Collage, painting, barbed wire, barricade/fence, fortress, symbols…
This tumultuous and complex model is comprised of a series of enclosures. The outer walls are covered with large collages made from photographic fragments of paintings by David, Delacroix, Raphael and Monet along with old photos of three murals, which represent the three great monotheist religions (Catholic, Judaic, Islamic). One enclosure composed of wooden logs evokes the US, with a photograph of George W. Bush at his pulpit and on the inside an American flag with an eagle. Side by side hang two stills from John Ford’s The Searchers. The interior fenced enclosure flies the small flags of the main European countries and a picture of Hitler; on the ground, a painted image of a tramway in Sarajevo alongside a black model sedan car and a shot from Godard’s Je vous salue Sarajevo. On one of the walls appears a citation from Georges Bataille’s book L’amour d’un être mortel: ‘You say love, but nothing is further from the image of the loved one than that of the State, whose reason is opposed to the sovereign value of love.’ ‘DIEU EST MON DROIT’ [God Is My Right] is written in large letters above the image of a black and white fortress.
Dominique Païni (commissioner and curator of the Pompidou Center exhibition):
“[Godard] shows various forms of concentration, from Fort Apache with a Western film excerpt playing on an iPod screen to the less fictional concentration camp from World War II, with a small allusion to the way in which Europe is indeed founded on something resembling an act of confinement of all the religious, ideological, and imperialist forces we know, a Europe which was supposed to eliminate boarders […] So this is a terrible room. I’m not convinced it needed to be enlarged to a 1:1 human scale in order to walk around it, because the synoptic point of view one gains on it offers, as he [Godard] wishes, a discovery of its content and message in a single glance.
Godard believes that montage should resolve something which is impossible, that is to present various elements in succession, but to be discovered simultaneously. This is something he has always tried to solve through his films, that is to manage to turn something which is made of time and duration, showing one thing after another, into something resembling a painting that can be seen in one glance, perceptible all at once, which is of course impossible. Like all great artists, Godard installs himself in the impossible. Here it’s the same: Godard probably knew that this exhibition was impossible. It is in this impossibility that he grounded himself, and I believe for the better, as this show, including its impossibility, is starting to reveal something tragic, which is also the tragedy of today’s impossible world. What points to the impossibility of producing an exhibition also points to the impossibility of building a functioning world.”