BURN NO END

Coventry, England : 1987

Installation for State of the Nation exhibition at Herbert Art Gallery and Museum.

27 September – 1 November 1987


 

At the centre of this installation’s arrangement was a burnt out Mini with a draped white fabric and tattered rocking horse on its roof, 300 shoes spilling out its door, and a flashing light glowing from within. On the walls around the van were balaclavas, newspapers, and MacLennan’s large scale drawings of a human skeleton with a sheep’s skull sitting upright on a chair. An audio tape played the sounds of gunfire, helicopters and street violence.

‘”Burn No End” employs metaphors of hurt and healing from a divided society’s political, social and cultural predicament. The ‘material’ shown has been used and abused. We bequeath to our youth (besides some positives) conceptual/perceptual blindness and prejudice. We’re consumed by what we don’t require, and need what we don’t get. A corner of truth is never the building. On one hand – terminable pursuit of individual security. On the other…? Credit and ‘worth’ don’t make a pair. When disaster strikes do we wash the blood, heal the victim or polish the floor?’

MacLennan, quoted in ‘Alastair MacLennan: Is No’, ed. Stephen Snoddy, 1988.