IF UNDERHAND

Edinburgh, Scotland : 1985

48 hour non stop performance/installation at The Royal Scottish Academy as part of The British Art Show 1985.

21-22 February 1985


 

For this work – made as part of The British Art Show 1985 – MacLennan was dressed in black, with a stocking pulled over his head. A cassette player played a tape of various recordings on loop – an Irish lament, a child crying, helicopters, traffic. A large flour figure of 8 covered the floor, one half circled around a nestled pig’s head, the other around a white ‘death mask’ cast of MacLennan’s face. Around the edge of the room, on the wall and floor, were copies of newspapers from Belfast, scored out with a red diagonal line. Above the papers were a row of potatoes, perched on the walls’ skirting. Above these were taped bunches of hair. MacLennan slowly followed the path of the figure of 8, pushing a ladder on a pram, which behind him pulled a construction made of white doors. Newsprint was draped over the rungs of the ladder, shoes dangled below them, and in the centre of the pram shone a flashing light powered by a car battery. The door-construction was adorned with dead fish, walking sticks and dolls bound in masking tape.