K Foundation Burn a Million Quid

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K Foundation Burn a Million Quid was an action that took place on 23 August 1994, in which the K Foundation (an art duo consisting of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty) burned cash in the amount of one million pounds sterling 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 United Kingdom's most successful pop groups of the early 1990s.

The incineration was recorded on a Hi-8 video camera by K Foundation collaborator Gimpo. In August 1995, the film—Watch the K Foundation Burn a Million Quid[1]—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 unrepentant[2] but in 2004, he admitted to the BBC that he regretted burning the money.[3][4]

A book—K Foundation Burn A Million Quid, edited and compiled by collaborator Chris Brook—was published by ellipsis Books in 1997, compiling stills from the film, accounts of events and viewer reactions. The book also contains an image of a single house brick that was manufactured from the fire's ashes.

Contents

Background

As The KLF, Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty were the biggest selling singles act in the world for 1991.[5] They had also enjoyed considerable success with their album The White Room and a number one hit single – "Doctorin' the Tardis" – as The Timelords. In May 1992, The KLF staged an incendiary performance at the BRIT Awards,[6][7] and shortly after this they retired from the music industry in a typically enigmatic fashion.[8][9]

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