November 19, 2012

Breaking Down

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At a disused department store in 2001, workers in blue boiler suits fed trays of impeccably catalogued objects into a colossal shredding machine. The artist Michael Landy looked on, seemingly impassively, as all his possessions — from his father’s sheepskin coat to David Bowie records — were obliterated. Break Down, the title of Landy’s seminal installation, suffices as a theme for the pair of plays the Readers’ Theatre will present this December. The Mercy Seat, playwright Neil Labute’s theatrical response to the 9/11 attacks, tackles inconvenient truths as characters contemplate discarding their former lives and selves. Garbage becomes a running joke in Donald Margulie’s Obie Award-winning work Sight Unseen, which revolves around the obscenities of the contemporary art world.

Original Author: Daveen Koh