Hervé Guibert (1955–1991), a French writer and photographer, began developing a double artistic practice in 1977. In 1988, he discovers he has HIV and his literary and photographic works begin to reflect each other in an attempt to tell the story of a disease whose progression proves uncontrollable and ultimately fatal. Hervé Guibert then undertakes an intensive self-examination of his body and of the changes imposed on it by the disease, using both writing and images (photography and video). At the same time, he carries out a theoretical reflection on the limits of the image and on the limits of writing, both complementing each other in an attempt to convey the experience of disease. His work thus offers a valuable ground for exploring the relationship between literature, photography and the story of disease and, most of all, the need to resort to these two modes of expression in order to communicate the intimate experience of illness. In Hervé Guibert, this experience can be understood through the tension between unveiling and exposing oneself. While the former is creative, the latter seems to be the result of the illness loss of control. This article aims to analyze this dialectical tension in light of three artistic mediums used by Guibert.
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