Claude Cahun

1894–1954

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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In Tate Britain

Biography

Claude Cahun (25 October 1894 – 8 December 1954), born Lucie Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French photographer, sculptor and writer.

Lucie Renee Mathilde Schwob adopted the gender-ambiguous name Claude Cahun in 1917 and is best known for self-portraits, in which they assumed a variety of personae.

Cahun's work was both political and personal, and often undermined traditional concepts of static gender roles. In their autobiography, Disavowals, they explained, “Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me.”

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Artworks

Film and audio

Unlock Art: Exploring the Surreal

The Doctor travels through time to bring us the story of Surrealism

Unlock Art: Where are the women?

Girls actress Jemima Kirke addresses the topic of women in art (or the lack them)

Features

MicroTate 36

Lubaina Himid and Peter C van Wyck

New reflections on two works in the Tate collection

Faces that speak volumes: Roni Horn

Elisabeth Lebovici

Can a book with no text paint a portrait of a writer? Elisabeth Lebovici examines the challenging representation of identity ...

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