Michael Landy: Saints Alive
23 May – 24 November 2013
Michael Landy, in his position as associate artist at the National Gallery, has spent two years working with the images of saints in the early Renaissance galleries.
Working with rubbish, old machinery and wheels, he has created giant mechanical representations of Apollonia, Catherine, Francis, Jerome and Thomas that will move in ways that echo their celebrated deeds.
A strange choice of subject matter, one might think, for a YBA, but the use of materials does connect back into his career and it is tempting to read his earlier work ecclesiastically. Consider his Break Down (2001), in which he not only renounced his worldly goods, but systematically destroyed them, and the Credit Card Destroying Machine, which he installed in the 2011 Frieze art fair – as efficient a way as any to drive the money lenders from a temple of art.