SLOW KNOW

Alberta, Canada : 1987

Performance/installation at Banff Art Centre as part of the British Performance Series for Walter Phillips Gallery.

3 October 1987


 

This work took place in a cafeteria over the course of one day, between 7.30am and 8.30pm. MacLennan dressed the cafeteria with branches, trees, black and white balloons, newspapers, wheelchairs and walking aids. An audio tape played pipe tunes mixed with voiceover passages from the medical regulations for entry to Canada.

‘During the day, at set times, it was used by the public for meals. MacLennan talked to people and performed a conceptual meal: took the tray, moved along the service hatch, made appropriate movements to take the prepared food onto his tray, and sat down to eat – nothing. Between times when the cafeteria opened for meals, MacLennan reset the space and tables and moved the trees, wheelchairs, walking aids and balloons. He was dressed in black and wore sunglasses with one lens. He recalls that it felt “between a celebration and a funeral”.

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