Article Number: 1726
Hard Cover, English, Thread Stitching, 240 Pages, 2006, Tate Publishing

don`t kiss me

The Art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore

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"Decades prior to the radical metamorphoses executed with aplomb by contemporary artists like Nikki S. Lee and Cindy Sherman, there were those of Claude Cahun and her partner Marcel Moore... Besides being prolific theater and performance artists, the pair created countless self-portraits in a variety of guises, all with a smokey, ethereal quality that prefigures the delicate work many years later of a young Francesca Woodman... Don't Kiss Me is a collection of these startling photographs, and also includes drawings, manuscripts and ephemera, framed by essays about the artistic odd couple courtesy of seven international authors. For many, the book will be their first experience of Cahun and Moore's singular artistic vision, but surely not their last." (Nylon Magazine)

This first comprehensive overview of the oeuvre of Claude Cahun offers a wealth of previously unpublished photographs and drawings, illuminating not only her work but also that of her partner Marcel Moore and establishing for the first time the extent of their collaboration. It also includes the first thorough account of their Resistance operations, trial, imprisonment and attempted suicides during the Occupation. Cahun (1894-1954) is best known for riveting photographic self-portraits that seem eerily ahead of their time and has become the focus of an almost cultlike following. She acted out diverse identities, both male and female, in scenes ranging from severely simple to elaborately staged and was a pioneer of the gender-bending role-playing now seen in works by artists such as Cindy Sherman (born the year Cahun died), Nikki S. Lee and many others. Cahun (a pseudonym for Lucy Schwob) and Marcel Moore (Suzanne Malherbe, 1892-1972) were an extraordinary couple who worked and lived together for more than 40 years. Avid participants in the cultural avant-garde in Montparnasse during the 1920s and 30s, they ultimately moved to Jersey, in the Channel Islands, the only part of Great Britain to be occupied by the Germans during World War II. In Don’t Kiss Me, seven international authors examine Cahun’s and Moore’s lives and art-making; their theatrical, literary and performance activities; their relationship with the Surrealist movement; their writings and Cahun’s photographic technique. The extensive illustrations encompass not only Cahun’s iconic images but also Moore’s drawings and previously unseen photographs, manuscripts and ephemera.