Wot u 🙂 about? presents a major solo exhibition of entirely new work by acclaimed Scottish artist Rachel Maclean, who will represent Scotland at the 2017 Venice Biennale. Curated by Bren O’Callaghan, Visual Art Programme Manager, HOME, and Sarah Perks, Artistic Director: Visual Art, HOME.
Maclean uses the fairytale genre to examine the murky boundary between childhood and adulthood. She explores ideas of happiness and childhood as qualities that can be packaged and sold resulting in dark and unsettling adventures located in a netherland reminiscent of the supersaturated, candy-coloured palette of children’s television.
Centred on a linked body of new work, Wot u 🙂 about? includes a large format print series, We Want Data! (2016), developed during a residency at Artpace, San Antonio, plus a new film commission for HOME, It’s What’s Inside That Counts (2016). These will premiere alongside larger-than-life figurative sculptures directly relating to and overlapping with the props, costumes and aesthetic within the films.
Resembling hybrids of bored commuters, cutesy kids’ TV monsters and sickeningly engorged biological organs, the sculptural figures also function as inanimate viewers for a series of infographic videos, displaying spreadsheets, bar graphs and market research surveys to their unblinking users. Playing on ideas about the cult of youth and the exaggerated enthusiasm of happiness marketing, they take the form of part playground-equipment, part grotesque and bloated mannequins, which upon closer inspection are being eaten alive by swarms of razor-toothed dolls.