Landy stands in front of the exhaustive catalogue of 7,227 of his belongings – in the end,all that remained was his blue boiler suit (Credit: Michael Landy/Parisa Taghizadeh)
“The ultimate irony of Break Down (title) is that, as soon as it ends (the process of distraction of all own belongings), Landy will have turned himself into the ideal consumer – a man who needs to be sold new underwear, pyjamas, shoes, toothbrush, hairbrush. ”
Refinements of earlier expertimentation.
The documentary narrative evidences the meaning of time, which is necessary to save money to purchase goods, such as lamps and TV sets. The “goods appear and disappear” silently without any impact on life and the surroundings. Are they therefore necessary? What is their purpose and function? Is life fulfiled by a meaningless process of collecting objects? Why cannot we exist without them?
“Is Break Down about the transience of consumer goods?
ML: Yes, many consumer objects have an in-built, compulsory obsolescence. Companies don’t want their goods to last long and that determines what materials they use. People have also generally become less able to understand how things work: objects have become much more complex. People are no longer able to maintain them properly, let alone repair them themselves.”
Initial experimentation with the uncertain nature of physical possessions in the context of time and necessity.