Claude Cahun


Claude Cahun, ‘I Extend My Arms’ 1931 or 1932
I Extend My Arms 1931 or 1932
© The estate of Claude Cahun
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Claude Cahun (born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, 25 October 1894 – 8 December 1954) was a French surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer.

Schwob adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun in 1914 and is best known for her self-portraits, in which she assumes a variety of personae.

Cahun's work was both political and personal, and often undermined traditional concepts of static gender roles. In her autobiography, Disavowals, she explains her rejection of gender, "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me." This declaration is an important consideration when analysing Cahun's photography as she intentionally plays with and subverts the viewers' understanding of gender.

During World War II, Cahun was also active as a resistance worker and propagandist.

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