Participatory Vigils 1 - Alastair MacLennan - 19th Nov 1983

Submitted by root on Thu, 02/11/2016 - 16:33

The Vigil

The Framework

Alastair MacLennan created a chequered board made up of  black and white squares on the ground floor of the basement.  Above this he hung a network of strings each culminating in a suspended nightlight.

In the space he hung a paper lantern

The space at the start of the performance

Above how the space looked at the start of the day.

He also brought with him large billboard posters.

The Activity

Alastair cut the posters so as to form organic shapes but also in a way which responded to what was on the posters.   These shapes were then attached to the strings.

Alistair contemplating a posterAlistair cutting a posterAlistair hanging the first shape

Above Alastair contemplating, and cutting posters and then hanging a cut shape.

As the day progressed and more shapes were added, so that a hanging garden was created, which, because of the nature of the shapes, looked like an underwater garden of gigantic seaweed.

More shpes have been addedthe space with more shapes added

Above the spaces gathering works

Not all the works were organic shapes - there was for instance a suspened human figure and a cocoon shape covered in leaves.  However the organic shapes dominated.

Once the work was complete the nightlights were lit.

The space at the end of the Vigil

Above the space as it looked at the end of the Vigil


Visitors could discuss the work with Alastair and if they so wished they could join in its creation.  However the cutting had to be done it such a way that the final shape complemented the shapes Alastair had created.

People copnsidering the postersMark Bowden cutting his shapes

People cutting out leaves

Above people working on their contribution to the Vigil and below adding their works to the 'garden'.

Hanging a ruffled workPeole hanging their work

As the Vigil progressed it also made a space in which Alastair talked to visitors and people made themselves at home.

Alistair socialisingDi Dosser having added to the 'garden'

Above Alastair in conversation and Di Dosser and friend crouched amongst the works.