You're Hysterical

Lauren Fournier

2014, 05:31 minutes, colour, English

TAPECODE 2075.03

In this conceptual music video, the artist performs for the camera, lip synching to a track of the same name that she created. The repetition of the utterance “You’re hysterical” is deliberately ambiguous: on the one hand, it might be interpellating the listener or the performer as “mad,” as “mentally ill,” or as otherwise unruly or inappropriate, while on the other hand it might be saying that someone is funny. As someone with a lived experience of mental illness— and who has been both a ‘consumer’ and a front-line social worker in Canada’s mental health institutions— Fournier’s performance is grounded in a feminist politics of critical disability and madness. There is a long history of feminist writers and artists engaging with the history of hysteria, and I contextualize my practice in this history. As a conceptual music video and as a looping, upbeat dance track, You’re Hysterical is both celebratory and sad, reflective and rejuvenating.

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