London, England : 1987

4 day continuous performance/installation for the National Review of Live Art, at Control Room, Riverside Studios, London.

8 – 11 October 1987

This work, commissioned for the National Review of Live Art, was formed of objects and materials that MacLennan slowly rearranged, along with drawings that MacLennan made intermittently throughout the performance. The objects included two canoes, barbed wire, sinks, a shopping trolley, clothes, a broom, traffic cones, newspapers, road works signs, broken door frames, bottles, plastic sacks, a metal pick-up trolley, bowler hats, electric bulbs, stretchers, dead fish, and an assortment of discarded material pulled up from the River Thames. All were arranged over and around a large rectangle of sand that covered the floor in the centre of the room. MacLennan, dressed all in black, drew fish along the walls of the room at eye level.

‘The work takes its dominant meaning from the place. It had been a control room. Consequently, MacLennan chose to explore the idea of control from “in” to “out”. One one level “in” is represented by the river Thames from which material taken in had been deposited, or conversely, what had been first “in the river” might become part of this work, situated “out” of it.’

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