Express Yourself: Exploring the Shadow World in Forbidden Games (Podcast)

Forbidden Games: Surrealist and Modernist Photography tells the story of a radical social, political, and cultural moment in early twentieth-century art, documented by those such as Hungarian photographer, Brassaï. Photographing night clubs in Paris after-hours, Brassaï captured what Curator of Photography Barbara Tannenbaum calls the "shadow world" in this podcast clip below.

Young Couple Wearing a Two-in-One Suit at the Bal de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, c. 1931. Brassaï (French, 1899-1984). Gelatin silver print, ferrotyped, Image - h:29.80 w:22.10 cm (h:11 11/16 w:8 11/16 inches). John L. Severance Fund 2007.40. © The Brassaï Estate - RMN

On view in Forbidden Games, this image, Young Couple Wearing a Two-in-One Suit at the Bal de la Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, c. 1931, depicts a young, gay couple while at one of the large drag balls held in Paris. The event was attended by people of every class, race, and age. As Brassaï described it,"Every entrance and every costume gave rise to shrieks of surprise, cries of astonishment, of joy. Two young men wrapped in each other’s arms had to demonstrate the perfect union of their souls, their bodies-dressed in a singlesuit: one was wearing the jacket, with his legs and buttocks naked; the other wore the pants, his torso and feet bare, since he had given his boyfriend the only pair of shoes."

Listen to more from Tannenbaum in the clip below, "The Work of Brassaï," as she walks us through the story of this photograph, and hear more from inside the exhibition from Tannenbaum and art collector David Raymond in our Forbidden Games Walk and Talk series below!



See Forbidden Games: Surrealist and Modernist Photography on view through January 11, free at the Cleveland Museum of Art! 


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