“Masculine? Feminine? That depends on the situation. Neutral is the only gender that always fits me.”

Claude Cahun regarded identity as performative and appearance both in life and on the stage as a necessary space for the possibility of poetic vagueness. Cahun, who was born in Nantes in 1894 and grew up in an intellectual Jewish household, always operated outside of conventions in her photography, collages and writing: as a dandy inspired by Oscar Wilde, she roamed the Surrealist movement in Paris, explored early gender theories and, in political papers and pamphlets, wrote plainly in resistance to German National Socialism. Together with Suzanne Malherbe (aka Marcel Moore), her life partner and a graphic artist, Cahun disseminated leaflets while in exile in Jersey that were intended to prompt soldiers to desert from the German occupying force. They were both arrested by the Gestapo in 1944, sentenced to death but then miraculously pardoned. Cahun died 10 years later at the age of 60. Many of her works were lost in World War II.

The devised play LA MER SOMBRE, directed by Pınar Karabulut (premiere: 29 September 2022 in the Werkraum), is dedicated to the darkly iridescent, radically experimental poetic texts of Claude Cahun which are appearing for the first time in the German-speaking world. Publications of the German translations by Magnus Chrapkowski are currently being prepared (Heroinnen by the Arco publishing house and Aveux non avenus by Ink Press).

#radicalexperimental #dandy #towardstheunknown #thedarksea
With texts and ideas by Claude Cahun • Directed by: Pınar...
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