“Female artists have a lot to do!” | Artist Miriam Cahn | Louisiana Channel

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“I’m an artist! I do what artists do!” Meet Swiss artist Miriam Cahn whose unique and intimate paintings and drawings depict women flashing genitals in burkas, white supremacy pornography and everything in between.

“Female artists have a lot to do. Because art history is mostly done by men,” says Miriam Cahn. Although she has no problem with art done by men, she noticed that women often lie passively in works done by men: “Females are to be erotic,” she says and continues: “It’s a tradition in art history. So we have a lot to do. Because we have to rewrite the art history.”

To do this, Cahn often paints the nude female body in action: punching, flashing, fucking. Most importantly, her subjects look directly at the viewer more often than not: “Is it still erotic if the women look back?” In installing her work, she ensures that the subjects of her paintings are in the eye line of the beholder: “If somebody looks at you from the painting, it is stronger.”

“Women are not less aggressive than men.” For Miriam Cahn, this is important to emphasize, and indeed you feel the aggression in a lot of her artwork: “You have to show white supremacy pornography,” she states and elaborates: “It’s very aggressive, but you have to show these things in art.”

Miriam Cahn (b. 1949) is a Swiss artist who lives and works in Stampa, Switzerland. She is known for her intimate and haunting paintings and drawings of figures, animals, and landscapes. Her recent solo shows include a solo exhibiton at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Denmark (2020), Sifang Art Museum, Nanjing (2020, Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019), Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2019); Kunsthaus Bregenz (2019); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2019); and Kunstmuseum Bern (2019). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions at various venues internationally, including the 21st Biennale of Sydney (2018); Documenta 14, Kassel and Athens (2017); São Paulo Museum of Art (2017); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2016).

Miriam Cahn was interviewed by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen in August 2021 at her home and studio in Stampa, Switzerland.

Camera: Rasmus Quistgaard
Produced and edited by Roxanne Bagheshirin Lærkesen
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2021

Louisiana Channel is supported by Den A.P. Møllerske Støttefond, Ny Carlsbergfondet and C.L. Davids Fond og Samling.

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