Burning The Books was initially developed in November 2011 as part of Present in Public, one of six live interventions staged in the city, through Giving Into Gift, a development programme for new gift-based live works, curated by Tim Jeeves and supported by Bluecoat Liverpool.
Azadeh ‘collected debts’ from the public on the street in the central shopping areas and wrote them into an over-sized sackcloth book. Contributions ranged from individual, unpaid consumer debts, pensioners with emotional ‘debts’ to deceased spouses, Occupy protestors submitting the unpaid taxes of Philip Green, and Christians submitting their souls, owed to Jesus.
The Book of Debts was then publicly recited and burnt in the Bluecoat courtyard as a ceremonial finale to the intervention at dusk.
An account of how this work evolved out of the artists personal experiences of financial meltdown and the subsequent R+D period that led to Volume II, is on her Burning the Books R+D blog, hosted by the Artist’s Information Company.