6 February 2018
Rachel Maclean’s Venice Biennale 2017 commission Spite Your Face is returning to Scotland for its UK premiere.
Edinburgh's Talbot Rice Gallery will host the video work which is set between two contrasting worlds: one glittering, materialistic and celebrity-obsessed; the other dark, dank and impoverished. Steeped in the political and social context of the present, the story sees a destitute young boy lured into the sparkling riches of the kingdom above.
Presented as a perpetual 37-minute-long loop with no definitive beginning or end, Maclean's work raises issues including the abuse of patriarchal power, capitalist deception, exploitation and the destructive trappings of wealth and fame, all in the artist's typically direct and acerbic style.
Following the monumental staging of the work for Scotland + Venice in the deconsecrated Chiesa di Santa Caterina in Venice, Spite Your Face will be reframed for the grand Georgian Gallery of Talbot Rice. The room’s iconic interior, reminiscent of the opulent upper world depicted in the work, is augmented with a navy carpet, gold fabric and luxurious cushions. Viewers will be invited to sit, lie and reflect in the light of the monolithic portrait-format screen.
Spite Your Face (2017) was commissioned and curated for Scotland + Venice by Alchemy Film and Arts, in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. Additional support was provided by Edinburgh College of Art, Outset Scotland and the Saltire Society of Scotland.
Scotland + Venice is a partnership between Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council Scotland.
The exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery is funded by Scotland + Venice, with additional support from the Art Fund.