I have just launched into a new project, one I call 'Liar Liar (Pants on Fire)'. The name truly says it all, and if the image didn't help you to figure this one out - yes, I am setting pants on fire.
A few years ago, I broke-up with a guy. He left his pants at my house, because I had worn them and liked them. Aside from the fact we were the same size and liked similar music, we didn't have much else in common. The break-up was bad, and I continued to see his pants hanging in my closet for the remainder of the year. I just...left them sitting there.
Then, I thought, why not burn them. Then, I thought, I should film it, because this should be a whole production - burning pants should be perceived and executed as something cathartic. But instead, the pants disappeared, and I carried the idea with me for the next three years. It was in the back of my mind, one of those fleeting 'that would be cool if...' thoughts we so often find flitting in and out of our minds.
By this time I was at Massachusetts College of Art & Design for my BFA, and I switched from the Illustration program to the Film/Video program. I made a list of projects I wanted to complete before graduation. I went through my backlog of ideas, and thought this one, this pants-burning thing, is only something I could do now.
Conveniently, being at MassArt exposed me to some interesting performers and craftman, such as my friend, fire spinner Jeremy Day who had also assisted with the fire effects for my thesis film 'My Big Bad Wolf.' Well, I asked if he'd be up for this project, and he was totally on board. He told me about an area near his house in Maine where we could make this project come alive, and made it happen. Initially, I had pictured the pants burning over grass, but the snow not only worked well, but was much safer - no brush fires here! Plus, the snow seemed to act as a bounce board of sorts, bouncing the sun off the ground and onto my subject.
The footage was better than I had imagined, though admittedly I hadn't 'imagined' much in the way of visuals, as I had no idea how we would execute this until we got out onto the snow. I brought a few other things with me in case we felt like burning other materials - an old chair made in Yugoslavia, some cherry-print curtains I got on sale.
I've started to sort through the footage and make some interesting changes in the way of color. Overall, the footage will be presented in the form of looping videos accompanied by soundscapes to match the movement of the flames, in addition to a series of large prints. I'm awaiting news on a gallery show proposal, and hope to give this multimedia installation a home for showcasing.