She parodies fairy tales, children’s television programmes, advertising, internet videos, and pop culture to examine identities, power dynamics and consumer desire. All of the characters are played by the artist, who transforms herself through extravagant costumes and make-up.
This exhibition includes Spite Your Face which Maclean exhibited at the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia in 2017, representing Scotland+Venice 2017, curated by Alchemy Film and Arts in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. The film refers to the Italian folk-tale The Adventures of Pinocchio and offers a powerful critique of contemporary society and its underlying fears and desire. Spite Your Face is a tale across two worlds - with a bright, glittering and ordered upper world, and a warped, dirty, impoverished lower world - where the lure of wealth, power and adoration entices a destitute young boy into the shimmering riches of the kingdom above.
Maclean says of Spite Your Face: “With this film I set out to respond to significant changes in the political climate in the UK and abroad over the last 12 months - in particular the divisive campaigns in the lead up to the Brexit vote and the US Presidential election. These events have been central in heralding a new post-truth era, where politicians feel free to say what they want to help them gain popular support, with little regard for factual accuracy.”