MIRIAM CAHN. I AS HUMAN
Title number 16 in the Museum under Construction series, “MIRIAM CAHN: I AS HUMAN,” critically examines the work of Swiss artist Miriam Cahn.
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.
From the editor’s introduction: “‘MIRIAM CAHN: I AS HUMAN’ 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. [Marta Dziewańska reads] Cahn’s work alongside the devastating text of the Austrian writer and poet Christine Lavant […].”
Published January 2019, “MIRIAM CAHN: I AS HUMAN” accompanies the traveling exhibition of the same name co-prepared by the Kunstmuseum Bern, the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. That show is on view from February 22 to June 16, 2019 at the Kunstmuseum Bern, from July 12 to October 27, 2019 at the Haus der Kunst, Munich, and from November 29, 2019 to February 23, 2020 at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
The publication has been prepared in collaboration with the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid. A Spanish imprint will be published on the occasion of the exhibition “MIRIAM CAHN: everything is equally important,” on show from June 5th to October 14th, 2019.
Excerpts from the book: