Les palais des monstres désirables
Curators: Christine Guibert and Agathe Gaillard
Opening on September 6 from 6 to 9 pm
After presenting some of Hervé Guibert’s photographs in the collective exhibit Autoportaits [Self-Portraits] in 2014, we are pleased to dedicate a solo exhibit to him that brings together nearly sixty original prints. The exhibit is curated by Christine Guibert and Agathe Gaillard.
These photographs were taken in 1978 at museums in Italy and France: La Specola in Florence, the Museum of the National Veterinary School in Maisons-Alfort, and the Grévin Museum and the Musée de l’homme in Paris. Most of the photographs are being exhibited here for the first time.
IN THE PALACES OF INVITING MONSTERS
Hervé Guibert took these photographs in several museums in France and Italy during the 1970s.
Some of the photos were published during Guibert’s lifetime, in 1990, in his book Vice, published by Jacques Bertoin, to accompany a series of short texts from his youth. The book was then reissued in identical format by Gallimard in 2013 in their L’Arbalète collection.
All of the prints are originals, they are generally unique and rare to exhibits (a few prints were shown at the MEP in 2011).
Agathe Gaillard et Christine Guibert
‘Vice constitutes a double collection …, on the one hand are “personal articles” … on the other are places along “a path” (from a children’s cemetery to the palace of inviting monsters). Vice is in the meticulousness, the suspended irony that accompanies acts of excess centered mostly on bodies, wrought by often minute, unexpected desires whose cruelty also derives from the fact that these desires do not seem to belong to any character and are akin to an expectation of possible fictions.’
Raymond Bellour, Le Magazine Littéraire, October 1991
The city, the State, will henceforth provide a certain number of vacant spaces for the sole purpose of small, libertine acts of vice, truly luxurious in the waste of time that they will afford citizens.
Accessories, sets will be installed along certain streets, in vacant lots, razed houses, in theatres that appear deserted but are secretly maintained. Fake nights coming after fake heatwaves, temporal exoticism of varying scope creating an entire playful, excessively mobile, path in the city. Other places created from the ground up will disappear once the void has been consummated: they will be like traps, but pleasure traps; some connoisseurs will build them up illicitly according to their own fantasies and will hide while waiting for someone to come and honour their imagination. Vice will become a free public service. The State will institute contests that reward the creators of architecture and of never-before-seen machines of vice.
Hervé Guibert, excerpt from Vice, L’arbalète, Gallimard, 1991