Transformation and Self Portraiture: Claude Cahun and Iris Gunnarsdottir


6:00 - 7:15 pm

Art Exchange

admission free

Ivor Crewe Seminar Room, 6:00 – 7:15 pm

Writer and curator Dawn Ades will give a talk about the ‘self portraits’ of  Claude Cahun, followed by an conversation between artist Iris Gunnarsdottir and critic Matthew Bowman.

In 1953 Claude Cahun looked back at her lifetime and observed that, “In my life as a whole, I am what I have always been: ‘surrealiste’. Essentially. At least as far as one can without killing oneself or being put in an asylum”. Dawn Ades will reveal the surrealist context of Cahun’s production, including her close working relationship with Marcel Moore in the making of her now iconic portraits. These can be read as an extension of their life together, blurring the distinction between public and private, life and work, writing and image.

Following Dawn Ades’ talk, artist Iris Gunnarsdottir will be in conversation with critic Matthew Bowman. Together they will expand on themes and ideas raised in Iris’s work – also on display in Art Exchange – that draws inspiration from Claude Cahun.

This evening will end with a drinks reception at Art Exchange – all welcome.

Admission free.

Dawn Ades is Emeritus Professor at the School of Art History and Philosophy, University of Essex. She has written and curated extensively on Dada and Surrealism, including curating exhibitions such as ‘Duchamp and Dali’, at the Royal Academy, London (2018), ‘Hannah Hoch’, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2014)) ‘Undercover Surrealism’, Hayward Gallery (2006) and ‘Dali’, Palazzo Grassi, Venice (2004).

Dr Matthew Bowman is an art critic who regularly writes for Art Monthly and an art historian who also lectures at the University of Suffolk and Colchester School of Art. His research focuses on twentieth century and contemporary art, criticism, photography, the art market, and philosophy in the USA and Europe. He is the author of numerous essays and publications, such as ‘Shapes of Time: Melancholia, Anachronism, and De-Distancing’ and ‘October’s Postmodernism’ in Visual Resources.