Venue: Gallery
Dates: Saturday 20 October - Sunday 20 January

Rachel Maclean: Spite Your Face


Rachel Maclean: Spite Your Face

20 October 2018 - 20 January 2019

Commissioned for the Venice Biennale in 2017, Spite Your Face travels to Chapter, Cardiff to present Rachel Maclean’s first solo exhibition in Wales.

Referencing the Italian folktale The Adventures of Pinocchio, Spite Your Face (2017) advances a powerful social critique, exploring underlying fears and desires that characterise the contemporary zeitgeist. Set across two worlds — with a glittering, materialistic and celebrity-obsessed upper world, and a dark, dank and impoverished lower world — the lure of wealth and adoration entices a destitute young boy into the shimmering riches of the kingdom above.

Written in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, and during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, the story is steeped in the political flux and uncertainty of our time. Shown as a perpetual 37-minute loop with no definitive beginning or end, Spite Your Face raises issues including the abuse of patriarchal power, capitalist deception, exploitation and the destructive trappings of wealth and fame, all in Maclean’s typically direct and acerbic style.

Chapter will also present a new commission to accompany the exhibition. Maclean has created a large-scale artwork that will be sited on the art centre’s façade, announcing the arrival of the film’s central character, Pic to visitors and passers.


About the artist

Based in Glasgow, Rachel Maclean (1987) was educated at Edinburgh College of Art where she completed her BA in Drawing and Painting in 2009. Rachel premiered a new commission, Again and Again and Again at Frieze Art Fair as part of Frieze Film 2016.Maclean has risen to significant recent acclaim, with major, solo UK exhibitions ‘Rachel Maclean: Wot u :-) about?’ at HOME, Manchester and Tate Britain, 2016-17. Maclean graduated in 2009 and her work came to public attention in New Contemporaries later that year. Since then, her work A Whole New World won the prestigious Margaret Tait Award in 2013, she has twice been shortlisted for the Jarman Award, and has achieved widespread critical praise for Feed Me (2016) in British Art Show 8.

Recent exhibitions include: Ars 17 - Hello World!, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki, (2017-18); Feed Me, The Dick Institute, Kilmarnock (2017); Wot U :-) About?, Tate Britain and HOME (2016-17); We Want Data (2016), Artpace, Texas; British Art Show 8 (2015-17); Ok, You've Had Your Fun, Casino Luxembourg (2015); Please, Sir..., Rowing, London, The Weepers, Comar, Mull, and  Happy & Glorious, CCA, Glasgow, (all 2014).

More information is available at

Spite Your Face (2017) was commissioned and curated for Scotland
 + Venice by Alchemy Film and Arts, in partnership with Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh. Additional support provided by Edinburgh College of Art, Outset and the Saltire Society of Scotland.

The presentation of the exhibition at Chapter has been made possible with Art Fund support.



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