She Was Once Miss Rimini
Here the Swiss performance artist Manon asks through her fictitious MISS RIMINI how time, social trends, and cultural consensus shape the individual.
1st edition, 2005
128 pages, 57 color illustrations
15 x 20 cm
One of the first Swiss performance artists, Manon has fashioned a career for herself out of the identities of others. Whether exploring the limits of gender or the beauty of decay, Manon—through her personas, installations, and performance pieces—continually foregrounds the instability of place and self. In She Was Once MISS RIMINI, one of her most brutal and touching projects, she literally depicts imagined futures for an aging beauty queen.
Each exquisite image in this pictorial essay teases out the possible paths Miss Rimini—an alter-ego for Manon who “happened” upon a beauty pageant in the early 1970s and walked away with the crown—could have taken. A small-town diva? A hypersensitive viola player? Perhaps even a psychiatric patient?
She Was Once MISS RIMINI is a trenchant meditation on the art, or artifice, of growing older. Costume, lipstick, lighting, attitude—all aspects of self-presentation are in concert here with quiet critiques of social and economic systems that limit the options for older women. Accompanied by an enlightening introduction by art theorist Brigitte Ulmer, She Was Once MISS RIMINI is the first and only documentation of Miss Rimini, and one of the first books in English on Manon.