The Post-Postmodernism Issue

Michael Landy

Break down your possessions.
Michael Landy - Break Down
Michael Landy - Break Down

A member of the celebrated generation of Young British Artists, Michael Landy distanced himself from the material success that came to define his counterparts when he systematically catalogued and destroyed each of his more than 7,000 personal possessions in 2001. Break Down saw the destruction of everything from childhood photographs to kitchen utensils and socks, leaving the artist with no material means of self-definition. Landy’s effects were placed into gaping plastic bins and left to circulate on a conveyor belt for two weeks before meeting their final end. The show’s onlookers witnessed the reversal of production line consumerism: a microcosmic experiment in which the capitalist model of logic was inverted and subsequently destroyed. Break Down was intended as an examination of consumer culture, but it was also an act of purification, both personal and philosophical, that severed Landy’s physical connection to the past. It was a sacrifice made to the possibility of something entirely new.

Sarah Nardi

22 comments on the article “Michael Landy”

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ken vallario

now that is bold! i like how ultra-personal it is...the idea terrifies me...so much destruction in these artists...that is something i will be thinking about for some time...

as an aside the security word for comments is : she sections

ken vallario

now that is bold! i like how ultra-personal it is...the idea terrifies me...so much destruction in these artists...that is something i will be thinking about for some time...

as an aside the security word for comments is : she sections

juniper

dig ken's comment. by that i mean i concur. what a fascinating and thought-provoking installation concept.

juniper

dig ken's comment. by that i mean i concur. what a fascinating and thought-provoking installation concept.

lucet

nardi does it again, a v quick off the cuff standard cric maybe even copy pasting such old text who knows.
if you seen any of landys work since and read seen a bits by the artist, he sadly wasnt able to keep up these purefying thoughts. desparatey courting commericalism in the art world with recycling tricks, im afraid gimmicks dont lead to philosophical purefication, whatever nardi decides that means.
yes theres something to it, but its far too gestural, his latest art bin still follows the same egoistic vanities.
hes a public working artist, he has to make money and his particular angle is deconstruction for effect. we could do this, but we wouldnt. lots of 'holy men' have done, landys a commercial artist. he could have done it without telling anyone but the next lump sum would not have been dangled before his eyes.

lucet

nardi does it again, a v quick off the cuff standard cric maybe even copy pasting such old text who knows.
if you seen any of landys work since and read seen a bits by the artist, he sadly wasnt able to keep up these purefying thoughts. desparatey courting commericalism in the art world with recycling tricks, im afraid gimmicks dont lead to philosophical purefication, whatever nardi decides that means.
yes theres something to it, but its far too gestural, his latest art bin still follows the same egoistic vanities.
hes a public working artist, he has to make money and his particular angle is deconstruction for effect. we could do this, but we wouldnt. lots of 'holy men' have done, landys a commercial artist. he could have done it without telling anyone but the next lump sum would not have been dangled before his eyes.

Tom Pich

He may be a hypocrite, but aren't most thoughtful political artists that don"t end off dying of a heroin overdose or starting a separatist movement. I would like for him not to be a lame capitalist to. So maybe my initial point is irrelevant.

Tom Pich

He may be a hypocrite, but aren't most thoughtful political artists that don"t end off dying of a heroin overdose or starting a separatist movement. I would like for him not to be a lame capitalist to. So maybe my initial point is irrelevant.

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