HIT ME ONE MORE TIME
Exhibition: 10 Mar – 29 Apr 2018
Sat 10 Mar 11:00
CNA Centre national de l'audiovisuel
1b, rue du Centenaire
HIT ME ONE MORE TIME
Exhibition: 10 March ‐ 29 April, 2018
Opening, Saturday March 10th at 11.00 am at DISPLAY01
In recent years, Patrick Galbats undertook a series of trips to Hungary, travelling the length and breadth of the country to weave a narrative with multiple points of entry. One starting point was his Hungarian grandfather, Imre Miklos Galbats, who was forced to flee his native land in 1944, to become a stateless refugee who even scribbled the Hungarian national anthem into his passport. For Patrick Galbats this was the beginning of an immersive exploration of his Hungarian family roots, an enterprise that would rapidly come face to face with the complex history of a country in constant transition and with the gradual resurgence of nationalism since the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Adopting a long-term approach, nourished with Hungarian poetry and literature, Patrick Galbats has criss-crossed this multi-layered topography to build - through the prism of his own history - a visual narrative that comprises three sections.
The opening sequence is a series of infamous landscapes along the Serbo-Hungarian border, which, with the building of a 175 kilometre-long fence, embody Hungary's political refusal to welcome refugees onto its soil. Contrary to the often stigmatizing images shown by the media, here the migrant crisis is evoked not by showing the faces of refugees, but by showing the instruments of this political violence: surveillance cameras, barbed wire fences, observation posts, border checkpoints...
From these cracked edges, Patrick Galbats continues his exploration across towns and villages highlighting settings that take us back and forth in time, revealing dominant beliefs and ideologies. Monuments, turuls, multinational banners, flags, religious symbols, hussars, commemoration marches, tattoos, farmsteads, and socialist-style buildings permeate – to a more or less unexpected degree - the landscape and those who live in it. From the nostalgia for a Greater Hungary – to the resurgence of the Fascist threat, the succession of images tangibly points up an amalgam that is emerging at another level fueled by movements who readily exploit underlying fears such as the dilution of national identity, Islamic terrorism and the impact of globalization on living standards.
A third section – which unfolds in a more encyclopaedic fashion – attempts to decode this compact of signs and symbols – ranging from the anecdotic to the analytical – by way of a compilation of twelve photos accompanied by texts written by the journalist Joël Le Pavous.
Beyond a simple act of description, Patrick Galbats' "Hit me one more time" addresses the human condition in a changing world more as a questioning of our own blinkered viewpoint in the face of a spectacle fraught with consequences.