The first full-length title in English on the celebrated photographer Claude Cahun whose work was rediscovered in the 1980s. 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 her photographs as part of her life as a woman, lesbian and political activist in the early twentieth century. She 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 her small-scale snapshots as photographs. Enormously readable, 'Claude Cahun' at last provides a fuller picture of this important artist's life and work.
A Sensual Politics of Photography