Toronto, Canada : 1983

24 hour non stop performance/installation at Mercer Union Gallery.

28-29 January 1983

From 8pm to 8pm, MacLennan (at times naked, at times dressed all in black) hangs, dissembles and arranges wood, fabric, cardboard boxes, plastic, newsprint, fish etc in the space, with string and fishing wire. He draws on the newsprint.

‘Two distinctly familiar elements, newsprint and fish, imbued this work with a set of meanings developing around two parts of our psyche: consciousness (newsprint, word, information, dissemination, manipulation, ideology…) and subconsciousness (fish – swimming in the ocean, are beyond manipulation, mute and slippery…) When newsprint is stripped of its authority, and used in some other way, the value of what it stood for is undermined, and perhaps replaced. When fish are cut up is ‘subconsciousness’ manipulated? Rotting transforms purity into putrefaction, morality into corruption. Having established the two main aspects of the structure, MacLennan felt confident to include “found objects” from anything that was there, in the deserted shirt factory above the gallery.’

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