Artists in particular are fragile souls who are vulnerable to those extreme moments of self-doubt where they cannot bear to look at their work anymore and simply must destroy it. But the Arts Council England has managed to make this unfortunate, yet all too common habit a celebration of sorts. The Manchester Artists' Bonfire is an event that organizes emerging artists and lets them set fire to their own artwork. Started last year as a way to protest cuts in funding to the cultural sector, the Artists' Bonfire has quickly risen to become a platform to discuss larger issues pertaining to what role we play in shaping our own culture.
As you can see, the mass burning isn't just mere spectacle, as the bonfire is meant to promote discussion betweens artists and the public alike. The event will give artists the chance to explain the reasoning behind burning their own artwork, be it personal or political. Rosanne Robertson, an organizer for the event told the BBC it was "beneficial to supporting artists and discussing art in a new way -- in a more direct way with an audience".
The event isn't meant to be all doom and gloom, but more of a shocking display that hopes to prompt conversations about the artistic process not only among artists, but with people from all walks of life. The Artists' Bonfire website judiciously states, "All viewpoints are encouraged as part of the discussion including those opposed to burning art."
So what do you think, readers? Is this a mere spectacle or a way for artists to defend their craft?