Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation
Art (Creative) and Art History with a concentration in Art History, MA
Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)
Surrealism; Surrealist Photography; Sigmund Freud; Gender; Sexuality
This thesis probes the photographic oeuvre of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore and their interpretation of Freudian fetishism. Cahun and Moore rework Freud’s theory to disrupt and invalidate various symbols conventionally associated with sexual difference, examining social, fictional, and historical dimensions of gendering and the shift that occurs when their parameters disintegrate. The first section examines the lovers’ portraiture and use of clothing—specifically the androgyny of early-twentieth century Paris fashion—in order to demarcate same-sex gaze, desire, and fetish. The second section covers the four years in which Cahun and Moore’s participation in the Paris Surrealist circles can be traced—from 1933 to 1937. During this time, their construction of “irrational objects,” a term frequently evoked in Cahun’s essay “Beware Domestic Objects,” exhumes the tensions between veiled and unveiled eroticism.
Smith, Elizabeth Ann Driscoll, "Claude Cahun, Marcel Moore, and the collapse of "surrealist photography"." (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 2395.