Manchester Artist Bonfire Review

by jennycoreblog

Manchester Artist Bonfire


(Late post!)

The evening formed a ceremonious style as each artist introduced themselves and announced the concept of why the work was being burnt. The evening of artists coming together to put their work on the flames had an array of responses, (alongside the essential toffee apples and hot Vimto for grabs).

The responses varied from using the bonfire as a way to move on from emotional events, ideas of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ and using the event as a performance to develop existing works. I expected the evening would have had more of a performative element; participants adding works to the flames to make new works as an artistic community.

The bonfire was a great turn out, and it now said to now be an annual event. If this happened would it be an idea to bring forward the strongest aspect to the evening; the idea of bringing artists together to create collaborative works. This could provide different platforms in which it is addressed i.e, bonfire, exquiste corpse ideas, performance with instructions (like the AND Fest MP3 event)… basically a way of creating something collaboratively.

Some responses to the bonfire were negative, seeing it as a mass art massacre. I think it’s great that people are so passionate about the idea of burning art. To hate the project is a response in itself to the evening and I love a project that provokes both positive and negative outlooks. It raises questions how one values art, does the action of burning destroy the work or is it like an alchemic process, transforming the works into something else? Everyone will have different thoughts and answers to this question, which brings me to the great words of Stanley Kubrick:

“If art was for everyone, it would not be art.”

Saiz, M, 101 Legitimizations

Congratulations to the organisers Rosanne Robertson and Louise Woodcock.