Friday, 12 July 2013

The Mausoleum of Lovers

This week my friend, illustrator Iris Hatzfeld, introduced me to the multi-talent that was Hervé Guibert. Raised in a Parisian bourgeois family, Guibert made a name for himself as a photographer, novelist, and critic.

Jeanne d'Arc, 1983

Major influences were proto-Beatnik Jean Genet and close friend Michel Foucault. This is visible in much of Guibert's work, which is permeated by shadows (in all the senses of the term) and fragility. His is creation fuelled by an obsession with love and that curiously gay penchant for abjection.

"The secret of the other shall be my secret. And this face which stares at me can very well decompose: it is already dead."

Guibert died of AIDS in 1991, shortly after writing "To The Friend Who Did Not Save My Life" which changed France's opinion of the epidemic. Read an extract from his posthumously published journals The Mausoleum of Lovers here. It's like his photos: notions of happiness, obscured. 
Thanks for that, Iris. 

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