Representing Scotland in Venice
From camvid camvid
Ms Maclean’s 37-minute video, entitled Spite Your Face, was the focal point for a project that connected several important strands of the University to the Biennale. It marked a special alignment of students, staff, alumni, Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), the University’s Centre for Research Collections and the University’s contemporary art gallery, all working together – with significant external partners – to present on this most global of stages.
At 29, Ms Maclean is the youngest artist to be selected by Scotland + Venice, a partnership run by Creative Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council Scotland. Every two years Scotland + Venice selects an artist that best represents the country’s contemporary art scene.
“It was a big surprise,” says Ms Maclean. “I feel that I’ve been lucky. I owe a lot to Edinburgh and Scotland in terms of people having confidence in me when I was young.”
Since leaving ECA in 2009, Ms Maclean’s satirical, day-glow videos have startled critics and the public around the world. Her ability to weave major contemporary themes into her work made her a bold choice for the 2017 Biennale. Spite Your Face is a dark retelling of the Pinocchio story that plays upon the power of lies, populism and misogyny.