In the video Je Suis Malade (2008), a 10 year-old, long-haired, blond girl is reinterpreting the French chanson Je Suis Malade, originally sung by French singer Dalida (1973). The video, made in one single shot and loop-projected, is filmed in such a way that the performer is standing peacefully in an unidentifiable dark space so that only she is visible. The song’s lyrics refer to a woman experiencing great pain because of unrequited love – a theme that is inappropriate for the pre-adolescent girl. The theme love sickness and the ensuing paralysis contrast with the child’s performance, which amounts to an instrumentalization of the quintessence of youthful innocence for the purposes of visual consumption. Indeed, this blonde girl embodies a generic child attempting to convey a product in both a language and an experience that are foreign to her. This is in and by itself a subtle illustration of the pathology (malady) of our globalized consumerist society.
The idea is to project the video inside a jail cell. The impression is that the girl is behind a cage and she is performing to show herself to the spectator as an animal inside a zoo.
Intensified through violence, confrontation, and war. What is particularly relevant and horrific at the same time is that violence and fear became a need and a form of entertainment.
The idea is to display the video installation in a local shop on the city centre, the commercial destination is not so relevant but ideally it could be a candy shop. In the window shop the work of art is mixed and combined with commercial goods at the same time disturbing and interacting with an unusual context. The viewer doesn’t hear the sound of the video until he/she enters the shop, but when is shopping he/she hears something peaceful, but unusual.
Quotation from the lyrics of the song that is performed in the video
“I am Sick
I don’t dream anymore
I don’t smoke anymore
I don’t have a history anymore
I am dirty without you
I am ugly without you
I am like an orphan in a dormitory
I don’t feel like living my life
My life stops when you leave
I don’t have a life anymore and even my bed
Turns into a platform (of a station)
When you go away
I am sick
Like when my mother went out in the evening
And she left me alone with my despair
Je Suis Malade (1973)
Author / Composer: Serge Lama