fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Claude Cahun
La Biennale di Venezia

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Claude Cahun

1894, France – 1954, UK

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Lucy Renée Mathilde Schwob, known as Claude Cahun, is renowned for her performative, often gender-bending self-portraits, frequently made collaboratively with her stepsister and lover Marcel Moore. Cahun and Moore adopted androgynous pseudonyms and self-presentations in both art and life. Keepsake (1932) depicts Cahun’s head in a chain of four bell jars, the glass casings used in the 19th century to observe and analyse objects. The staging and cropping of Cahun’s head evoke the Surrealist trope of the dissected female body; yet, her eyes are not passive but directly confronting the viewer’s gaze or actively scanning the surroundings. In Self portrait  (in robe with masks attached) (1928), Cahun dresses as a life-sized doll with the mask of a powdered face and tinted lips, a heart painted on her cheek. The overt artifice  of the masks obliterates the self – the extinction of one subject for panoply of others. The façades mediate a veil between Cahun and the representation of her personas; the artist refuses to be grasped as the object of the male gaze. 

Liv Cuniberti

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte