Art Edition limited to just 100 signed and numbered copies, each with the numbered
original C-print Rose, c’est Paris, 2009, 30 x 40 cm (11.8 x 15.8 in.), Harman Photo-Barythpaper,
signed by Bettina Rheims.
Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly’s Rose, c’est Paris is both a photographic monograph
and a feature-length film on DVD. This extraordinary work of art, in two different
but interlocking and complimentary formats, defies easy categorization. For in this
multi-layered opus of poetic symbolism, photographer Bettina Rheims and writer Serge
Bramly evoke the City of Light in a completely novel way: this is a Paris of surrealist
visions, confused identities, artistic phantoms, unseen manipulation, obsession,
fetish, and seething desire.
Equal parts erotica, fashion shoot, art monograph, metaphysical mystery, social and
cultural archaeology of the French capital, and neo-noir arthouse film—Rose, c’est
Paris is the steamy tale of twin sisters, known only as B and Rose, and a third principal—the
city itself. An abduction leads to a detective story that unfolds in the streets,
cafés, cabarets, museums, abandoned factories, and grand hotels of Paris. What happened
to the missing sister? Was there a plot? Was she really kidnapped? Is she alive or
dead? Is it in fact a case of mistaken identity? Rheims and Bramly create a series
of extraordinary tableaux suggesting all these possibilities and many more, featuring
a host of celebrity figures including Naomi Campbell, Michelle Yeoh, Monica Bellucci,
Charlotte Rampling, Valérie Lemercier, Inès Sastre, Anna Mouglalis, Audrey Marnay,
Anthony Delon, Rona Hartner, Jean-Pierre Kalfon, Azzedine Alaïa, Louise Bourgoin,
and Hélèna Noguerra.
Fetishistically boxed up in a retro attaché case are souvenirs of this curious tale:
a rose, a mask, an Eiffel Tower statuette (perhaps a murder weapon?), a booklet,
a DVD, and of course the photo book itself. Invoke your inner detective: set the
case before you, flip open the rusty latches, and devour the evidence....