Alastair MacLennan

Alastair MacLennan (Scotland, 1943) is Emeritus Professor of Fine Art, School of Art and Design, Ulster University in Belfast. Since 1975 he has been based in Belfast and was a founder member of Belfast’s Art and Research Exchange as well as of the collective Bbeyond. He is also a member of the European Performance Group ‘Black Market International.’ MacLennan represented Ireland at the Venice Biennial, with inter-media work commemorating the names of all those who died as a result of the Political Troubles in Northern Ireland, from 1969 to then date (1997).  During the 1970’s and 1980’s he made long durational performances in Britain and America, of up to 144 hours each, non-stop, usually neither eating nor sleeping throughout, dealing with political, social, religious, ethical and aesthetic questions. He currently travels extensively in Eastern and Western Europe, also America and Canada, presenting ‘Actuations’ (his term for Performance/Installations). Over many years, Maclennan has evolved a practise informed by his Zen practice. Maclennan has a long-term collaboration with Sandra Johnston, an artist from Northern Ireland working in areas of site-responsive performance who like Maclennan explores creative responses in the aftermath of trauma, such as, acts of commemoration that exist as forms of testimony and empathetic encounter.


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