STAIRS AND TV PERFORMANCE

Belfast, Northern Ireland : 1978

Performance over the duration of a working day, in a stairwell of the Art College, York Street.

February 1978


 

‘Dressed in a dark raincoat, wearing sunglasses and a balaclava, seated on a chair facing the TV (placed on the floor) MacLennan transformed himself into an intensely watching person. The intensity of watching did not depend on what was watched. The dead screen perhaps offered relief to his gaze when a slight change of light, passing car or a person became a flicker or a reflection. The work is a critique of our way of life, in which, first hand experience is replaced by watching someone else’s. The dead screen indicates the significance of this “surrogate” activity.’

Text from ‘Alastair MacLennan: Is No’, ed. Stephen Snoddy, 1988.