Coimbra, Portugal : 1982

24 hour performance as part of the Projectos e Progestos series at Coimbra University.

19-20 November 1982

MacLennan, naked, with his head and ankles blackened, his hands and chest reddened, drew fish onto politically left and right wing regional newspapers. Around his neck he wore a chain of felt crosses and false teeth. Large sheets of white scrim formed a cross on the floor, surrounded by twigs and branches and dotted with two dozen dead fish. Completed drawings were pinned up along the surrounding black walls.

‘Kneeling on the floor MacLennan drew fish over the pages of the newspaper, without knowing that the headlines of the day had to do with a story of cutting out the middle man in their fishing industry. The ‘chance like’ connection between the story and the dead fish drawings provoked, MacLennan related, some fears that he was involved in black magic. Although he explained that he was not, he had to spend the night in the park, as the landlady was unwilling to let him stay overnight in her house.’

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