Burning 1.000.000 Pounds
By Dadara on December 21, 2010
K Foundation Burn a Million Quid was an action that took place on August 23rd 1994, in which the K Foundation (an art duo consisting of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) burned one million Pounds Sterling in cash on the Scottish island of Jura. This money represented the bulk of the K Foundation’s funds, earned by Drummond and Cauty as The KLF, one of the UK’s most successful pop groups of the early nineties. Burning the entire one million pounds took around 67 minutes.
The burn was filmed with a HI-8 video camera by K Foundation collaborator Gimpo and resulted in the film ‘Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid’.
In August 1995 the movie was toured around the UK, with Drummond and Cauty engaging each audience in debate about the burning and its meaning. In November 1995, the duo pledged to dissolve the K Foundation and to refrain from public discussion of the burning for a period of 23 years. Despite this Drummond has spoken about the burning in 2000 and 2004. At first he was unrepentantbut in 2004, he admitted to the BBC that he regretted burning the money.
“It’s a hard one to explain to your kids and it doesn’t get any easier. I wish I could explain why I did it so people would understand.”Sunday Mail (Glasgow), 25 July 2004, p27.
Watch the documentary about the whole project here:
More info about the whole project can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K_Foundation_Burn_a_Million_Quid
This action by the K-Foundation has always greatly influenced me. For years I didn’t know if I thought it was great or stupid, but the fact alone that after all these years I still couldn’t make up my mind, eventually made me realize that I loved it. Especially the fact that there was no fuss, no spectacle. The whole action is just what it is: burning a million pounds. Nothing more. Nothing less either………
In one of the parts of the video you can witness a gallery director declaring that, taking the K foundation ‘s history in account, he thinks he could probably sell the suitcase with the ashes of the burnt money for a thousands pounds.
Before burning my Fools Ark in 2002, I thought that burning that wooden ship, which had cost me so much blood, sweat, tears, and yes, lots of money, would be great and awful at the same time. And no, I never did regret it. In fact I do think it might actually be the best money I ever spent. But then again my opinion might have changed when you ask me in another ten years………