On the Boards (OtB) presents the latest solo pieces from performance artist Michelle Ellsworth - The Monkey Saddle and Ed:The Word Made Dress, January 12-16, 8pm and January 15, 2pm at the Behnke Center for Contemporary Performance (OtB) studio theater. Ellsworth returns to OtB with two companion pieces integrating two outfits/sculptures that solve problems with new media, humor, animation, text and music. In ED: The Word Made Dress, she dons a 200 lb dress that she believes can solve psychological, dietary, and democratic problems. In The Monkey Saddle (a world premiere) she wears a Velcro midi monkey suit whose many problem-solving functions include the ability to trigger a musical and video animated sex organ.
In ED… Ellsworth turns the dress she is wearing inside out and brings forth a myriad of objects that can help solve a variety of problems, thereby providing an alternative to traditionally ineffective coping devices. Part demonstration, part infomercial and part stand-up comedy Ellsworth’s quest for solutions through ED… reveals philosophical queries through funny witticisms.
After an intermission, Ellsworth will perform her newest piece The Monkey Saddle. In this piece she attempts to add meaning to life by creating a self-sufficient world equipped with several animated films, three pieces of furniture, and a Velcro midi monkey suit. This problem-solving attire is capable of triggering a video image of her “culturally postulated super human agent”, as well as providing musical and video accompanist for her ritual reenactment of her original “peak experience”.
Ellsworth’s many projects include The Video Libraries, a collection of motivational videos with titles such as Differentiating From Dad, Pap Smear, Make the Phone Call, Accordion Neophyte, Interpersonal Conflict, Procrastination, and Don’t Cut Your Hair. A selection of these self-help style videos will be shown in the lobby prior to OtB performances throughout the month of January.