isamaya ffrench asks what would jeanne-salomé rochat do?
i-D Beauty Editor Isamaya Ffench talks heaven, hashtags and nail art with Jeanne-Salome Rochat of Sang Bleu magazine.
Photography Matt Lambert
Jeanne-Salome Rochat is a real piece of work, and it would be shortsighted of me to introduce a person who has excited my interests for almost four years now as simply some "beautiful specimen of womankind." She deserves far more astute consideration than what that one-dimensional epithet can offer. Had Jennifer Connelly appeared in Blade Runner, she might have looked something like Jeanne-Salomé - all angles and edges. Like her appearance, her fascinating yet fragmented aesthetic is something that has inspired me ever since I first opened the oversized pages of Sang Bleu, the cult magazine she founded along with her friend and Swiss contemporary, Maxine Buchi. It is an attempt to cast a more mature and artistically discerning eye on undervalued areas of modern subculture such as body modification, tattooing, gender distinction and fetishism. This is the first time I have seen her in a long while, and as she removes her mask to return my greeting I am suddenly disordered by the liquid grey of her avatar-like stare. But I quickly recover and begin...
Picture this: You're at the pearly gates and people are queuing to get in. It turns out that God is only letting in people he follows on Instagram. You check your profile and realise the almighty isn't following you! There's just enough time to put up one final post (Heaven has excellent wifi) to get God to follow you back. It needs to be a pic that perfectly sums you up. What kind of pic would you put up and would you add a hashtag or filter?
Oh là là! How did I end up at the pearly gates again? I'm not sure I even want to get in! But since I'm here I think I would probably opt for something spontaneous and simple, like a photo showing my shoes and a bit of my legs. Maybe with the people around me too so that God understands I'm patiently queuing. I'd also add a Valencia filter and in order for God to not mistake the simplicity of my image for carelessness I would also hashtag: #deargod #idontbelievebutidohope #utility #dignity #notranscendence #wholetraditions #comfort #cosmonautsoftheeroticfuture (my favourite hashtag of all time) #levitationplease #sacredfaces #dirtyfeet #hopetoseeyou #facetoface #waytoobig #waytoosmall #nohorizon #endoftime #showmeyourdeads #pillowtalkplease #wineintobloodplease #ok
Question two: I was walking through a cemetery with my assistant once when he suddenly turned to me and exclaimed that when he dies, he wants "Weeping virgins carved from marble to be placed in a circle around his grave." What would your ideal tombstone look like?
Not for me! I wouldn't want anyone, even made of marble, to cry on my grave. I'm a great crier myself and if I was dying I would already have cried more than enough tears for what my life is worth. But if I had to pick words to remain on top of the void, the absence, maybe I would selfishly put: "Join me?"
Is there anything you would want to leave behind? An artwork you haven't done yet, a book, a bloodline?
Materialism in general attracts me. I love houses, buildings and big urban constructions. I love marble and metals. My bloodline was fucked up a generation ago, so I might leave behind a new one, though highly bastardised. But seriously, the true problem is that real life is absent of meaning. We don't know anything about God or his guestlists, and there is nothing we can do about it. It is absent because we are constantly driven to ask ourselves questions about eternity, and about creation, and how the world works and how it's going to end. Even art and literature doesn't help me understand it. It might bring some more questions… Maybe some remission, but no salvation.
MoMA have offered you an exhibition space of 1m x 1m. It's up to you to choose what you want to exhibit, but the catch is this - it will only be on display for five minutes. What would you display to get the greatest artistic value whilst also making sure it reaches the widest audience?
I would fill the 1m x 1m with an invitation to come to another place the day after!
Genius! Here's another: Your head is to be severed and mounted above the gates of the city as a warning to other members of the resistance. How would you do your makeup that morning?
I would totally go Au Naturale! Whenever I think too hard about it I end up not doing anything… Pressure doesn't work like that on my style. If I'm worth anything, I might as well go as I am.
You encounter a hostile alien race with an inability to see colour, so your dazzling appearance has no effect on their sympathies. Sound is their only mechanism for communication, what would you play to inspire them to spare you and the rest of the human race?
A Hardstyle track made with a Terry Riley instrumental.
I notice your nails are extremely long and you have a talent for nail art. What are the limitations to your nail art designs?
There is a clear distinction between the nails I wear myself and the ones I build for pictures. The first ones are totally functional and custom-made according to my situation, the second ones are much more context-specific, but meant to suggest other layers of reality. #cosmonautsoftheeroticfuture
Text Isamaya Ffrench and Josh Wilks
Photography Matt Lambert