Alastair MacLennan at the Totemic Festival, Freud Museum (London, Uk) 8/07/2013.
The performer picks up a vice and straps it to his head with a black stocking. He takes a crinkled white plastic sheet and unfolds it slowly, or rather, allows the light breeze to do the work. The audience falls silent and observes the gentle flow of movement of plastic and of the performer who drifts slowly though the garden in tandem with the movements of this thing which is part sail part compass. Having deposited the object and his headdress he picks up a bucket of water and quickly pores it over his figure, all in one go, effacing the body for a split second but leaving an image, or a memory, in the form of a photo stcuk to his forehead. He puts the bucket down and blindfolds himself, adding weight to his body through a contraption of old wooden feet. His own bare feet continue to circle through the grass while the torso reaches upwards into the sky, extending further upwards through a long branch held between the teeth. A nearby trunk of a dead tree towers over the scene. Then he tosses another bucket of water over himself, leaving another image resting on his forehead. Without another gesture he walks away.
How to observe and how to remember this appearance? Thereafter it continues to circle in the mind’s eye. A description of the images lends itself as some kind of approximation, only ever suggesting moments in a sequence, the identifiable and identified.The in-between remains in the unnamable realm.