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.”