In 2001, YBA Michael Landy, took over a closed-down department store in London’s shopping district where he took everything he owned and fed it into an industrial shredding machine that he had constructed. His stereo, his clothes, his artworks, even his prized sheepskin coat that had belonged to his father – all of it got shoved into the shredder, helped along by Landy’s team of bliue-coveralled assistants. The show, called Break Down, is of my favourite works of installation/performance art of all time, exploring in a powerful way some well-trod themes of consumption, waste, nostalgia, and identity. (It was later ripped off, in a much crasser way, by Neil Boorman for his “Bonfire of the Brands” job application).
Anyway, now Landy is going one further, with a new show called Art Bin.
From 29 January until 14 March 2010 acclaimed British artist Michael Landy will transform the South London Gallery into a 600m³ container for the disposal of works of art. Art Bin will gradually fill up over the six week course of the exhibition to create ‘a monument to creative failure’.
The best part is that the public is invited to submit works to be binned and then destroyed — I know I have a few short stories I might print out and send in.