Artist
Alastair MacLennan

Image: © Alastair MacLennan, EMIT TIME ITEM, 1999. Photo Paul Couillard.


b. 1943, Scotland
www.vads.ac.uk/collections/maclennan

Alastair Maclennan was born in 1943 in Blair Atholl, Scotland. He studied at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee from 1965-66; and received his teacher training from the College of Education in Dundee in 1966. From 1966-68, he studied in the USA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his MFA. 

During the 1970s and 1980s he made long durational performances in Britain and America, of up to 144 hours each, non-stop, usually neither eating nor sleeping throughout. Subject matter dealt with political, social and cultural malfunction. Since 1975 he has been based in Belfast, and was a founder member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange. Since 1975 he has taught at what is now called the University of Ulster, Belfast, Northern Ireland, and for 11 years ran the postgraduate Fine Art Programme in Belfast. He is curently Emeritus Professor in Fine Art (University of Ulster); an Honorary Fellow from the Dartington College of Art (Devon); and an England 
Honorary Associate from the National Review of Live Art (Glasgow, Scotland).

He continues to travel extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, Asia and North America, presenting actuations (his term for performance/installations). In 1997 Alastair MacLennan represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale with intermedia work commemorating the names of all those who died as a result of the political trouble in Northern Ireland from 1969 to date. He is an original member of the European performance group, Black Market International.

Performance
International Visiting Artists: Alastair MacLennan

It’s been 10 years since Alastair MacLennan’s rigorous and unique style of performance installation has been presented in Toronto. FADO is once again pleased to present a new performance work entitled DONE NODE, and other activities by one of the UK’s most respected performance artists.

In the artist’s words:

“A primary function of art is to bridge our spiritual and physical worlds. Through crass materialism we have reduced art to cultural real estate. Actual creativity can be neither bought nor sold, though its husks, shells and skins often are. It is possible in art to use meta systems without over-reliance on physical residue and attendant marketplace hustling, jockeying and squabblings. Art is the demonstrated wish and will to resolve conflict through action, be it spiritual, religious, political, personal, social or cultural. To heal is to make whole.

As well as ecology of natural environment, there is ecology of mind and spirit. Each is a layer of the other, interfused, three in one. The challenge for us today is to live this integration. Already we are late. Time we have is not so vital as time we make.”

FADO is proud to be supporting and a part of the team of people responsible for hosting Alastair Maclennan’s activities while in Canada. These include:

Present Response
Performances by Paul Couillard (curator), Alastair MacLennan, Margaret Dragu, Aiyyana Maracle
Gallery Lambton, Sarnia
May 6–8, 2010

FADO presents A Symposium on Teaching and Learning Performance Art
Speakers include: Alastair Maclennan, Margaret Dragu, Marilyn Arsem, Tanya Mars, Johanna Householder, Paul Couillard, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Jess Dobkin
OCAD, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
May 10 @ 10:00am–4:00pm

FADO presents DONE NODE by Alastair Maclennan
Butterfield Park at OCADU, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
May 12 @ 3:00pm–8:00pm

Hamilton Artists Inc. & FADO present NO NOU ME NON by Alastair MacLennan
Hamilton Artists Inc., 161 James St North, Hamilton
May 14 @ 7:00pm–10:00pm

Documentation
EMIT TIME ITEM
Performance
EMIT TIME ITEM by Alastair MacLennan

FADO continues its 12-month duration performance art series, TIME TIME TIME, with EMIT TIME ITEM, a new work by internationally acclaimed Irish artist Alastair MacLennan. Famous for his ‘actuations’, MacLennan’s term for his performance installation works, he is a key practitioner in the field of durational performance.

In EMIT TIME ITEM, MacLennan uses the number 30 as a departure point to explore the past 30 years of political and social turmoil in Northern Ireland, known as ‘The Troubles’. The piece will run for 30 hours, presenting a subtly but ever-changing image of 30 place settings at an expansive white table. Like MacLennan’s previous work, this piece deals with political, social and cultural malfunction. ‘The Troubles’ are an ongoing concern for the Belfast-based artist, who represented Ireland at the Venice Biennale in 1997 with an intermedia work commemorating the names of all those who died as a result of the political trouble in Northern Ireland since 1969.

In keeping with TIME TIME TIME’s curatorial focus on duration and its effects in performance, MacLennan will place an emphasis on marking time as his key role as the performer in the work. He writes, “As well as ecology of natural environment, there is ecology of mind and spirit. Each is a layer of the other, interfused, three in one. The challenge for us today is to live this integration. Already we are late. Time we have is not so vital as time we make.”

During the 1970s and 1980s, MacLennan made long durational performances of up to 144 hours each, non-stop, usually neither eating nor sleeping throughout. Since 1975, he has been based in Belfast, and was a founding member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange. He is currently a research professor at the University of Ulster, travelling extensively throughout Europe and North America presenting his actuations. MacLennan is also a member of the European performance group, Black Market International.

MacLennan says of his practice, “A primary function of art is to bridge our spiritual and physical worlds… Art is the demonstrated wish and will to resolve conflict through action, be it spiritual, religious, political, personal, social or cultural.”

Performance Yellow

This fragrance opens us to the question, has the show started? It's winter, the theatre is colder than the street and the room is filled with people and all their winter smells: wet faux leather, down, too much shampoo, and beer breath. The atmosphere is a trickster. Am I late, am I early?

Top Notes

yellow mandarin, mimosa

Middle Notes

honey, chamomile, salt

Base Notes

narcissus, guaiac wood, piss, beer