I have always had a soft spot for the artist Michael Landy (b. uk 1963) ever since I saw his ‘Breakdown’ l which was a sort of living installation. This is the famous piece he did when he systematically got rid of all his possessions bit by it, breaking them down into tiny bits and disposing of them. Even art work by his famous artist friends, like Damian Hirst, Tracy Emin went into the shredder – everything went. His credit cards went, his car, everything he possessed, all went the same way.
Landy is one of the original YBA (Young British Artists) to emerge from Goldsmiths College in 1988 and featured in the famous Freeze exhibition. Breakdown 2001 consisted of Landy taking over and old C and A store in Oxford Street London and turned into a kind of deconstruction factory.
He took all his possessions including art work, catalogued all the 7,227 items then along with his workers set about destroying everything. he reduced everything to its basic components and shredded it in public.
Landy attracted a lot of visitors who watched this. he received no money for it and was left with just bags of rubbish, which he didn’t make any money from and was left for a while afterwards without even a credit a credit card.
His latest project is called Art Bin and the artist calls it a ‘monument to creative failure.‘ Artists and collectors are encouraged to dump their art in a huge bin…. In case you’ve not guessed, Landy’s work is about consumerism and waste. there’s a good article about Breakdown here
Find out why he did it and what the consequences where by watching this short video
Images from here
Video from illuminationstv