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Alastair MacLennan’s vision is profoundly humane. His subject matter is often grim – division and conflict being his principal themes, his persona while performing often appears equally sinister, though he conveys a deep sense of empathy, kindness and caring through obviously considered and precise movement. Throughout his practice each performance is directly related to the specific location and space rarely re staging the work.

Bled Edge was performed in a former prison as part of EDGE’88 – Britain’s first ‘Biennale of Experimental Art’. He typically takes with him a number of objects and materials. Bled Edge was performed in England though the work was inextricably linked to the conflict in Northern Ireland including flags and barbed wire as props.

BLED EDGE

When disaster strikes, do we wash the blood,
heal the victims, or polish the floor?
To heal we make WHOLE.

One tires of upstart assertion “double parking” as truth.

What lies beyond the world of artifice,
(yet manifests through it)?
Communicate from there.

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

DimensionsDuration: 111hr.0min.0 sec.
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 2021, 2021
Item NumberIMMA.4341
Tags
Image Caption
Alastair MacLennan, Bled Edge, 1988, Duration: 111hr.0min.0 sec., Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 2021, 2021

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Alastair MacLennan b.1943

Alastair MacLennan was born in Blair Atholl, Perthshire, Scotland in 1943 and trained in Drawing and Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, University of Dundee in the 1960s. MacLennan is best known for his distinctive form of performance art which he terms ‘actuations and his artistic practice embraces drawing, installation and the use of found objects, materials and artefacts, which are often combined within his actuations.
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