Published by Steidl. Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by Bettina Rheims. Contribution by Frédéric Sanchez.
Twenty years after Modern Lovers, a body of work on androgyny and transgender created when AIDS was at its peak, Bettina Rheims now presents her Gender Studies. She writes: “Yesterday, on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I was strolling along the Seine trying to reach the right bank. Paris was full of police cars blocking access to the bridges, while masses of people, “normal families,” were rushing towards the center of town. They were carrying aggressive banners displaying homophobic and racist statements, and refused to acknowledge the existence of “gender theory.” Three years earlier I had placed an ad on Facebook encouraging young men and women who felt “different” to contact my studio. We received dozens of replies, from all over the world, like faraway calls wanting to be heard. It was my aim to show them and give them a voice—to acknowledge them. They came to the studio, exposed themselves shyly, and I photographed them just like that.” In the light of current controversial debates on gender theory, Rheims’ models display remarkable courage by questioning, modifying and celebrating their identities.
Published by Steidl. Edited by Patrick Remy. Text by Bettina Rheims.
In Bonkers! A Fortnight in London, Bettina Rheims continues to explore the cities that inspire her. After Paris—featured in many of her books—and Shanghai, Rheims now indulges in the wild eccentricities of London, surrounding herself with models, actresses and other beauties on the go—in between catwalks, concerts and parties. Together the women play with the toys and tools of their trade: fashion accessories and costumes thrown into the mix by none other than Vivienne Westwood, lewd disguises and blatant nudity. Bonkers! is a dim, surreal world of female self-expression and eroticism.