Michael Landy

Solo Exhibition

Michael Landy will produce a site-specific project for The Power Plant’s third edition of the Fleck Clerestory Commission Program.


Michael Landy’s practice explores attitudes towards consumption, the cultural value of objects and questions of materialism. He is best known for his performance Break Down (2001), when the artist systemically destroyed each and every one of his personal belongings. Over the course of two weeks, audiences watched as Landy, and an assembly line of workers, shredded and crushed all of the artist’s belongings. The work was at once a critique of consumerism as well as a personal and monumental emptying of the artist’s material possessions. He emerged from the process feeling unburdened and has since produced work that speaks to the possible freedom of being discarded by the forces of the market.

Landy’s process-based approach continues in his installation at The Power Plant. In an effort to offer a space for the reactions and experiences of individuals, the artist will invite the public to send in images that capture Toronto’s social and political landscape. The images can include headlines of the news, texts, symbols and logos, aphorisms and slogans. Over the course of the exhibition, these materials will be installed on the walls of The Power Plant’s clerestory, making visible the urgent social conditions of a contemporary political reality as the in situ installation grows. Landy’s commission at The Power Plant is the artist’s first project presented in Canada.

Michael Landy (born 1963 in London, UK) lives and works in London, UK. His work has been exhibited at venues including Tinguely Museum, Basel (2016); Galerie Sabine Knust, Munich (2015); Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2015); Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, Mexico City (2014); Thomas Dane Gallery, London (2013); National Gallery, London (2013); Tate Britain, London (2013); Smithsonian Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2013); Mudam Luxembourg (2013); Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (2013); Swiss Institute, New York (2011); The Drawing Room, London (2011); Kaldor Public Art Projects, Sydney (2011); National Portrait Gallery, Londo (2011); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010); Tate Liverpool (2009); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2009); de Appel, Amsterdam (2007); Tate Britain, London (2004); and Artangel Commission, London (2001). His works are part of the collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Royal Academy, London; Tate Collection, London; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.