"Burnt Offering" was created for the windows of Art In Form, an art bookstore established by Laura Millen and Annie Grosshans in my former studio space on the corner of Second Avenue and Bell Street. The piece was conceived in support of a Fire Sale that was being held on the first anniversary of a fire that had been set on the back stoop of the building, causing considerable smoke damage and ending the residential space upstairs. The title referred to the planed incineration of the skeletal cityscape, fashioned from cardboard and embellished with jos paper and fireworks.
One night, shortly before the end of the sale, the glittering city was shifted to the adjacent window and a blackened wreckage was installed in the corner windows along with the words "This City Will Burn."
On the last day of the sale, the entire installation was transported two blocks north and installed in front of the old boiler-room building in the alley behind my studio. A small group of people who knew about the plan gathered in the space as preparations were made. Just in case, a hose was also at the ready.
The fire was brief and loud and sent up a dark cloud of smoke which caught the eye of a local resident who called the fire department, which was conveniently only 3 blocks away. The siren scattered the crowd and by the time the truck arrived the fire was merely embers which were quickly extinguished. A fire-woman seemed delighted at the idea and asked that they be invited 'next time.'
A notice of Violation was issued, marking the end of a lovely event.