Current Exhibition

Rachel Maclean



July 14 – September 8 2019

In Make Me Up, Rachel Maclean (b.1987, lives and works in Glasgow) follows up on her earlier video works that use absurd narratives alongside props and computer animation to question the ways in which the contemporary protagonist searches for happiness. Maclean’s flamboyant and exaggerated story line acts as an allegory and stand-in for the contemporary problem of social media addiction. Make Me Up differs from her previous work, in that for the first time, instead of staring herself in all roles Maclean uses actors to convey her characters. Make Me Up has been shown as an 86min feature film in a selection of cinemas and film festivals, in the United Kingdom and internationally. On show at Kunsthalle, is a 45-minute version of the video including German subtitles as part of a larger installation.
The story of Make Me Up (2018) is set in a Disney-like building in an unspecific time in the future. By means of a remote control, a figurehead being reigns over a group of eleven girls. The figurehead is with the suggested voice of a man and the body of a woman; wearing pink, lilac and blue. It is figurehead’s opinion that the girls represent the culmination of an idealisation process of the female body, millennia old, and eventually made possible by mechanisation and computers.
The leading character Siri, does not remember how she came into this place and she cannot easily adapt to the new daily routine which consists of a permanent competition among the girls set up like a game show, and a meal that only provides a few slices of sausage for the winner. One night, Siri discovers how to escape her room, the door of which is kept locked by a complicated surveillance system. From then on, Make Me Up certainly turns into a story of female liberation; a story, however, that remains open to the possibility of redemption.

Oliver Kielmayer