HEALING WOUNDS

Fribourg, Switzerland : 1983

1 hour performance/installation at Fri-Son – a cultural venue located in an abandoned hospital.

29 September 1983


 

Prior to the performance MacLennan explored the abandoned hospital wing, finding objects and a location to stage the installation. In ward rooms adjacent to a corridor on the first floor pigs heads were placed on bare bed frames. The performance began at 8pm, with MacLennan slowly, and with difficulty, traversing the corridor – using two doors as walking aids, dragging a ladder behind him, and pushing a heavy ceramic sink unit ahead. An artificial leg hung from one of the doors.

‘The inappropriateness of objects for the job, e.g. heavy doors as walking supports, presented an idea of senseless activity, of humans being pushed and pulled by false concepts and percepts. The self-inflicted suffering consequently represented a cognitive hanicap, that of not realizing real relationships. Although the title Healing Wounds is ambiguous, the ambiguity is deliberate: healing can wound and wounding can heal.’

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