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Ingrid Film Club / Hervé Guibert: Modesty, or Immodesty at The Horse Hospital

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Time 19:00
Date 30/01/19
Price £5.5

Witness Guibert's 'Modesty, or Immodesty', the prolific writer and photographer's final and only work on film, plus a screening of his first public TV appearance on Apostrophes.

It began in June 1990 as a palliative respite from the agony of still being alive, having delivered his final literary work — Hervé stated on public television that there was no more writing after ‘To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life’, partly as a response to that book’s controversial reception and partly as a reality of his PWA condition. 'Modesty, or Immodesty' came about at producer Pascale Breugnet's invitation to make a film “whose author and subject would be one”. She had witnessed Hervé on public television, in the wake of the infamous revelations, defend his right to tell, expose and sharpen the details of his life and its attendant shamefulness, in as much as it belonged to him and longed to be written. He was a writer for whom the body was the only stable reality and writing the most direct way of encountering it.

‘Modesty, or Immodesty’ was finished in December 1991 but its broadcast was postponed due to the French National AIDS Council's concern over its psychological impact on people living with HIV. Hervé Guibert died on 27th of December 1991. The film was released on TF1 on 30th January 1992.

Hervé Guibert was a writer, critic, photographer and an outspoken figurehead of the AIDS generation in France. His numerous writings redefined the genres of fiction, criticism, autobiography and memoir, and solidified his place in the canon of the first generation of practitioners of autofiction. He was a passionate observer of the destruction of AIDS upon his body and those of his friends and lovers. His output ignited fierce debate on the ethics of secrecy and AIDS in the French public consciousness and helped bring the epidemic to the attention of a wider audience at a time when people infected with the disease were heavily stigmatised. His photographic and filmic work, although lesser known than his writing, can only be seen in the context of his broader artistic project to reimagine how to represent bodies and affects across mediums, from text to photography, film and ‘daily life’.

The film will be preceded by Hervé Guibert’s first public TV appearance on France’s TF1 book programme 'Apostrophes' in 1990, subsequent to a brief introduction from Oscar Gaynor and Alex Bennett, editors of Tinted Window journal, the first issue of which is dedicated to Hervé Guibert. Copies of the journal will be available to browse and purchase on the night.

All proceeds from this event will go to POSITIVELY UK, a peer-led support organisation for people living with HIV.