Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman

Inverted Odysseys: Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, Cindy Sherman

Language: English

Pages: 180

ISBN: 0262681064

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Claude Cahun, Maya Deren, and Cindy Sherman were born in differentcountries, in different generations ;Cahun in France in 1894, Deren inRussia in 1917, and Sherman in the United States in 1954. Yet theyshare a deeply theatrical obsession that shatters any notion of aunified self. All three try out identities from different socialclasses and geographic environments, extend their temporal range intothe past and future, and transform themselves into heroes andvillains, mythological creatures, and sex goddesses. The premise ofInverted Odysseys is that this expanded concept of theself ;this playful urge to "try on" other roles-is more than afeminist or psychological issue. It is central to our global culture,to our definition of human identity in a world where the individualexists in a multicultural and multitemporal environment. This book isan "odyssey" through historical, theoretical, critical, and literaryperspectives on the three artists viewed in the context of theseissues. Contributors include Lynn Gumpert, Lucy Lippard, Jonas Mekas,Ted Mooney, Shelley Rice, and Abigail Solomon-Godeau.Central to the book is Claude Cahun's "Heroines" manuscript, a seriesof fifteen stream-of-consciousness monologues written in the voices ofmajor women of literature and history, such as the Virgin Mary,Sappho, Cinderella, Penelope, Delilah, and Helen of Troy. Translatedby Norman MacAfee, these perverse and hilarious vignettes make theirEnglish-language debut here. This is also the first time that Cahun'stext has appeared in its entirety.The book accompanies an exhibit cocurated by Lynn Gumpert and ShelleyRice at the Grey Art Gallery, New York University.Published in cooperation with the Grey Art Gallery, New YorkUniversity.EXHIBITION SCHEDULE:Grey Art GalleryNew York, New YorkNovember 16, 1999 - January 29, 2000Museum of Contemporary ArtNorth Miami, FloridaMarch - May 2000

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conservator, along with then–assistant curator Claire Follain at the Jersey Museums Service, have been a delight to work with and were all most hospitable during Lynn’s and Shelley’s trips to the Channel Islands. The late Cherel Ito, executor of Maya Deren’s estate, diligently located negatives and facilitated our research with great interest and care; Catrina Neiman and Tavia Ito carried on after Cherel’s untimely death. Jonas Mekas, Robert Haller, Oona Mekas Goycoolea, and Arunas from the

who restored Maya’s negatives and printed the black-and-white shots of Haiti. Other lenders (some anonymous) also agreed to part temporarily with cherished works. They include the Eli Broad Family Foundation; the Foundation to Life; Philip and Beatrice Gersh; Paula Kassover; Robert Kitchen; Monique Knowlton; Barbara and Richard S. Lane; Richard and Ronay Menschel; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, France; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; PaineWebber Group Inc.; Norman and Norah Stone; Leslie

responsible for it. Would pity then be the most intense emotion for this sort of god? Pity, no. But for the strong, the full use of his strength in the crushing, and then in the protecting, of the weak. [ 93 ] MacAfee Epilogue —It is so unexpected, though vile, the integrity of your foolish virgin who touched him. —Oh! that nonsense! Don’t believe that: a minor detail, without any value to this man, I assure you; he didn’t even notice it. I will gladly affirm that my foolishness was no longer

repetition, one which produces the semblance of a continuity or coherence, then there is no “I” that precedes the gender that it is said to perform; the repetition, and the failure to repeat, produce a string of performances that constitute and contest the coherence of that “I.” 30 “What performs does not exhaust the ‘I’.” In suggesting that we ought not to disqualify Cahun’s sexual orientation from playing a part in her work (as it obviously did in her life), I do not pretend to have answered

nous certains idées d’indignité.” (Benjamin Péret and I were the only ones to say that we avoided, as much as possible, being seen nude by a woman when we did not have an erection, since this seemed undignified to us), André Breton, Les Vases communicants (Paris: Gallimard), 49. 22. From the mid–1920s on, Cahun staged and created photographs of assembled objects, and she participated in the 1936 “Exposition Surréaliste des objets.” In addition, she published an article in a special number of

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