Claude Cahun Exhibition Revisited

Following on from my previous visit I intended to return t_1530319o the exhibition for the artist Nichola Wonnacot’s hosted a tour.

Nicci has worked at the Pheonix for nine years, is a contextual performance artist and lecturer with a particular feminist interest. Arriving early I as able to sit with her prior to the tour and chat about how she had been inspired and used Cahun’s work. Additionally we touched on her impending visit to  Berlin in three weeks time to visit refugee Syrian camps as part of an Erasmus (EU funded  project) to determine best practice of using art to benefit displaced people.

She is clearly inspired by CC and has has included her work in her teaching. She gave insights to the entire collection over a 90min tour to the hardy souls who had braved the awful weather.

This is the first time the Phoenix has staged an event posthumously so the normal   discussion with the artist was impossible. The  curator by necessity had to decide on the the display as the Hayward Gallery, of which this is  a touring work, do not specify. According to Nicci  it was fundamentally the order in which they came out of the box. Consideration was given to putting them date order but this was considered as too easy, wanting the _1530320visitor to work in placing them in context.


Considering the importance and rarely of the event I was surprised about the Hayward gallery’s lack of prescription. I have noted in a previous blog that I felt that my engagement was compromised with the presentation.

Additionally I believe these pictures should be considered with her published written work and not in isolation.

Her only published self portrait is in her her published work Frontiere Humane and is surrealistically distorted. I hope to place another specific blog on this picture.

I do need to look at Shirley Sherman’s work.

LP-Exhibitions considering the work of an artist are are more satisfying for me when in context with the rest of their output especially when there is an imbalance in the lifetime emphasis.




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