Actional Poetics – ASH SHE HE

The Performance Actuations of Alastair MacLennan, 1971–2020

Edited by Sandra Johnston, Chérie Driver, and Paula Blair

Actional Poetics – ASH SHE HE

Edited by Sandra Johnston, Chérie Driver, and Paula Blair

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

312 pages | 8 3/4 x 8 3/4
Paper $40.00 ISBN: 9781789383720 Will Publish May 2021 For sale in North and South America, Australia, and New Zealand only
This is the most comprehensive study of Alastair MacLennan’s extensive performance practice, nationally and internationally renowned for its contribution to the field of performance art. The essays in this collection explore MacLennan’s art practice, its influence on the Belfast art scene, and its relationships with wider art histories. 

The book places MacLennan’s work in its proper historical context, featuring outstanding archival visual documentation alongside new commissioned essays and interviews, none of which have been previously published. The essays range from descriptive to interpretive: some set the work in historical context while others provide pertinent biography. This variety is appropriate—and perhaps even necessary—in looking at the work of a living artist whose work is particularly complex and challenging. Each writer addresses the art on their own terms, and the resulting essays provide an approachable presentation of a multilayered body of work. 

List of Illustrations

Introduction: Actional Poetics – ASH SHE HE: The Performance Actuations of Alastair MacLennan, 1971–2018

Sandra Johnston and Paula Blair

Alastair MacLennan: Troubled Time

Nick Stewart

‘Maybe you don’t need the paintbrush…?’ In Conversation

Declan McGonagle and Alastair MacLennan

Elemental qualities in the work of Alastair MacLennan

Denys Blacker

Sensible Transcendence

Chérie Driver

Alastair MacLennan: A life seen as a form of Pedagogy

Brian Connolly

‘Sometimes you need help from other people’s ghosts’: Alastair MacLennan’s multi-disciplinary and ‘instituting’ practice as civil action

Christa-Maria Lerm Hayes

Alastair MacLennan: Universal Nomad

Nigel Rolfe

Actuations: Alastair MacLennan’s Influence on Bbeyond

Brian Patterson

Tender Dwelling in the Strewn

Adrian Heathfield

What Shall We Ask For? Considering the Transformative Moment in Alastair MacLennan’s Actuations

Sandra Johnston

Death, Transience and Duration – Alastair MacLennan

Helge Meyer

Proximity and Perpetrators: Reflecting on implications of registering perpetrators in the performance art of Alastair MacLennan

Dominic Thorpe

Triple-AAA: Alastair MacLennan, Adrian Hall & André Stitt

Spectral Arc, Vanishing Point and Memoranda: Hauntology and Atemporality in Performances 2011–13

André Stitt

Precarious Aftermaths

Paula Blair

Notes on Contributors 

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