CAHN, Miriam; DZIEWAŃSKA, Marta (ed.)
I As Human
Known for her drawings and paintings, Cahn also experiments with photography, moving images, and sculptures. Her diverse body of work is disturbing and dreamlike, filled with striking human figures pulsing with an energy that is both passionate and violent.
This book looks at this oeuvre from several vantage points. Kathleen Bühler and Adam Szymczyk view it from the biographical perspective, as we are all entangled—consciously or not—in various broader or narrower historical planes. Natalia Sielewicz, while reading the images and looking at the texts, attentively observes the strategies and stakes of the works of an artist: a woman who in her art ruptures the notions of stable subjectivity, who inhabits the shifting perspectives of “I”. Based on her research on patriarchal violence, anthropologist and feminist Rita Segato looks at wounded women’s bodies in Cahn’s oeuvre and invites us to rethink the idea of minoritarian politics. Jakub Momro movingly writes about the shock of an encounter, seeing as experience, image-thought, and Cahn’s work in the context of the intensities that create it/that it creates. Éric de Chassey, on the other hand, writes about the tension between figuration and abstraction: the mixture of distance, immediacy and truth; about performativity; and about the deeply political dimension of Cahn’s work. The artist herself comments on these issues with eloquence and conviction in a conversation with Patricia Falguières, Élisabeth Lebovici, and Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez. Ana Ara and Fernando López talk about their discussions with the artist and the preparations for her solo show at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. An intense word-image, whose force, painterly energy, and passion are like a verbal mirror to the works of Miriam Cahn, is furnished by Paul B. Preciado. Last, Marta Dziewańska reads Cahn’s work alongside the devastating text of the Austrian writer and poet Christine Lavant. [publisher’s note]