“Dangerous” Metropolitan Police

“Occasional disgusting” The Big Issue

“A pain in the ass” Nacht Kritik

“It’s not entertaining” The Scotsman.

the vacuum cleaner encompasses the art and activism of James Leadbitter. Working across forms including performance, installation and film, the vacuum cleaner addresses challenging and taboo issues such as consumerism and mental health. From one man shows to large scale participatory actions, his approach is both subtle and extreme, but always candid, provocative and playful.

the vacuum cleaner’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK, recent major commissions include Wellcome Collection, Tate and FACT. Internationally he tours extensively with performances and exhibitions.

His films have been commissioned by BBC4 and Channel 4.

He was one of Tate Modern/Britain’s Artist in Residence 2016/17.

He co-founded the Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination (2004 – 2009)

Some of his work is produced by Artsadmin.

He received the Paul Hamlyn Breakthrough Fund 2018.

Artist CV.

Disability Awareness Document (DAD).

Hate Mail.

Digital Print.


(Yes it is real).