Gen Doy | Claude Cahun: A Sensual Politics of Photography
This lively and original book looks at Cahun and her oeuvre in the contexts of the turbulent times in which she lived. Surveying standard postmodernist approaches to Cahun, born Lucy Schwob, Doy goes further, positioning Cahun’s photographs as part of her life as a woman, lesbian and political activist in the early twentieth century. Doy considers Cahun’s relationships with Symbolism and then Surrealism and her approach to dress and masquerade, assessing the images in the context of the situation of women at the time and within the prevailing fashion and beauty culture. She also pays attention to her curious images of constructed objects and re-evaluates the status of Cahun’s small-scale snapshots as photographs.
Enormously readable, ‘Claude Cahun’ at last provides a fuller picture of this important artist’s life and work.