherman, the French artist and writer Claude Cahun (1894-1954) was using her own image to expose, one by one, the clichés of feminine and masculine identity. Claude Cahun (née Lucy Renée Mathilde Schwob) reinvented herself through photography (just as she did in her writing), posing for the lens with an acute sense of “performance,” whether dressed as a woman or as a man, with her hair short, long or shaven (which was extremely incongruous for women at this time). Unlike other artists – mainly men – who made portraits but never or very rarely exposed their own person to the lens (Man Ray, Hans Bellmer, André Kertész), Claude Cahun was at once the object and the subject of her artistic experiments. This exhibition emphasises the highly innovative quality of these experiments in which she explores visual and symbolic procedures (staging, superposition of photos, photomontage) that continue her speculations on self-metamorphosis.
Until 25 Sep. Tue, noon-9pm; Wed-Fri, noon-7pm; Sat, Sun, 10am-7pm.
Jeu de Paume, 1 place de la Concorde, 8th. www.jeudepaume.org/
Self portait, c. 1939