Archive for Public Play
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I loved it as a child. But in the 1970’s suburb I lived, there was no large unobserved place to make a bonfire. Instead, my friend and me took a large empty tin can, a bottle of refined petrol (or was it turpentine?) from the paint storage and a box of matches to a place a bit hidden from sight by bushes. The way the flames danced over the surface of the liquid would enchant us. Over time, we experimented with paper wicks, ways to create a blowpipe flame, blowing out the flames. That tin can became our ecosystem of fire, and we the fire sorcerers. We sacrificed our eyebrows, but never got seriously hurt. The fun ended after the second bottle of fuel had emptied and my parents made the link between empty bottles, smoky clothes and missing eyebrows.


Mathieu Gielen