Wot u :-) about?, part of Tate Britain’s Art Now series, focuses on new works by Glasgow-based artist-filmmaker Rachel Maclean (born Edinburgh, 1987). They present a vision of society that is at once seductive and nightmarish, exaggerating contemporary preoccupations and behaviours.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts 2016 parodies social media, advertising, children’s television programmes and fairy tales, subjects that appear frequently in Maclean’s work. The film borrows techniques global corporations use to sell well-being, youth and happiness by bombarding us with imagery and preying on our anxieties. This new film and the related prints critique consumption in all its forms, focusing particularly on our dependence on technology. Playing all of her characters herself, Maclean uses green-screen backdrops to create sinister animated environments. A blankly glamorous celebrity figure embodies data, feeding a desperate crowd with selfies and internet cables until her system is hacked. This technological collapse causes a complete breakdown in the sick society Maclean depicts, but she gives little sense that anything better will replace it.
Rachel Maclean is a Glasgow-based multi-media artist who creates artificial visions using green-screen technology. Within her fantastical settings Maclean parodies fairy tales, children’s television programmes, beauty product advertising, internet videos, and pop culture playing all the extravagantly costumed characters herself. At once seductive and nightmarish, glossy and grotesque, her films destabilise power dynamics and consumer desires.
Art Now: Rachel Maclean: Wot u :-) about? is curated by Elsa Coustou, Assistant Curator, Contemporary British Art. Maclean’s new film work, It’s What’s Inside That Counts (2016), has been commissioned by HOME, Manchester. The film has been created in partnership with HOME, Manchester, the University of Salford Art Collection, Artpace San Antonio, Zabludowicz Collection, Tate, Frieze Film and Channel 4 Random Acts. The exhibition has been created in partnership with HOME, Manchester.
The exhibition at Tate coincides with Rachel Maclean’s Wot u :-) about?, a major solo show of new work currently showing at HOME, Manchester, 8 Jan 2017.
About Art Now
Art Now is a series of exhibitions at Tate Britain focusing on new and recent work by emerging artists.