120 hrs non-stop
performance and installation
Projects UK (off Rosebery Crescent)
2nd March 1986, 12:00 noon - 7th March 1986, 12:00 noon
* * *
Art & Design
Art-Into The 90's"
Article By Simon Herbert
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.
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.