Falling Down: A Ballet for My Bedroom by Elizabeth Milton (2014)
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Falling Down: A Ballet for My Bedroom
Artist: Elizabeth Milton
Falling Down: A Ballet for My Bedroom is a video work in which Milton staged and performed the gaudy decadence of an emotional breakdown within her own personal bedroom. The video focusses on a female character dusting figurines, fluffing and arranging an absurd amount of pillows and eventually destroying them amid dramatic crescendos of falling down. Pushing the melodramatic tone of the work towards the fantastic, the character soon discovers that an extravagant feather boa has emerged out of the thick pile of feathers that surround her. Utilizing a soundtrack pulled from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the work explores the tensions between spontaneity and choreography, catharsis and theatricality. Investigating the absurd beauty of melodrama and the tragic-comic tensions of female “hysteria”, this work is the second in Milton’s Breakdown series (which also includes: Cotton Candy Insulation Keeps You Warm and Cuts Like Glass, 2014).
Excerpt of by Falling Down: A Ballet for My Bedroom by Elizabeth Milton:
Elizabeth Milton Biography:
Elizabeth Milton is a Vancouver-based performance and media artist who utilizes character-play to investigate constructions of identity and affective expression. Exploring the performative experience of inhabiting fictional personas, Milton adopts characters scripted by the heightened fantasies and garish excesses of popular culture as well as the more intimate landscape of her daily life. Often involving amateur and professional performers, her video and photo-based works aim to critically investigate the possibilities and tensions inherent in collaboration. Throughout her practice participants have included: family members, actors, hypnotists, psychiatrists, students, musicians and fellow artists. Drawing from acting methods, psychoanalytic theory and comedy, her work explores how strategies of self-transformation may be used to challenge and articulate the distorted sense of reality that consumes our culture of simulation.
Milton holds an MFA in Studio Art from the University of British Columbia (2007) and a BFA in Visual Art from Simon Fraser University (2003). She instructs courses in Studio Art at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University and Langara College in Vancouver, BC.