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Michael Landy: Four Walls

Michael Landy, Four Walls, 2004

Michael Landy, Four Walls, 2004


9 February – 16 June

In 1977 Michael Landy’s father, John Landy, a miner, was seriously injured in a tunnel collapse at the age of 37. Severe spinal injuries rendered him housebound and unable to return to work. In his poignant video Four Walls, Landy explores his father’s previous enthusiasm for working around the home, referencing his collection of tools, DIY manuals, home improvement magazines and videos, assembled over decades, both before and after the accident. Reflecting on the struggles of his father’s life, the video displays photographs and line drawings of optimistic young couples and growing families pursuing the modern dream of the improved house, set alongside the recurring difficulties of blocked guttering, eroded surfaces, decayed structures, skinned knuckles and clogged drains. The images are overlaid with a soundtrack of his father whistling his favourite songs.

Four Walls originally formed part of Semi-detached, the installation of a monumental and meticulously rendered sculptural replica of the front and rear facades of his parents’ Essex home in the Duveen Galleries at Tate Britain in 2004.


Looking at Landscapes: Teacher’s Pack

An educator’s resource is available for KS3-KS5 students, teachers and lecturers.
Contact Denise Bowler for further details. t: 0161 275 8455
e: denise.bowler@manchester.ac.uk