120 hrs non-stop performance and installation

for Projects UK (off Rosebery Crescent)
Newcastle, UK

2nd March 1986, 12:00 noon - 7th March 1986, 12:00 noon

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Art & Design
"Performance Art-Into The 90's"
Article By Simon Herbert

And Alastair MacLennan did walk slowly through the Valley of the Troubles, and the jumble did pile up around.

Alastair MacLennan walking through a decrepit warehouse situated by the affluent, if mundane, suburb of Jesmond, Newcastle upon Tyne. A hidden space, detected only by following a trail of posters and hand embellished arrows. The mezzanine and floor was packed with 40 hospital beds, balloons slowly deflating above them. He worked for five days non-stop, juxtaposing single copies of the Irish Times with massive quantities of jumble, inventing new scenarios and meanings, with no sleep or food, just a jar of hot beefy Bovril. He never utilised deprivation as a force to be endured, rather recorded methodically the echoes of children's shoes in charcoal on the walls. People arrived at two o'clock in the morning, settled down and watched him for a couple of hours. It was difficult to tell whether the British national anthem, slowed down to half speed, could permeate the gas mask he occasionally wore, further insulated as it was with a stocking containing dentures. I went to work the following morning, had a meal, saw my girlfriend, and when I went back that evening he was still there.

Such works are as subject to the vicissitudes of fading memory and shifting perceptions as anything else that resides in the cultural domain. Their progenitors expect nothing less. Yet they exist in their moment as protean forms of artistic absolutism that defy the ravages of time whilst simultaneously submitting to it.