Hervé Guibert: This and More
Curated by Anthony Huberman
Hervé Guibert: This and More, curated by Anthony Huberman has been produced in collaboration with CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco, an exhibition featuring a selection of photographs by the French writer, journalist and photographer Hervé Guibert (1955-1991). While the photographic work of Guibert is generally associated with portraiture, in this case the exhibition explores a body of works in which he instead captures the absence of the physical body: the images do not contain faces, but inanimate objects, interiors and domestic spaces laden with memories and emotions that suggest the presence of people behind the scenes.
In Guibert’s view, a good photograph is not necessarily one that makes a person or a place visible, but one that is “faithful to the memory of my emotion”. Laconic and reserved, the photographs shown in the exhibition offer an approach to the portrait in which what counts is what is lacking in the picture: charged with feelings of love but also traumatic aspects, these interiors prompt us to imagine the people who lived inside them. The works lay bare the most intimate aspects of the artist, while at the same time conserving the detachment of private moments in which the protagonists are kept secluded or tragically distant, outside the framing of the image. Rather than seeking an objective sense of truth, the exhibition underscores everything that is subjective and invisible in a photograph, in which memories, anecdotes and absences are layered.
Very well-known in France, where his work contributed to raise public awareness on the theme of AIDS, Guibert had a special relationship with Italy. A lover of the cinema of Pasolini, Fellini and Antonioni, he spent long periods of time on the island of Elba, where he wrote many texts during the course of his life. He also lived in Rome, from 1987 to 1989 in residence at Villa Medici, after which he extended his stay into the following year.
On March 9 2023 at 6.30 pm, there will be a conversation with Anthony Huberman, Luca Lo Pinto and Emanuele Trevi.
HERVÉ GUIBERT (Paris, 1955 – 1991) was a novelist, photographer, and photography critic. He published his first book, Propaganda Death, when he was 22 years old, in 1977. That same year, he began writing a column about photography for Le Monde, and worked as the newspaper’s chief photo critic until 1985, writing about artists, writers, and philosophers such as Patrice Chéreau, Roland Barthes, Isabelle Adjani, Michel Foucault, Miquel Barceló, and Sophie Calle. Between 1977 and his premature death in 1991, he wrote more than twenty-five novels and short narratives, always in the first person, including Suzanne et Louise (Suzanne and Louise) (1980), L’Image fantôme (Ghost Image) (1982), Des aveugles (Blindsight) (1985), Fou de Vincent (Crazy for Vincent) (1989). His 1990 novel À l’ami qui ne m’a pas sauvé la vie (To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life) brought him media acclaim and public notoriety as it was a thinly veiled portrait of his friend Michel Foucault and played a significant role in changing public attitudes in France toward AIDS. In 1992, French television posthumously screened La Pudeur ou l’impudeur, a film Guibert made of himself as he lost his battle against AIDS. Guibert’s photographs were the subject of a retrospective at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris in 2011 and at the Loewe Foundation in Madrid in 2019. Other recent solo exhibitions have been presented at Callicoon Fine Arts in New York (2014 and 2019), Galerie Les Douches in Paris (2018, 2020, 2021), Kristina Kite Gallery in Los Angeles (2018), and Galerie Felix Gaudlitz in Vienna (2020).
The 9 March talk will be held in italian, in the ARRHYTHMICS section.
The exhibition will travel to the KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (9 June – 20 August, 2023).
Special thanks to Christine Guibert and to Françoise Morin, Les Douches la Galerie, as well as Photi Giovanis at Callicoon Fine Arts.
The exhibition is promoted by Roma Culture and Azienda Speciale Palaexpo.
Curator: Anthony Huberman
Curatorial Coordinator: Matteo Binci
Production Coordinator: Giulia Caruso
Production Assistant: Eloisa Magiera
Art Handlers: Carlo Giannone, Fabio Pennacchia, Matteo Pompili