LIES IN WEIGHT

Southampton, England : 1985

96 hour non stop performance/installation at Hamilton House (a disused bingo hall) for The British Art Show.

29 May – 2 June 1985


 

The abandoned bingo hall that served as the setting for this four day performance/installation provided its own idiosyncratic materials for incorporation in MacLennan’s arrangements; his exhaust pipes, wage packets, children’s shoes, taped dolls and long, dangling ribbons were accompanied by colourful stray bingo balls, an ice-cream machine, bingo cards, an open lead safe and other disused detritus. MacLennan was dressed in black, sometimes wearing stockings over his head, or glasses with one lens.

‘MacLennan spent a week beforehand experimenting with the lights. Different lighting created different moods, it also reinforced or contradicted the tenor of the objects. Their aim, in turn, was to express a general state of entropy. Thus, when a tape in rectangles felt too new and clean, MacLennan peeled it off.

The action consisted of rearranging (the exhausts were changed two or three times), hanging objects over the beams of the roof and slow movement. He recalls perceiving a “peculiar sliding of meaning, a feeling of wonder”.’

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