Saturday, 1 May 2021

Masculine? Feminine? Claude Cahun.

"Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me."
Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun (1894-1954), born Lucy Renee Mathilde Schwob, was a French Surrealist photographer who explored gender identity and protested gender norms. She chose "Claude" since the name was ambiguous and could refer to both a man and a woman. This very ambiguity became a theme in her exploration.

Together with muse and lover Marcel Moore (a pseudonym), Cahun became active as a resistance worker - disguised as non-Jews - placing pamphlets in soldiers' pockets. In a church, they hang a banner saying "Jesus is great, but Hitler is greater – because Jesus died for people, but people die for Hitler" (via and via and via and via).
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photograph (1927) via