The first FMVA Art Burn was held on December 17, 2004 at a private residence. On the day of that first burn, a mild blizzard joyfully enhanced the atmosphere. Art was burned one piece at a time providing entertainment and enjoyment for those in attendance. It was agreed that in following years the ceremonial event should become a public event sponsored by the FMVA, giving area residents an opportunity to ceremoniously release finished matters to the sky and the earth.
The burning of valuable objects has a long and complex history. In some cases, art was burned to keep it from falling into the hands of philistines. In other cases, it was the burning of vanities-works that deflected attention from religious devotion. Burning has long been a form of destruction preferable to discarding into trash. This attitude explains the cremation of everything from bodies of loved ones to worn-out flags. Lastly, and most significantly, perhaps, producers have destroyed their products when the cost of production exceeds the price that the product can command.
The FMVA does not attempt to assign specific significance to the ritual, preferring to allow individuals to formulate their own purposes. The event is ceremonial, incorporating the concepts of release and catharsis with the purpose of preparing for the New Year’s creative ventures.
Several important restrictions are in place, however. Last minute reprieves are strictly and specifically forbidden. No work brought to the dike may be sold, traded, reworked or made into a collage. There is to be no reading of poems, no artist’s statements, and while art historians will be tolerated, they are required to stay well away from the fire.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the Art Burn ’07!
Fargo Moorhead Visual Artists sponsored the fourth annual Art Burn held at the Red River Dam at Dike East in Fargo on Saturday November 17, at 4 p.m. Members committed works of art to the flames, and people working in creative fields were welcome to burn their work as well. River Keepers donated firewood for the bonfire, Hoglund Landscape Construction provided the fire circle, Tochi Products will provided hot spiced organic cider, Sam Bernstein built the fire and Jon Offutt, from the House of Mulcibar, started the fire.
For more information about the Art Burn contact Dawn Morgan at 701-237-0230 or Tim Ray at 218-236-8959