Dreams of Desire 3 (The Mirror Reflecting)


In stark contrast to Man Ray and Roland Penrose dreaming subjects, Claude Cahun eyes are wide open in this striking self-portrait. She turns away from her reverie in the mirror to confront that other mirror, the camera, with a self-assurance that appears supremely masculine. Desire for Claude Cahun is purely narcissistic. In hundreds of highly staged self-portraits she goes through a dizzying array of personas, suggesting that gender and identity are nothing more than a game of masks and mirrors.

19 thoughts on “Dreams of Desire 3 (The Mirror Reflecting)

    1. Claude Cahun is a great photographer and writer…she was in love with Andre Breton who encouraged her to keep on writing. She was Marcel Schwob’s (a fine writer) niece and she lived with her female lover who happened to be her cousin in the Channel Islands where they were part of the resistance (the Channel Islands were the only part of the U.K. to be occupied by the Nazis) during WWII. Her photography predates Cindy Sherman by decades and knocks Sherman derivative work into a crooked snook. It is a fantastic photograph and worthy of more esteem than I can give.

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      1. There has been a resurgence of interest in her work, especially in the field of gender politics. There is a novel about her relationship with Marcel Moore by Rupert Thompson which is decent and makes her a person, unlike some of the more baffling and esoteric acedemic treatments of her. She was devoted to Andre Breton, as was Toyen, a similarly ambiguous artist.


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