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Now Trashing | Michael Landy’s ‘Art Bin’

February 3, 2010

Michael Landy's 'Art Bin'

Courtesy of Michael Landy. Michael Landy has began converting the South London Gallery into a 130,000-gallon trash can for art.

The British artist Michael Landy will be destroying hundreds of works of art this year, even though he’s gotten in trouble for it before. In his 2001 performance, “Break Down,” Landy shredded everything he owned — 7,227 items in total. Members of the public were most affected by the disposal of his car, his love letters, family heirlooms and the entire archive of his own art. However, he received most criticism from within the art world for destroying his art collection: works by fellow Young British Artists, including Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, most of which he had received as gifts.

Now Landy is about to do the same to hundreds more works of art, contributed by artists from all over the world. On Jan. 29 he began converting the South London Gallery into a 130,000-gallon trash can called “Art Bin,” which will contain stacks of artworks Landy is selecting from online submissions to be destroyed. Works will be added throughout the exhibition, and when it closes on March 14, they will all be disposed of.

“In this country it is legal to destroy an artwork if you are the owner,” Landy said in his East London studio as he reviewed the artworks submitted for “Art Bin,” “but you can’t add to it, you can’t change its color — that’s a no-no. It’s bizarre. But within the art world, quite a few people did have issues with destruction of artworks in ‘Break Down.’ Now, just when people can bring themselves to talk to me again, I’ve raised it again. I’m already in trouble. I’ve already had a telling off.”

Read more at: Michael Landy’s ‘Art Bin’

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