Hervé Guibert
Modesty and Shame


6 July 23, 9.30 pm

In French with English subtitles

Venue: KW Courtyard

Registration via reservation@kw-berlin.de


<p>Hervé Guibert, <em>Message incompréhensible,</em> 1990; © Christine Guibert/Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.</p>

Hervé Guibert, Message incompréhensible, 1990; © Christine Guibert/Courtesy Les Douches la Galerie, Paris.


In December 1991, artist and writer Hervé Guibert took his own life taking insurgent action against a long and devasting AIDS infection. As the year was coming to a close, Guibert died from the complication of his suicide attempt in the hospital of Clamart. Leading up to his passing, he had been documenting his deterring condition on a daily basis, in the interior of his flat, in conversation with his great aunt, at the countless alienating examinations at the hospital, and on the island Elba—the place he had decided to be laid at rest.


Released posthumous and screened on French television in 1992, La Pudeur ou l’impudeur (Modesty and Shame) compiles these audiovisual documents and shows the last glimpses of Guibert’s fading existence and thin-boned body in a very personal portrait of the artist mirroring his fears, loves, memories, disgusts, and exhaustion.


The screening will happen in the KW courtyard and introduced by Assistant Curator of Hervé Guibert – This and More, Sofie Krogh Christensen.


Artist bio

Hervé Guibert (1955–1991, Paris, France) was an artist, 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 and Louise (1980), Ghost Image (1982), Blindsight (1985), Crazy for Vincent (1989), several of which have recently been translated into English and published by Semiotext(e). His 1990 novel 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.