In his vast, virtually empty studio, in London’s East End, the artist Michael Landy has been hard at work. Seven days a week for the last five months he has obsessively committed himself to drawing portraits of the people around him. Meticulously executed in pencil, these drawings question what it is to capture someone’s likeness. The approach is very different from the large-scale installations that Landy is best known for – such as Scrapheap Services and Semi-Detatched at Tate, or Breakdown, a public performance in which he dramatically destroyed all of his possessions.
In this film we follow the progress of a portrait from beginning to end – that of TV presenter Kirsty Wark – and speak to Michael and his various sitters about the motivation behind the project.