Claude Cahun Je me vois done je suis pour imaginer que je suis autre...

Renato Roque


Portrait  and  self-portrait  played  and  still  play a relevant  role in  photography's history. In fact, portrait was the most important field for the affirmation of photography in the 19th century. Photography not only took control of most of the territory, which was a previous possession of painting,  but, thanks  to its characteristics, was capable of getting into new territories, in terms of representati­ on, registration  and  memory.  Claude Cahun, a multifaceted  artist from  the first half of the 2oth century, whose literary and  photographic work was forgotten and has been rediscovered recently, used self-portrait  as a mediation process between her and the world, between her and her other self, whom she pursued all her life, a self free from  social and  cultural  pressures, with  a strategy  which  we will try  to define as anti-narcissistic, in an obsessive search for her true identity.  Photography as a quest for truth and liberty. In our essay we go through Cahun's  life and work, trying to discover and discuss its revolutionary  and innovator content, focusing on one ofCahun's best known self-portraits.

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