Video

French Kiss (Transformation)

Maria Legault

2018, 00:59 minutes, Colour, No Dialogue

TAPECODE 971.16

French Kiss is a video tryptic in which the artist depicts the impact of her French-Canadian identity when living as a linguistic minority in Ontario. Moving to Ontario from Quebec brought her to experience ostracism, assimilation, passing and exoticization. These stop-motion performances for the camera use the characters of the princess and the frog to represent some of the psychological dynamics experienced because of this displacement.

In
Transformation, the princess reverses the typical ending of the fairy tale by transforming into a frog. This humorous conclusion evokes the ridicule of asking someone to change for love. It can also be seen as a happy ending in which two frogs revel in the joy of being frogs. However, this reading is problematized by the fact that neither frog is real; one is a stuffed animal and the other is created through a bad costume. The piece thus becomes more about humorous attempts at passing and trying to convince oneself that we find happiness in an identity that is disconnected from our core self.

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