After taking a brief break from video this summer, I've decided to add the final touches to my 'Liar Liar' (2013) multimedia project online, and have uploaded the new video 'A Study In Blue Jeans.' This short video will display looping silently in my TransFIREmation Gallery Show in just two weeks!
"This piece involves a pair of blue jeans burning on a clothesline. The transformation of the pants due to the fire, and the transformation of the fire as it ravages the pants, shows the ephemeral nature of things; no pair of pants will ever burn this same way."
Now online, the first official video in my new multimedia series 'Liar Liar' - in which I set things on fire. This video, appropriately titled 'Liar Liar, Pants On Fire,' is the non-looping, online version of the full piece, and is set to music.
This piece shows the progressive burning - and reformation - of a pair of red jeans. The transformation of the pants due to the fire, and the transformation of the fire as it ravages the pants, shows the ephemeral nature of all things; no pair of pants will ever burn this exact same way. However, as video is a time-based medium, this single moment is able to exist forever in the present.
After talking with a few musicians, I decided to do the sound for the piece, myself - I remixed the Explosions In The Sky song 'Yasmin The Light' and timed it to match the visuals. Though I have a written artist statement, I think it's just pretty to watch. It's mesmerizing, and I like the sunset colors that overtake as the video progresses...
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.