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Photo Museum Ireland

Claude Cahun

Claude Cahun

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Claude Cahun (1894-1954), the chosen name of the artist born Lucy Schwob, was best known in her lifetime as a writer but built up a remarkable body of photographic work that only came to prominence after her death. Politically active and involved with a wide circle of artists and intellectuals, including the Surrealists, Cahun followed her own rules in both life and art.

She is best known for her strikingly staged self portraits, in which she used costumes , makeup and technical effects to tackle themes of identity and self representation. Her love of symmetry, mirroring, repurposing and retouching was also reflected in her approach to other styles of photography, including portraiture, photomontage and still life tableaux. whether working alone or in collaboration with her life partner Marcel Moore (born Suzanne Malherbe) Claude Cahun was a pioneering figure in the aesthetics of modernity who never stopped crossing boundaries of gender and genre.

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