Turin, Italy : 1986
6 hour non stop performance at Ancient Cloisters, Turin.
12 June 1986
MacLennan walked around a portion of a bustling commercial street in Turin, dressed all in white with a black balaclava over his head, and a gas mask sometimes covering his face. Various footwear dangled from his body, an artificial leg hung at his waist, and a stereo hung around his neck playing sounds of pipes, birds, the ocean and helicopters. Within the cloisters were some of MacLennan’s drawings, of skeletal, human figures.
‘The choice of possessions – shoes and an artificial leg – the metonymy for support in a journey (e.g. metaphor for life) and also possessions of “persons who are no more”. Not necessarily dead, they are at least metaphorically divorced from some tools-for-life. Consequently, both ideas, that of indestructibility of life, and the inability to defy death, are activated. […] The paraphernalia of “street” culture or youth culture add a humorous or trivialising aspect to the work. Some mythical thought is visualised as an ordinary citizen with a blasting radio.’
Text from ‘Alastair MacLennan: Is No’, ed. Stephen Snoddy, 1988.