The Elizabeth Taylor Project, (3) single-channel videos. Contact for passwords on Vimeo.
Tin Cat In A Butter Field
Who’s Afraid of Velvet?
Each of the three video vignettes included in The Elizabeth Taylor Project is created by editing scenes and dialogue from two major films starring Elizabeth Taylor; Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and BUtterfield 8, Giant and Cleopatra, and, National Velvet and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.
By doing so, I’ve created a new female soliloquy that, interiorized, becomes a dialogue between protagonist and antagonist. This combination of two female stereotypes–the long-suffering wife and the slut–in the original films is derived from conversations that take place with costars. Here, Taylor speaks from a contemporary female’s context, candid about her desires and feelings as opposed to using the veiled language of the film’s original female characters, who allude to rather than directly communicate concerns to husband and lover.
In Tin Cat In A Butter Field, Taylor tries on perfume; examines her torn dress, evidence of a transgression from the night before; scrawls messages in red lipstick; grinds a stiletto heel into a man’s shoe; and brushes her teeth with scotch while the narrative voice contemplates self-doubt and frustration.
In Giant Cleopatra, Taylor wanders her domestic space, destroying her vanity, clothes, and bedding, rejecting love in favor of the pursuit of self-control and autonomy. In the end, the presence of a child questions the viability of making decisions motivated by love.
In Who’s Afraid of Velvet? The heroine repeatedly applies lipstick and fixes her hair– the endless, reiterative gestures of “fixing” oneself.