Claude Cahun

13 Claude Cahun Quotes (From Disavowals And Other)

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Claude Cahun was a French surrealist photographer, sculptor, and writer. Cahun's work is both political and personal. In Disavowals, she writes: "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me." Cahun's works encompassed writing, photography, and theatre. She is most remembered for her highly staged self-portraits and tableaux that incorporated the visual aesthetics of Surrealism.

It is thought that Cahun took her first self-portrait about 1913, launching a lifelong obsession with examining gender, using herself as the subject. Cahun actively and outwardly rejected social constructions of gender and sexual identity. During World War II she was active as a resistance worker and propagandist. Cahun made work for herself and did not want to be famous. Playing a Part, Magic Mirror, Confessions to the Mirror are three filmographies created based on her life and work. 'Confidences au miroir' is her incomplete memoar.

Claude Cahun remains influential in the field of surrealistic art, gender-fluidity in art, and her anti-Nazi resistance. Cahun seizes a space typically reserved for the male poetic genius while, at the same time, resisting the construction of feminine desire around self-sacrifice and care for the Other. This is a collection of Claude Cahun's quotes on art, surrealism, and mask.

Shuffle the cards. Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me. Claude Cahun
Under this mask, another mask. I will never be finished removing all these faces. Claude Cahun
If I vibrate with vibrations other than yours, must you conclude that my flesh is insensitive? Claude Cahun
Realities disguised as symbols are, for me, new realities that are immeasurably preferable. Claude Cahun
Memories? Choice morsels. My soul is fragmentary. Claude Cahun
Individualism? Narcissism? Of course. It is my strongest tendency, the only intentional constancy [fidelity] I am capable of.... Besides, I am lying; I scatter myself too widely for that. Claude Cahun
You have told me to write a confession because you know only too well that this is currently the only literary task that might seem to me first and foremost realizable, where I feel at ease, permit myself a direct link, contact with the real world, with the facts. Claude Cahun
If there is horror, it is for those who speak indifferently of the next war. If there is hate, it is for hateful qualities, not nations. If there is love, it is because this alone kept me alive. Claude Cahun
I...divide myself in order to conquer myself; multiply myself in order to make my mark. Claude Cahun
Until I see everything clearly, I want to hunt myself down, struggle with myself. Claude Cahun
Although I had a lot of time to get acquainted with myself, my knowledge about me is fragmentary. I could tell you all about my life, but all you would get would be a mere reference to my person. I am both subject and object of my history. Claude Cahun
No, I will follow the wake in the air, the trail on the water, the mirage in the pupil … I wish to hunt myself down, to struggle with myself. Claude Cahun
I’m obsessed with the exception. I see it as bigger than nature. It’s all I see. The rule interests me only for its leftovers with which I make my swill. In this way, I deliberately downgrade myself. Too bad for me. Claude Cahun
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