Happy & Glorious is a new cinematic exhibition by Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean that explores ideas of national identity, class and Empire.
In this solo exhibition Maclean presents A Whole New World, recently commissioned for the Margaret Tait Award by Glasgow Film Festival, with the support from Creative Scotland and Lux, and 2012’s The Lion and The Unicorn, alongside Please, Sir… – a brand new split-screen video work for CCA.
Taking its title from a lyric in the British national anthem, Happy & Glorious presents a darkly humorous take on contemporary national identity, exploring contentious symbols of patriotism, imperialism and social status.
The viewer is invited into to enter a shape-shifting realm in which an Adidas-striped Oliver Twist mugs a Tudor Prince at knife point while a well-dressed imperial lion summons a globe from a magical soda bottle. Maclean is the only actor in the work and mimes to found audio plundered from a myriad of sources, including Britain’s Got Talent and various productions of the filmThe Prince and The Pauper.
Aesthetically mesmerising and grotesquely maximal, the work presents otherworldly digital realms, reminiscent of both a post-apocalyptic video game and a monstrously comic 18th-century caricature. Shot largely against green-screen, Maclean creates worlds in which identities merge and unravel, presenting feverishly positive visions of nightmarish unstable apparitions.
A one-day symposium on Sun 15 June will accompany the exhibition. British and international speakers will discuss national identity in relation to artistic practice. Check back for details.
The exhibition will also be accompanied by a film programme engaging with the process of independence and social change.
Part of GENERATION, a landmark series of exhibitions tracing the remarkable development of contemporary art in Scotland over the last 25 years. GENERATION will bring an ambitious and extensive programme of works of art by over 100 artists to over 60 galleries, exhibition spaces and venues the length and breadth of the nation between March – November 2014, with the majority of exhibitions taking place over the summer of 2014, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.
Full listings and details of the artists involved can be found on the GENERATION website.
GENERATION is a partnership between the National Galleries of Scotland and Glasgow Life, supported by Creative Scotland, and is part of Culture 2014, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme.
Tue - Sat: 11am - 6pm / Sun: 12noon - 6pm / Mon: Closed
Tel: 0141 352 4900