11 April 2012 - Short Message

Modern lovers seen at the #photographic work '#Gender Studies' by Bettina Rheims at NRW-Forum #Düsseldorf (21 April - 17 May 2012)

The NRW-Forum in Düsseldorf presents the photo-sound installation 'Gender Studies' by Bettina Rheims from 21 April until 17 May 2012. The photos show people who feel 'different' in poses which remember martyrs. Their images are installed in a space with 'sound'-circle - the circle is filled with hypnotic sound of their voices. The work is the result of Bettina Rheims' research on the changing view on androgyny bodies and transgender from the 1980ies during the hardest times of AIDS and how the 'third sex' is experienced today.

Therefore Rheims used Facebook where she posted photos from the 1980ies (such as the first image Kate Moss ever shot) and invited users to interact. Bettina Rheims met 27 of these users in her studio and captured not only their faces and bodies - which are styled by designer Jean Colonna into celestial creatures alike 'Modern Lovers', but also their voices in collaboration with sound artist Frédéric Sanchez.

"– 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”– While we were “Skyping”, I got taken away by their voices, and the words they used. Voices that cannot be desguised very long, that broke during our conversations, going back to their original nature." explains Bettina Rheims the project 'Gender Studies' on nrw-forum.de.

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