Performance Art
Laurana Wong Home


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

This 7-foot wooden behemoth is from a performance piece I did earlier this year called Leggo My Ego: It was attached to my body with a harness and a canvas shroud.  I dragged it behind me a while, 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 from the shroud 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 sold the house and said goodbye to 80% of my possessions.  My ego was one of the things that had to go. 

I burnt it in the backyard.  Ritual Style.  It caught fire much better than I thought it would considering the wet weather:

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, and I imagined it 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 water hose to the spigot, turned on the spigot, and doused the flames of my burning ego.

The sirens were never actually for me;  It was the fear talking. 
My ego was still intact.  Blackened and broken, yes, but not destroyed. 

Hopefully, Leggo My Ego Act Three will involve Molotov cocktails.

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