Google celebrates Claude Cahun’s 127th birthday [#Doodle] – UnSimpleClic

Today’s Doodle celebrates the 127th birthday of French surrealist author and photographer Claude Cahun, known for his deliberately haunting yet hilarious self-portraits that defy the gender and sexuality norms of the early 20th century.

Claude Cahun was born on October 25, 1894 in Nantes, France, into a Jewish family. As the grandson of influential French artist David Leon Cahun and the son of a newspaper owner, Cahun came of age surrounded by creativity. At age 14 they met Marcel Moore, their longtime partner and artistic collaborator. After moving to Paris to study literature in 1919, Cahun shaves his head and adopts his famous gender-neutral name, in rebellion against social conventions.

Although gender nonconformity was viewed as taboo in 1920s Paris, Cahun’s decision to publicly identify as non-binary is controversial, but public unrest rejects it. Cahun explored the fluidity of genres through literature and melancholic self-portrait such as the 1927 series “I’m in formation, don’t kiss me.” This work shows the artist disguised as a feminized weightlifter, blurring the line between male and female stereotypes. In addition to his lifelong artwork, Cahun worked with others to resist the fascist occupation. The French government rewarded his efforts with the French Medal of Gratitude in 1951.

In 2018, the Paris city hall named a street in honor of Cahun and Moore in the 6th arrondissement of the French capital, where the duo lived. In addition to putting more emphasis on her pioneering work in the surrealist movement and breaking down gender barriers in the photographic arts, Cahun’s work has influenced gender-sensitive celebrities, the modern LGBTQ + community, and conversations about identity and expression to the today.

Happy birthday, Claude Cahun!


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