Neutral is the only gender that suits me best
(Claude Cahun) by Mike Fernandez
And, No. I will follow the water in the air, the trail in the water, the mirage in the pupil…I wish to hunt myself down, to struggle with myself. Sweet, nevertheless…the moment when our heads lean over a photograph (ah! How our hair entangles inextricably) Portrait of one or the other, our two narcissisms drawing there, it was the impossible realized in a magic mirror. I is another and always multiple. I will never finish taking off all of these masks. Individualism? Narcissism? Of course. It is my strongest tendency, the only intentional constancy I am capable of. Besides, I am lying; I scatter myself too much for that.
Here is everything that I would like to clarify of the mystery: the neo-narcissism of a practical humanity. My picture will be of this sensual and hypocritical period when people prefer their own contact and their mute disdain to the chatty love of others…we oppose to this picture other morals and other loves. Eventually, the mirrors thicken. No longer absolute, but agreeably relative, being individualizes itself. Pride becomes virtue. The body knows itself and forgives itself.
I close my eyes in order to bound off the orgy. There is too much of everything. I keep silent. I hold my breath. I curl up in a ball, I give up my boundaries, I fold myself towards an imaginary centre. I have my head shaved, my teeth pulled and my breasts cut off-everything that bothers my gaze or slows down-my stomach, my ovaries, the conscious and encysted brain. When I have but one card left in my hand, only the beating of my heart to note to perfection, surely I will have won.
Self-portraits of a woman dressed as a man dressed as a woman? Who puts a leash on the cat, blindfolds herself and let’s the cat lead her away. A lesbian in love with her stepsister? A reader of Rimbaud. A surrealist before surrealism, feminist-queer-art not. Lucy Schwob aka Claude Cahun, self-contained in life not.
Don’t Kiss Me: the art of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore / edited by Louise Downie.
New York : Aperture Foundation, 2006.
Mike Fernandez was born in Lima, Peru. He is a graduate of the International Center of Photography’s documentary and photojournalism program. He has taught traditional black & white photography at Pratt Institute and collaborated with the NY Theatre Workshop, HERE Arts Center and Ontological Theatre in theatre photography and multi-channel video installations. He is currently an art assistant and video editor at Audubon Magazine. Lives in Brooklyn.
His blog is: http://mikefromperu.wordpress.com/