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Moyra Davey, Hervé Guibert, Heinz Peter-Knes, Jason Simon, Danh Vo, Francesca Woodman, Rona Yefman

To The Friends Who Saved My Life

Opening: Sunday, May 19, 6–8pm

May 19 – June 21, 2013

A photograph of 2 framed black and white photographs
A photograph of 4 black and white images, framed in black, in a square formation
A photograph of 2 images in a row, framed in black. The left image is in color, the right is black and white
A photograph of 9 images on a white wall. At left is the window of the gallery looking outside
A photograph of a book on a table with a framed red photograph above it.
An photograph of an open binder with a single black and white photograph.
A photograph of 2 black and white photographs, framed.
A photograph of 10 image, framed, hung salon style in the gallery.
A straight-on photograph of 8 black and white images, framed, in a salon hang.
A view of the gallery from the front, with images installed salon-style throughout.
A photograph of 3 images, framed in black installed on a white wall.
A photograph of an open binder with a single black and white photograph on top.
A black and white photograph of Michel Foucault in a doorway, dressed in a kimono
Black and white photograph os papers and contact sheets on a table top
An image in red and black of a boy's face, framed in black
6 small photographs enclosed within a black frame
6 small photographs enclosed within a black frame
A black and white photograph of a bottle on a table amid other kitchen accessories.
A black and white photograph of a bottle on a table.

Press Release

“…I’m beginning a new book to have a companion, someone with whom I can talk, eat, sleep, at whose side I can dream and have nightmares, the only friend whose company I can bear at the moment.”
         --Hervé Guibert

        To The Friends Who Saved My Life,
     …an exhibition prompted by the introduction of Francesca Woodman’s work to Heinz Peter-Knes and Danh Vo. They in turn suggested a parallel to Hervé Guibert, unknown to us at the time. About a year later, we learned that Nightboat Books, the companion enterprise to Callicoon Fine Arts, was newly engaged with Guibert translations, a publication plan that in turn prompted the gallery to introduce Guibert’s photographs to an American audience. Shared images and writings closed a circle that we hadn’t known of before, including our own works, those of Rona Yefman, an Israeli photographer living in New York, Heinz, Danh, and a single Francesca Woodman, as our starting point.

     Guibert’s best known book, To the Friend Who Did Not Save My Life, is a memoir of crisis and roller-coaster years of rushing between doctors and lovers. With extraordinary recall and dispassion, that is, with a photographic voice, even towards his own diagnosis and decline, Guibert maps the early years of the AIDS crisis. In those times when human friends became “friend[s] whose company I can bear at the moment,” perhaps it was photography that eased them through the door.

     Among the many formal similarities between Woodman and Guibert, it should be noted that both spent time living and photographing in Rome, where Heinz and Danh were recently in residence, and that the images Woodman and Guibert made there are steeped in its light and shadows. Rona Yefman did not know of Guibert, but she was known to us through her extended photo essay on her brother, and through a pair of striking one-minute films. Moyra’s bottles, Jason’s Polaroids and Rona’s sibling study, all keep the images close to home. Danh and Guibert absorb the Villa Medici residence through its physical effects upon its residents, past and present: the erotics of place carry by association, the knowledge of who was there before. So too does Heinz’s discovery of his own face plastered on the red-lit bathroom wall of a bar, and in his portfolio of black and white prints. Seemingly following an order that appeared in the unedited rolls of 35mm film, flared end frames included, Heinz’s box of prints return us back to the place of the photographer sorting the moments of seeing.
        -Jason and Moyra


Callicoon Fine Arts is pleased to present To The Friends Who Saved My Life, a group exhibition organized by Jason Simon and Moyra Davey on the work of Hervé Guibert. Please join us for an opening reception on Sunday, May 19th from 6 to 8pm. The exhibition runs through June 21.

Hervé Guibert (1955-1991) was a French photographer and writer. A critic for Le Monde, he was the author of some thirty books. In 2011, Guibert’s photographs were the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris. His posthumously published journals, The Mausoleum of Lovers, will receive their first English translation by Nightboat Books in 2014.

Moyra Davey (b. 1958 Ontario, Canada, lives in New York) has been the subject of two recent retrospectives: Long Life Cool White, at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (2008), and Speaker Receiver, at the Kunsthalle Basel (2010). Her work was featured in the 2011 New Photography exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Biennial, 2012. A solo show, Hangmen Of England, opens at Tate Liverpool in June 2013.

