En Cas De Malheur (Love is My Profession)
Inkjet on watercolour paper
85 x 64 cm
This re-imagining of the 1958 French film, En Cas de Malheur, is based upon a film still which was regarded at the time to be rather naughty in the English speaking world, but sadly I have never had the opportunity to watch the movie. Not that this is a problem, because I have frequently used film stills as the basis of a number of prints previously (1) (2) (3), and despite having a preference for viewing the film upon which the still is based, it is not essential.
Working from a film still is quite different from re-imagining a painting; the process of removing the frame from its sequence in the film has the effect of detaching it from its context, and in that unanchored state it invites a new reading. Stripped of its semantic freight the still can be repurposed, but in the case of En Cas de Malheur the idea was to honour the intent of its source, and to explore and elaborate on its erotic charge.
The sexiness of the image was not my only reason for choosing it; I am an admirer of Georges Simenon, the author of the book upon which the film is based, and I am always happy to watch any film with Brigitte Bardot and Jean Gabin, purely because they appear in it and not necessarily because the film is notable.
In Case of Emergency, Bosley Crowther: New York Times