Luxury Items addresses value, decadence, labor, time, guilt, privilege ephemerality, ornament and pleasure. I argue that while our persistent desire for status might ruin us, our equally persistent desire for beauty, through war, economic hardship and environmental uncertainty, certainly sustains us.
What is true luxury? A $30,000 Hermes bag made to last generations, the time and space to grow roses, a performance that costs thousands of dollars to produce and is over in two hours? Why does art have to prove its utility? What is true necessity? Are pleasure and humor in league with food, clothing and shelter? Persistent motifs are lingerie and perfume, Oscar Wilde and Coco Chanel, the “Bread and Roses” Strike of 1912 and Busby Berkeley’s Gold Diggers of 1933.
- Premiere: ODC Theater, San Francisco 2009
- Performance, creation, writing & choreography: Monique Jenkinson
- Direction: Ellen Sebastian Chang
- Costume: Shanti Markstrom
- Video: Eric Koziol
- Light: Allen Willner
- Voiceover: Helen Shumaker, Peter Coyote
- Assistance: Kevin Hoskins
- Video Documentation: Loren Robertson Productions