“‘I would not be if my grandparents had not in panic sent their children in panic to the south panic.’—Miriam Cahn, Coincidences
Escape is the condition of her being. Without escape, she would not exist. Everything begins with, everything feeds on escape. Miriam Cahn knows from her family how fear is inscribed in bodies and gestures, how the knowledge of the destruction one has escaped is passed on from generation to generation. It is not only the knowledge of violence, but also the knowledge that one can be segregated at any time, that one is always considered to belong only to a limited extent. For Miriam Cahn, her grandparents’ panic is not only panic, but also the salvation to which she owes her life. Escape is not just loneliness and despair, it is that too; escape means caring and, if it succeeds, survival at the same time. For Miriam Cahn, escape is not an anomaly, a historical exception, something that can be extraterritorialized, into the elsewhere. Escape is not something that always happens to others, but to her and to those who share this fragile status.”— Carolin Emcke
Published on the occasion of Gezeichnet, Miriam Cahn’s solo exhibition at ICA Milan (curated by Alberto Salvadori and Luigi Fassi), this book analyzes, through a group of specifically commissioned essays, the main themes of Cahn’s research. The figures that emerge from Cahn’s canvases and drawings tell their stories through the incredible vulnerability of their bodies. From the violence of historical events to sudden passions, from the loss of social ties to the unpredictability of birth and death, Miriam Cahn’s images identify exposure to vulnerability as one of the fundamental existential conditions of our human being.