Update: My film The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis has been selected for the 7th Annual NYC Independent Film Festival running in New York from April 27 to May 1, 2016. This film also received the award for Best Technical Achievement at the Burnaby Film Forum in Sept 2015. In addition, my video Fragile was selected for the Access Code Short Film Festival in Srinagar, India in October 2015.
The Fire Ceremony I & II: Part of an ongoing series of work, these pieces are prompted by my angry and frustrated response to global lack of action on our ongoing ecological crisis. Every day, it seems, we are confronted by a new species at risk and another thoughtless proposal to drill, rip, disturb, and destroy our ecosphere and its inhabitants, collateral damage in late capitalism’s frenzied consumption of everything. I despair that we no longer seem to have a sense of the interconnectedness of all life, an awareness of humanity’s place within the cosmos, and a respect for the other living beings that share the world with us. Sorrow at vanishing species, anxiety about global climate change, and hope for some new and better human relationship with nature and our fellow beings motivates me. As a small contribution to the fight against environmental desolation and its costs, this body of work is created with hope for a reconfigured way of being on and with the earth.
The Fire Ceremony I: Self Portrait in a Burning Room. Mixed media installations, projections, performance and video 2014-5.
In many cultural traditions fire signifies purification through destruction. The Fire Ceremony I: Self Portrait in a Burning Room, an allegory of life on a warming planet, depicts an idiosyncratic fire ceremony performed by an apprentice yogini for a class of stuffed animals, dolls of all kinds, anatomical models, painted hair-styling teaching heads, mannequins, driftwood, and household objects.
The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis. Mixed media installations, projections, performance and video 2014-15. Soundtrack When I Die feat. michael dent (Youth “Don’t Feed the Trolls Rainbow mix”) by Jeremy Gluck and Michael Dent, remixed L. MacLean. Licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.
The Fire Ceremony II: Metamorphosis represents an unfolding metamorphosis of elements that are transmuted through fire and water, from ancient ruins to an unknown future. As the ceremony proceeds a sequence of projections bathes the proceedings in a kaleidoscope of changing images and colours, all ultimately dissolved in fiery conflagrations. Beginning with a step through a flaming basement door into a ruined cathedral in central Anatolia, the visual narrative carries us through abandoned ruins and landscapes, to a Spring Equinox ritual burning for Nevruz, the Turkish and Persian New Year, to an idiosyncratic fire ceremony performed by an apprentice yogini, to an imagined post-apocalyptic west coast of British Columbia. See the trailer below.
Requiem: Birds and Beasts: Mixed media installations, projections and video 2015.
This work comprises digital images of a sculptural tableau of natural and pseudo-natural elements (a dead magnolia branch picked up during a bike ride, candles, LED lights, plastic flowers from a Mexican market), and photographic projections of animal specimens. I had the pleasure of access to the teaching collection of animal specimens at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at UBC where I was able to examine their shelves and drawers of bird, mammal, and insect species. It was fascinating and also somewhat sad to gently handle and photograph their bodies; I was amazed to note how similar some of the small mammals and birds were to humans as they lay in their silent sleep.