Hervé Guibert, Self Image
On the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of Hervé Guibert's death, Les Douches la Galerie is presenting a new solo exhibition from November 17, 2021 to February 5, 2022. Through a selection of self-portraits, this exhibition seeks to reflect on his inner world and to explore autofiction in photography.
Hervé GuibertFrédérique Chapuis, Télérama Sortir, 26 January 2022 This link opens in a new tab.
Hervé Guibert, l’écrivain qui écrivait sur la photographieLaure Etienne, Blind, 18 January 2022
Hervé Guibert, the writer, has published numerous novels, short stories and collections of articles; simultaneously, with his little Rollei 35, he’s photographed his world - his friends, his loves, his great-aunts, his desirable monsters, his holiday and travel spots, his apartment and himself.
Very early on, before he began publishing books, he made many series of self-portraits that remained as contact sheets. Then, as his works began to take shape, the self-portraits cropped up, interspersed amongst them: a self-portrait with his great-aunts, ‘Moi’ in Le Seul visage, a self-portrait in his room, in bed, in the mirror. Is he questioning or revealing himself?
With the exception of two Polaroids, he made no self-portraits during the last two years of his life, but isn’t his film Modesty and Shame really his final self-portrait?
In L’Image de soi ou l’injonction de son beau moment, published in 1988 by Éditions Blake and Co, Guibert to some degree answers his questions:
‘Why the hell do we continue to pillory narcissism? How did a charming, serious noun take on such a trivial, pejorative meaning?
‘Don’t painters who for the entirety of their active years never shy away from snapping their own noggin, in addition to other people’s, don’t they do that to pass down a vainglorious gleam, the flattering assurance of posthumous admiration?
‘What we put down as narcissism, isn’t that the smallest form of interest we should bring to accompany our soul in its transformations?’
Through this exhibition of thirty-five self-portraits, Les Douches la Galerie brings you into this singular world of Guibert’s.
Let’s not forget this final little touch of self-deprecation summing it up, which can be found in the text entitled ‘Texte pour Arles’ [‘Text for Arles’]:
‘At home, I always keep a bottle of champagne and a roll of tri X film in case I come across a handsome boy in the street who is kind enough to follow me. Then I open the bottle of champagne, to make him drink ,and wind up the camera, to photograph him. But I never meet handsome boys, or else they’re not kind enough to follow me. So on some sad evenings, I imbibe the champagne alone and in the event a dying ray of sunlight happens to dazzle me in the mirror, the available film is as kind to my face as the bubbly wine: they are both prone to the same happiness and the same sadness.’