Bettina Rheims

Apr 24, 2012


It is twenty years ago when Bettina Rheims showed her works „Modern Lovers“ and „Les Espionnes“ – a body of work on androginy and transgender shot during the hardest times of aids.

With her current photographs, Rheims investigates if things were different today in the world of gender, from the eighties. Her current exhibition at NRW-Forum Düsseldorf is hence named Gender Studies.

She opened a Facebook profile, showing a few of these early pictures (among them the first image Kate Moss ever shot) with a message encouraging people who felt “different” to get in touch with the Studio.
Bettina Rheims “Skyped” with young boys and girls from all over the world, who told her the most beautiful stories about their lives. There was nothing pathetic or sad in their stories, just a feeling of being different. A lot of them knew from childhood, that they were born in the wrong body and had decided, many with the help of their parents, to correct the original mistake. Rheims says: „But what struck me as being completely new, were the ones who refused to choose between the two options, and had decided to live using both identities. Depending on the day, the mood; why not have it all ?“ In Australia, last autumn, for the first time, someone got the mention “X” on his/her passport, recognizing for the very first time the existance of a “third sex.”

Rheims had 27 of them, who came to the studio from all over the world and worked with her.

NRW-Forum Kultur und Wirtschaft

April 21st – May 17th, 2012
Ehrenhof 2
40479 Düsseldorf