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September 2006

Leggo My Ego, Act Two

I began destroying my ego last night:

Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The white hot flames engulf the crisscrossing head of the wooden behemoth

It's from a performance art piece I did at Pearl earlier this year called Leggo My Ego: The 7-foot wooden behemoth was attached to my body with a harness and a canvas shroud.  I dragged it behind me, cut a hole in the canvas at my abdomen, and pulled out 13 very long and shiny strings from the opening.  The strings were wound round and round my body.  I cut myself free of the shroud of my ego and offered up the strings to members of the audience.

I have no footage of the performance.  Considering the title of the piece, it's perfectly fitting, really...  My ego has been lounging behind my house in The Oregon ever since.

But, I just sold my house, and I'm saying goodbye to 80% of my possessions.  My ego is one of the things that had to go.  So, I burnt it in the backyard.  Ritual Style.  It caught fire much better than I thought it would considering the wet weather of late:

Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The effigy burns from all ends, dotted bright orange light

As the flames licked higher, I kept hearing police sirens.  I couldn't shake the fear that a neighbor had called the cops on me.  My effigy was, after all, ramping very quickly into bonfire status:

Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The start of an ego effigy fire Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The spine of the wooden skeleton glows orange with flame Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The wooden scarecrow is on fire

The flames rose high enough to endanger the tree in my backyard.  I imagined the tree as a big burning lollipop.  I imagined the firemen arriving and asking me what the hell I was thinking.  I imagined my house alight.  I stopped imagining and pushed the charred and burning mass over on its side to lower the flame plane:

Laurana Wong - Leggo My Ego, Act Two - The mass of my ego lays burning on the ground

About this time, I heard the commotion of an impending fire brigade.  My fears of getting caught finally gripped me.  I scrabbled to attach the hose, turn on the spigot, and douse the flames of my ego.

The sirens were never for me.  The fear was of my own creation.  My ego is still intact.  Blackened and broken, yes, but not destroyed.  Another ritual left for the future...

Hopefully, Act Three will involve Molotov cocktails.


Laurana Wong - - concept, photography
118 Jones St in Dayton Ohio - - location