© Alastair MacLennan, EMIT TIME ITEM, 1999. Photo Paul Couillard.
b. 1943, Scotland
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.