Originally published in Twin Magazine.
Rachel Maclean’s hyper-saturated films are intoxicating to watch, like glowing psychedelic nightmares. Her narratives weave together excerpts from iconic cinema, cult television, cartoons and YouTube sensations. The artist plays every role, appropriating audio for her cast of flamboyant characters.
The endless recycling of cultural references in contemporary culture fascinates Maclean. In reference to her 2013 film Over The Rainbow, she explains, “the image of the rainbow has been pulled so far from its natural source point that it’s often a disappointment to see one in real life. It doesn’t live up to our saturated, perfected expectations.” Maclean combines cultural references of rainbows in Hollywood movies, children’s television and reality shows.
Within the synthetic, colourful environments she creates, her characters appear as artificial stereotypes. Their personalities, hopes and dreams seem both pathetic and absurd, set against the disconcerting hallucinatory dreamscapes.
“At one level I’m seduced by fantasy and escapism, and at another level I’m interested in how these spaces allow for the projection of contemporary fears and desires, often paralleling current social or political norms,” Maclean explains. She uses fantasy as an instrument of parody to encourage a questioning and rejection of the artificial, self-obsessed nature of contemporary culture.
For more from Rachel Maclean see www.rachelmaclean.com.