Artist Michael Landy, best known for his 2001 performance work Break Down in which he destroyed all his possessions, talks to Charlotte Higgins from an animatronics workshop. Landy gives a sneak preview to his new show – large-scale sculptures inspired by National Gallery paintings cast and assembled with refuse, a Landy trademark.
Belief in the existence of monstrous races of human beings was central to medieval thinking, although almost everything about them was open to debate and discussion. The only characteristic universally agreed upon was that they were always to be found far away, beyond the borders of the world as it was then known. Almost as common were references to the physical deformities of the monstrous races: there were gigantic races and tiny races, those with extremities misshapen, missing, enlarged, or multiplied, and every variety of human/animal hybrid.