Bettina Rheims

Presentations of three emblematic projects: Détenues, La Chapelle, Rose c'est Paris

08 October 05 December 2021

Curators : Carole Sandrin and Gabrielle de la Selle
in collaboration with Bettina Rheims and Gwénaëlle Petit-Pierre 

In June 2021, Bettina Rheims donated her entire archives to the Institut pour la photographie (negatives, contact sheets, preparatory drafts, paper ar- chives, exhibition prints, final prints, press, publications, record covers, etc…). In this context the Institut is pleased to present three emblematic projects from Bettina Rheims’s career, which include commissions and personal approaches that reveal her attitude to portraits and the importance of staging. 

Rose c’est Paris, 2010
Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly
Rose c’est Paris is an initiatory journey into an intimate Paris, as depicted by Bettina Rheims’ lens as part of a story conceived along with Serge Bramly. The two authors conceived together a series of scenes, like tableaux vivants: a young woman, B. is looking for Rose, her twin sister, who she claims has vanished. The Institut pour la photographie is now offering an investigation putting in perspective the photographer’s archives with the final images of her personal project which mark an important step in the artist’s career. 

Détenues, 2014
With Détenues (Female Inmates), produced in 2014, she confronts imprisoned women and uses photography to reconstitute their individuality. With the encouragement of Robert Badinter, Bettina Rheims produced a series of portraits of women incarcerated in four French prisons. This series of 50 portraits, her most recent personal project, was presented in the Sainte-Chapelle of the Château de Vincennes. 

La Chapelle, 2018-2021
La Chapelle is an immersive installation that the photographer developed in 2018 by revisiting the works resulting from her collaboration with the American men’s magazine Details from 1994 to 1997. Working with the designer Bill Mullen, and having been given complete creative freedom, she depicted an underground, scandalous L.A. Most of these irreverent images have become iconic, blurring the border between art and commissions. Among the cinema and B-movie actresses are a few men, a rare occurrence in the work of Bettina Rheims, who prefers to focus on issues of femininity. 

+ Discover the virtual visit of the photographer’s studio