Rachel Maclean – The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway…

Rachel Maclean Screen Shot from Please Sir Video installations Please Sir... and Let it Go, in situ at 20-21 Visual Arts Centre


11 July to 10 October 2015

Exploring themes of class, aspiration and childhood, this solo exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean presented her recent two screen video installation Please, Sir… (2014) and, for the first time in a gallery setting, a new six screen video installation Let it Go! (2015).

Shot entirely using a green-screen, Maclean’s work presents a hyper-real, shape-shifting realm set in a bleak yet seductive urban landscape. The work pulls between fantasy and social realism, making everyday stereotypes grotesque and uncomfortable for viewers to process.

In Please, Sir… an Adidas-striped Oliver Twist mugs a Tudor Prince at knife point, a pauper steals £10 from the pocket of Simon Cowell, and a vagrant youth is offered heroin by a well-dressed servant!

In Let it Go! a synchronised choir of street-urchins occupy a dystopian landscape (partially filmed in Scunthorpe). They make public their most personal confessions, before bursting into an ear-splitting rendition of ‘Let it Go’ from the animated Disney blockbuster Frozen.

Maclean is the only star in her films, and mimes to audio plundered from a range of pop cultural sources including Britain’s Got Talent, Jeremy Kyle and The Apprentice. Her colourful characters wear heavy make-up, prosthetic noses and fake teeth, and sit somewhere between a Hogarth satire and the cheap-plastic monstrosities of a fancy-dress shop.

Please Sir…  Two screen digital video installation (2014) was commissioned by CCA Glasgow

Let It Go! Six screen digital video installation (2015) was commissioned by Daata Editions

For photographic documentation of this exhibition visit www.juleslister.co.uk

For information about Maclean’s work, visit her website.