Preview: Michael Landy – Art Bin at the South London Gallery


Exhibition: Michael Landy – Art Bin, the South London Gallery, January 29 – March 14 2010

Michael Landy, who famously destroyed all his possessions in the name of art, is set to dispose of a whole gallery of art, perhaps in the name of destruction.

For six weeks Landy will turn the South London Gallery into a 600m2 disposal unit called Art Bin. The website shows a classic grey wheelie bin, but one hopes the work itself will be spectacular.

For the pulverisation of his Saab and his birth certificate in Breakdown he designed a colourful production line in a disused Oxford Street store. The execution matched the boldness of the idea.

A few of those worldly goods were themselves artworks made by other artists. So many will look on Art Bin as a sequel.

 But it also follows up a 1995 piece called Scrapheap Services, when Landy formed a corporate cleaning company to clean up an East End gallery which was infested with thousands of cut-out figures.

 While Breakdown may have worked because the stakes were so high, the London-based artist is playing down the risks in his new venture. 

“Art Bin is about failure,” he has said, “Either within particular art work, or more generally in artists’ practice: nobody discards art which has some sort of intrinsic value, so the bin becomes a monument to creative failure”.

Artists are invited to bring their creative failures along to South London Gallery from January 29 where Landy or his representative will assess its worthlessness. Though be warned. It may get rejected, even from a bin.

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