Muzil, the philosopher, the one friend who is going to die and knows it, lies in hospital saying, "You always think there's something to say about this kind of situation, and now there's nothing to say at all." After Muzil's death, Hervé Guibert walks through the streets singing aloud a Françoise Hardy chanson: "And when I go before you / remember I'm always there / I'll marry myself to the rain and the wind / so I can always caress you." Hervé Guibert has Aids. "I had AIDS for three months," is the first sentence of his novel Dem Freund, der mir das Leben nicht gerettet hat. The last sentence sounds like a beginning: "I finally have my child legs and child arms back." Between these two sentences, Guibert makes an attempt at self-disclosure, an attempt to reveal the self like his blood he feels is "suddenly exposed, bared, naked".

How does infection with a deadly virus change one's relationship to the self and to one's fellow human beings? From Guibert's book we learn about living with the disease and living against death. To see it only as one about AIDS would be a misunderstanding. Rather, the book tells of love and betrayal, touches, friendship and power. Hervé Guibert writes about people whose lives were changed in different ways by HIV: his lover Jules, who was sick with AIDS, Muzil (behind whom Michel Foucault hides), who officially died of cancer in 1984, and Bill, the friend and pharmaceutical manager mentioned in the title, who did not save his life. Again and again, the narrator clings to the promise of a cure and plunges from disappointment into despair.

The writer Guibert, who was born in Paris in 1955 and died there in 1991 - i.e. at a time when the virus came to Europe and one was quickly outcast as a homosexual – was also a photographer. His pictures of objects, rooms and his self-portraits reflect the desire to capture life and give it dignity. Currently, he and his work are being rediscovered in the visual arts and in the discourse on dealing with HIV.

Florian Fischer's theatre production traces the various artistic traces of Hervé Guibert, who lets us participate in what it means to love oneself and others in times of sickness. And to offer oneself to the world: in beauty, self-respect, mortality.

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  • Premiere: 09.09.2022