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Music Box Desert (2023)

The foundation for Music Box Desert (2023) came from watching countless exercise videos from the 1950s. I was fascinated by the outfits worn by women: high heels, dresses, and nylons - hardly ideal for exercising. By wearing costumes of yesteryear and interacting with antiquated items from the past, I am examining how the societal expectations, control of women’s bodies, and emphasis on traditional gender roles faced by women in past eras are issues women around the world still face today.

My costume juxtaposes brightly optimistic colors with stillness of the landscape and the raw desperation of the performance. I chose a hoop skirt as it conceals the unbalance and physical stress endured beneath the surface as I attempt to “twist the fat away” while wearing high heels on a vintage Jack Lalanne Twist Away Twister device. The tune, “Music Box Dancer” continuously starts/stops as I try and fail to successfully utilize the fitness device – attempting to fulfill a gender role and continuously failing.

And yet, the landscape is ever-present and seemingly unchanging, highlighting the absurdity of my efforts.

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