Brooke Purvis is giving the phrase “money to burn” a whole new meaning this week. For his upcoming (and aptly titled) exhibit “Everything Burns,” the London art student is planning on setting fire to his entire university loan. First he’ll turn the grant into cold hard cash and then set the pile o‘ pounds ablaze. So, Purvis is either a) filthy rich, b) crazy, c) the next person you’d like to punch in the face or d) an artistic genius. He might even be all of the above.
Speaking to Vice today, Purvis said he’s staging this exhibit to remind people that money is pure fiction. He believes that we’re throwing our lives away for worthless pieces of paper. By turning his cash into ash, he will release himself (and probably no one else) from the “bondages that society and our own minds have placed upon us all,” he explained.
Okay, we’ve clarified that Purvis is in fact an artistic genius, but indeed a crazy one. Yes, we all hate the fact that money controls us and, yeah, it is pretty weird that we’ve gotten to this point as once foraging, cave-dwelling humans. We do chase paper for most of our precious time on earth, but torching some bills won’t fix such a deeply rooted issue, Purvis!
When asked how much of the advance he would burn, he said, “The entirety of what is available to me,” before mentioning that he could give money to charity, but those type of endowments are “capitalism’s solution to the problem it creates.” He said that it’s his money, so he can do what he pleases with it and this feels like the most positive use of such a loan.
Now we’ve definitely established that Purvis is the next person you’d like to smack right in the kisser. Landing a hard blow on the inflated cranium of this posh London artist might just be the release from capitalism’s slave chains that we’re looking for.
But, as Purvis noted, he’s not wealthy by any means. He’s working full-time while studying full-time and creating new art. This might be exaggerated, but he lives with 11 people in a crummy house outside of London. And, although he hates to say it, Purvis is trying to use his education to get a better job.
Purvis concluded that he’s never “experienced a comfortable life without fear of not making a rent payment or having enough for food or some maniacal person demanding something from me.” Maybe that’s where this money burning stunt stems from. Purvis, like most people, is pretty pissed at the hand money has dealt us. But again, using it as kindling is just plain stupid.