In a flooded and decaying basement, I carry a sculptural replica of my body made from rice paper and suspend it above a pool of water, lay below it, and set it on fire. The reflection of the paper body burning aligns with my body below the water, creating a moment in which both are consumed in flames. As the fire dissipates and body collapses, I emerge passing through a layer of ash.

Dreamburn is a physical manifestation of the disintegration of my belief in the evangelical afterlife that was the bedrock of my upbringing. A one time and unrehearsed performance, it held my intention—to take action, to have a hand in the destruction of faith—and carried it beyond what I could have possibly imagined. The fire advanced on my face. The ash coated my skin. The body I thought was in control was not. The replica in its own unspoken way revealed the fragility of the architecture of the performer underneath. 

Dreamburn was created for “3020 Laguna Street”, an exhibition within a house that would later be demolished with the installations inside.

Documented on HD video and 16mm film (color, sound)
TRT 7’51”

Installation 14'x18' with depth up to 24”
Rice paper and adhesive, wire, custom reflecting pool

Video by Rory Fraser
Film by Christian Gainsley
Sound by Ryan Malloy
Photo by Andy Vogt