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PRINT April 1992

A MUTABLE MIRROR: CLAUDE CAHUN

It seems impossible, in fact, to judge the eye using any word other than seductive, since nothing is more attractive in the bodies of animals and men. But extreme seductiveness is probably at the boundary of horror.

—Georges Bataille, Eye, 1929

A DISEMBODIED EYE stares into yours. Reflected on its surface is a shadowy trace—an object, or more likely a person: the reflection of the observer who observes it. This is an eye or “I” that looks back at you as you look at it, its self-aware gaze mirroring your gazing. The eye, a cut-out photograph, is mounted within another image, a silver orb resting on the pedestal created by a pair of hands and truncated forearms that come down to a base of two lips. This silver sphere reflects the hands but distorts them, suggesting an anamorphic projection, an image in a grotesquely transformative mirror. Between reflection and object reflected are a

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