Claude Cahun (French, Nantes 1894–1954 Saint Helier, Jersey)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 18 x 23 cm (7 1/16 x 9 1/16 in.)
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris
Not on view
A creative chameleon who openly grappled with gender identity in her life and her art, Cahun was keenly attuned to the quintessentially modern condition of self-alienation—a sentiment expressed with exquisite economy by her hero, the French poet Arthur Rimbaud, in his famous line “Je est un autre” (“I is another”). In this polycephalic self-portrait, she appears magnetically bound to her own doppelgänger in a monstrous embodiment of internal struggle.
Per history of ownership section, the museum purchased this Cahun work in 2009. Since this date, it has been in two exhibitions: Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2011 and Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris, 2009.