Heinz Peter Knes (b. 1969, Gemünden am Main, Germany) is a photographic artist who studied at Fachhochschule Dortmund. Recently published works include: Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, and IMU/UR2, on the collections of Martin Wong, both 2013. In 1998 he co-founded the photofanzine, Strahlung. 2012 exhibitions include a solo show at Galeria Quadrado Azul, Porto, and group exhibitions at Galerie Daniel Bucholz and the Cobra Museum of Modern Art in the exhibition Gewoon Anders/ Just Different. Knes has lived in Berlin since 2001.

Jason Simon (b. 1961, Boston) established the Art & Technology lab at the Wexner Center for the Arts and currently teaches at the College of Staten Island. He exhibited with the Pat Hearn Gallery from 1994–1999 and with American Fine Arts. He is a co-curator of Tell It To My Heart: Collected by Julie Ault, at the Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, and Culturgest, Lisbon. Currently, the One Minute Film Festival, which Simon co-hosted with Moyra Davey for the past ten years, is on view at Mass MoCA. Most recently his work was included in Looking Back, The 7th White Columns Annual and in 2012 he had a one-person exhibition at Callicoon Fine Arts.

Danh Vo (b. 1975 in Vietnam) was the winner of the Hugo Boss Prize in 2012. In honor of this award a solo exhibition of Vo’s work is currently on exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum, New York (through May 27, 2013). Recent solo exhibitions include Chung ga opla, Villa Medici, Rome, (2013); Mother Tongue at Marian Goodman Gallery; We the People, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, (2012); Autoerotic Asphyxiation, Artists Space, New York (2010); Where the Lions Are, Kunsthalle Basel, Basel (2009). He will have solo exhibitions at the Museion in Bolzano and the ARC, Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, this month.

Francesca Woodman (1958–1981) began photographing at the age of 13 and enrolled at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in 1975. After a year spent in Rome and completing her degree, she moved to New York, where, in 1981 at the age of 22, she committed suicide. In 2012, a comprehensive survey of the artist’s photographic output toured internationally, including SFMOMA and the Guggenheim.

Rona Yefman was born in Israel, and currently lives and works in New York City. She received her MFA from Columbia University in 2009 and her BFA from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in 1999. Her recent exhibitions include one-person shows at Participant Inc., Sculpture Center, NY, Derek Eller Gallery, NY, and Sommer Contemporary, TLV.  Recent group exhibitions include the La Mep Museum, Paris, The Jewish Museum, NY, Ronald Feldman Fine Art, NY, Kunsthalle Wien, Austria, MoCA Cleveland, Ohio, Tel Aviv Museum of Art and Lombard Fried Project, NY. Yefman’s first photography book, Rebel, Rebel, will be publish this year by Little Big Man Books, San Francisco, with an essay by Moyra Davey. 

Nightboat Books, a nonprofit organization, seeks to develop audiences for writers whose work resists convention and transcends boundaries, by publishing books rich with poignancy, intelligence, and risk. The press has published books of poetry and prose by many writers, including Etel Adnan, Caroline Bergvall, Tim Dlugos, Stacy Doris, Kathleen Fraser, Edouard Glissant, Rob Halpern, Michael Heller, Leland Hickman, Fanny Howe, Bhanu Kapil, Myung Mi Kim, Dawn Lundy Martin, Nathanaël, Bern Porter, and Gail Scott. In Spring 2014, Nightboat Books will publish Hervé Guibert's journals, The Mausoleum of Lovers, translated by Nathanaël.

Callicoon Fine Arts was founded in 2009 by Photi Giovanis in the upstate New York town of Callicoon as a seasonal, weekend-only gallery. In 2011 the gallery moved to the Lower East Side and assumed full time hours. In 2014 the gallery will host an exhibition of photographs by Hervé Guibert, timed to coincide with the publication of his journals by Nightboat Books.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 12 to 6pm. Callicoon Fine Arts is located at 124 Forsyth Street, between Delancey and Broome Streets. The nearest subway stops are the B and D trains at Grand Street and the F, J, M and Z trains at Delancey-Essex Street.

For additional information please contact Photi Giovanis at 212 219 0326 or at

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