Paul Hitter Exhibition- The Nuances of the abyss @Pitesti Memorial

2017 / Events

2 October/Posted by Paul Hitter

Paul Hitter’s new exhibtion concentrates on the Pitesti Experiment. It’s a theme that followed him through his youth years, when he started his first sketches about the comunist Experiment. Finally, in 2017 he starts developing his early sketches, ending up with 40 rough paintings. The theme is hard, very psychological, as the Experiment itself, proving to be a work of maturity for Paul Hitter.
The exhibition will be held at the Pitesti Memorial, the former prison where the Experiment took place.

About the Pitesti Experiment:
The process involved psychological punishment (mainly through humiliation) and physical torture.

Detainees, who were subject to regular and severe beatings, were also required to engage in torturing each other, with the goal of discouraging past loyalties. Guards would force them to attend scheduled or ad-hoc political instruction sessions, on topics such as dialectical materialism and Joseph Stalin’s History of the CPSU(B) Short Course, usually accompanied by random violence and encouraged delation (demascare, lit. “unmasking”) for various real or invented misdemeanors.
Each subject of the experiment was initially thoroughly interrogated, with torture applied as a mean to expose intimate details of his life (“external unmasking”). Hence, they were required to reveal everything they were thought to have hidden from previous interrogations; hoping to escape torture, many prisoners would confess imaginary misdeeds.The second phase, “internal unmasking”, required the tortured to reveal the names of those who had behaved less brutal or somewhat indulgently towards them in detention.
Public humiliation was also enforced, usually at the third stage (“public moral unmasking”), inmates were forced to denounce all their personal beliefs, loyalties, and values. Notably, religious inmates had to blaspheme religious symbols and sacred texts.
Christian baptism was gruesomely mocked. Guards chanted baptismal rites as buckets of urine and fecal matter were brought to inmates. The inmate’s head was pushed into the raw sewage. His head would remain submerged almost to the point of death. The head was then raised, the inmate allowed to breathe, only to have his head pushed back into the sewage.
Prisoners whole bodies were burned with cigarettes; their buttocks would begin to rot, and their skin fell off as though they suffered from leprosy. Others were forced to swallow spoons of excrement, and when they threw it back up, they were forced to eat their own vomit. The inmates were required to accept the notion that their own family members had various criminal and grotesque features; they were required to author false autobiographies, comprising accounts of deviant behavior.

In addition to physical violence, inmates subject to “reeducation” were supposed to work for exhausting periods in humiliating jobs (for example, cleaning the floor with a rag clenched between the teeth). Inmates were malnourished and kept in degrading and unsanitary conditions. (Wikipedia)

Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1978343435788239/permalink/1980058622283387/?action_history=[%7B%22surface%22%3A%22timeline%22%2C%22mechanism%22%3A%22surface%22%2C%22extra_data%22%3A[]%7D]&pnref=story

Should you be interested in Paul Hitter’s works on the Pitesti Experiment, and are not able to join the show, please mail us at: gallery@paulhitter.com . Photos and Prices of the works will be provided.

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