73 days to go!! An artist’s comment on the nature of possessions.

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I get a lot of comments about the nature of possessions, and how we can often become weighed down or trapped by the things we own, holding onto them desperately as we get older.

I think many people find the idea of leaving everything you have behind pretty challenging. I do too, but I also think that it will be very liberating.

I once read a news article about a couple who had to flee from their house, which had been completely burned during bushfires. They returned to find that they had nothing left at all, all photo albums had gone, all their past had gone up in smoke. And yet they later said that it had been amazingly freeing experience, and they were so positive about the fact that they had survived, and that the possessions were not all that important when viewed on a wider scale.

A few people have now pointed me in the direction of the artist Michael Landy, who in 2001 destroyed everything he owned, as an art project. He set himself up in a premises in London, and over a period of 14 days, fed everything he owned, over 5000 items, through a specially constructed crunching machine.

He destroyed his 20,000 pound car, and several valuable works of art. The estimated total value of everything he had, which was all destroyed leaving him with absolutely nothing, was over 100,000 pounds!!

I reckon this puts my idea into perspective – I am only selling my stuff!!

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2001/01/28/nart28.xml

“What makes this project particularly poignant is that Michael is part of a generation of artists who, like Damien Hirst, has produced so much work and money for themselves. This is quite a philosophical and radical work. We are all conditioned that our material belongings define us in a way, and this is really the reversal of all that.”

More info:
http://www.artangel.org.uk/projects/2001/break_down

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