Books | Mags | Articles | Ads | Film

A Book: Rose, c’est Paris
by Bettina Rheims & Serge Bramly

I adore this book. I see it almost every day because it sits under my iMac with its friend, Fraulein by Ellen Von Unwerth on my desk. I was gifted the book by my partner about 9 years ago. It’s big, it’s heavy, it’s plump and the pages have a strange smell.

From the dust jacket of the book:

Bettina Rheims and Serge Bramly’s Rose, c’est Paris is both a photographic monograph and a feature-length film on DVD. 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 manipulations, obsession, fetish and seething desire.

Equal parts fashion shoot, art monograph, metaphysical mystery and social and cultural archeology of the French capital, and neo-noir art-house film – Rose, crest 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, cafes, cabarets, museums, abandoned factories and grand hotels in 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 a host of celebrity figures.

It’s a monograph of the most mysterious and beautiful kind. When paging through it from start to finish (a long slow task for me) one goes into another world. Choosing which were my favourite images to represent their book was very challenging. Represented here are just a few of my favourites…