Liverpool, England : 1999
Actuation for ‘Trace’ – the Liverpool Biennial of Contemporary Art.
24 – 29 September 1999
‘Maclennan’s work for Liverpool was a week-long ‘actuation’ (MacLennan’s term for performance/installation). Trestle tables running the entire length of his space were set for absent guests. Their uneaten feast included pigs’ heads, fish and other items symbolic in the Catholic tradition. MacLennan’s performance took place, on alternate days, both inside and outside.
Alastair MacLennan’s artist statement for TRACE…
A primary function of art is to bridge our spiritual and physical worlds. Through crass materialism we have reduced art to cultural real estate. Actual creativity can neither be bought nor sold, although its husks, shells and skins often are. It is possible in art to use meta-systems without over-reliance on a physical residue with its attendant marketplace hustling, jockeying and squabbling.
Art is the demonstrated wish and will to resolve conflict through action, be it spiritual, religious, political, personal, social or cultural. To heal is to make whole. As well as ecology of natural environment, there is ecology of mind and spirit. Each is a layer of the other, interfused: three in one. The challenge for us today is to live this integration.’
Text from the Liverpool Biennial website.