.from 20 march to 03 june 2018
Bettina Rheims - " You are finished, gentle faces "
Musée du Quai Branly
37 Quai Branly
.site : www.quaibranly.fr
Bettina Rheims is often referred to as a woman photographer of Woman. Women would be more accurate - women who are not reduced to an allegory of beauty or desire, of which we have seen so many since the invention of photography.
Her women are fighting against the reduction of the female to a body constrained by dogmas: Femen defending their freedom. They refuse to accept that the distinction between feminine and masculine cannot be transgressed: transsexuals of Gender studies. They are breaking out from the images in which the entertainment industry has frozen them: heroines who do not seek to seduce but to affirm themselves as they truly are, each according to her life, her age, her history. These are flesh and blood beings, with their own distinctive expressions and characteristics, and not perfect effigies or muses.
Bettina Rheims takes hold of the stereotypes that dominate the representation of women and destabilises them, diverts them and finally, destroys them. She does not invent icons, as they are called today, but celebrates real beings - just as real as those created by the artists of Africa whose statues and masks join them here: frighteningly present bodies, faces intensely alive. Bettina Rheims’ studio, where the polaroids of the Heroines were taken, is filled with other sculptures from Africa and Oceania, sisters of those here. Because here, as in her studio, women from all over the world talk freely amongst themselves.