Friday, March 19, 2010

Get In Line, Hirst

Six weeks after a painting of a skull by Damien Hirst launched Michael Landy's Art Bin at the South London Gallery, Adam Ant rounded off the project by hurtling a collage he made on the spot into the debris. (from here)

More than a thousand works, with an estimated value of £1million, from artists including Tracey Emin, Peter Blake and Gavin Turk as well as the public had crashed into the giant see-through skip by the time it closed last night.

Today a team began work on sorting the canvases from works on paper, and sculptures from shattered glass, to recycle whatever can be salvaged from what Landy, 46, had envisaged as a “monument to failure”.

While he had understood the works were destined for landfill, gallery staff had always intended a greener conclusion for what has been one of the gallery's most talked-about installations.

Margot Heller, the South London Gallery's director, said paper would be shredded, stretchers removed from canvases for re-use and not a single work would leave the gallery intact.

“We have a responsibility to make sure that everything is disposed of and nothing goes back into circulation,” she said. So no chance of nabbing a discarded Hirst or Emin? “Dream on,” she said.

Landy, who now embarks on being the National Gallery's artist-in-residence, said he had enjoyed the way the Art Bin changed daily, as one layer of works disappeared under another. “It comes alive when people throw things in,” he said. “And it makes a fantastic noise when you hit it with something heavy. It's a primeval thing.”

The aim was for all contributions to be failures in the eyes of their maker which made it a kind of “sacrificial pit”. Novelist Jake Arnott came as observer not contributor. “It's great, isn't it?” he said. “I hate the idea that everyone can be an artist, but I like the idea that anyone can be a failed artist.”


Stagg said...

Reminds me of my ol' 'dungeon' studio...


Jason Messinger said...

So funny Stagg! It totally looks like the rat-maze studio! Destruction art rears its head once again!

Cathi Bouzide said...

I have wanted a courtyard at Lill for failed works. The strata could be evaluated in 1,000 years and They will know that people made things there. No luck so far. Great piece to read about!

mister anchovy said...

Stagg may remember the "Anonymous Museum" in Chicago quite a few years back. It turned out the anonymity was difficult for people to handle.

tweetey30 said...

You know that pile reminds me of my bin of scarves I have sitting around the house right now that i cant sell for some dang reason.. No one wants them right now.. I know the warmer season is coming up but they have been in my bin since February or so... Yikes...Failed artist huh??Is that what i am in my own way.. My art is my crocheting... I am a failure or doomed to fail???

Peteena said...

Well, we now finally have our answer to the age-old question: "Don't drink, don't smoke - what do you do?". Long have we wondered.

Underground Baker said...

I love the transitory nature of this installation. I don't think of it as a sacrificial pit, rather as a nod to the natural process; creation, life, decay - or in this case, recycling, ha ha. (especially since much of what art is made of is kind of toxic)

I wonder, is the breaking down of something, or letting something go, really failure as Arnott implies?

mister anchovy said...

Off topic...Candy, did you hear Alex Chilton checked out? He was only 59.

Candy Minx said...

Stagg, uh, er, reminds me of your "studio" we renovated just last year here in the apartment!

Jason, Cathi, Mr. A, Tweetey, Peteena, Underground Baker,The thing I thought was super funny about this installment is that some of us have to cull our work all the time...because if it doesn't go to a home we can't store it.

For me...I thought how luxurious and naive. A "monument to failure"...many many artists actually have to throw their work out....because they aren't able to sell stuff. Hirst seems to not realize his ide of many artists reality. Calling it a monument to failure is so drama queen.

Underground Baker, no I think calling this a monument to failurre is a completely ignorant concept. And...also...look at the family totem poles on west coast....the idea is to let them face the elements outside. Sounds like a git attitude. Typical.

And yes, Mr. A, I had heard that Alex Chilton died. I was sorry to hear this news.