13 May - 26 November 2017
The Scotland + Venice partnership presents a major new film commission by Rachel Maclean as a Collateral Event for the 57th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia.
Possessing a unique and often disturbing vision, Maclean’s fantasy narratives combine traditional modes of theatre with technology and popular culture, raising critical questions about identity, economy, society, connectivity and morality.
Referencing the Italian folk-tale The Adventures of Pinocchio, Spite Your Face offers a powerful critique of contemporary ‘post truth’ political rhetoric, in which the dubious language of truth is used and abused to enhance personal, corporate and political power.
Set across two worlds, the upper realm is bright, ordered and glittering, populated by silver-skinned, manipulative characters, while all below is warped, dirty, impoverished, flooded and grey.
A bottle of Truth works its ambiguous perfumed magic, as a Madonna-like character offers a destitute young boy a way into the shimmering riches of the kingdom above. The price he pays is to cast himself morally adrift. He discovers that (un)Truth proves a worthy substitute for the real thing, packaged up and sold to an unquestioning public.
Riches, power and adoration become his just rewards for playing his part in an ethically barren corporate illusionism. At least until Truth itself runs out. Vacuous statements are employed to manipulate political opinion, feed corporate greed and sell fantasies of perfection.
Spite Your Face illuminates the power dynamics of our globalised world, exposing relationships between morally bankrupt public figures, aggressive consumerism, sexual power, personal conscience, and… noses.
Rachel Maclean is a Glasgow based artist (b.1987, Edinburgh, Scotland). Working predominantly with the moving image, Maclean has had significant recent success, with major exhibitions at HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain in 2016. After graduating from Edinburgh College of Art, her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries 2009. She went on to win the Margaret Tait Award in 2013, was twice shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and achieved widespread critical acclaim for Feed Me (2015) in the British Art Show 8.
Her recent exhibitions include: Wot U :-) About?, HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, London (2016-17); We Want Data (2016), Artpace, Texas; British Art Show 8 (2015-17); Ok, You've Had Your Fun, Casino Luxembourg (2015), Please, Sir…, Rowing, London (2014); The Weepers, Comar, Mull (2014); Happy & Glorious, CCA, Glasgo (2014). Recent screenings include: Feed Me at Athens and Luxembourg Film Festival (2016); Moving Pictures, British Council and Film London (2015-16); Lolcats, Impakt Festival, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2014).
Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme
14 art students have been selected from six Scottish art colleges for the Scotland + Venice Professional Development Programme. Participants will spend four weeks in Venice sharing time between invigilation of the Scotland + Venice presentation and independent study and research. Students participating come from Borders College, City of Glasgow College, Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Edinburgh College of Art, The Glasgow School of Art and Aberdeen’s Gray’s School of Art, Robert Gordon University.
Scotland + Venice
Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and British Council Scotland.