A Vase of Flowers Transforms Itself into a Dreamlike and Mysterious Subject

Fabiola Naldi, art historian, critic and curator, talks about Claude Cahun's work

By La Galleria Nazionale

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Writer, photographer and pioneer of artistic performance, Claude Cahun is still a lesser-known figure in the history of Twentieth century art.

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Except for a biography written by François Leperlier in 1992, up until the early 2000s there is a clear inability to define this author, highlighting the small number of sources and the impossibility of recovering the entire photographic corpus created by Cahun, from the Parisian years until her death in 1954.

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The fundamental reason lies in the fact that the author herself transforms her identity through an almost exclusive use of the photographic device that always returns her to the eyes of the spectator in a different way and in a synergy of opposites ready to develop a fascinating collaboration between reality and fiction.

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The distinctive nature of Claude Cahun's work is found in the study of nuances or alternatives to an identity always ready to transform and disguise itself.

Each photograph is the conjunction between the use of the device and the mask interpreted in an endless staging.

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This is also the case for the work on display, Le Char du Couronement II, of which three slightly different versions exist, one from 1938 and two from 1940.

A vase of flowers on a pedestal hides and transforms itself into a dreamlike, undefined and entirely mysterious subject that points to a new reality entirely within the same photograph that asserts itself to be equally real.

Le char du couronement II (1950) by Chaun ClaudeLa Galleria Nazionale

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Voice message by Fabiola Naldi, art historian, critic and curator.

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