Scotland Reveals Details of Rachel Maclean’s Project at the 2017 Venice Biennale

The artist will present a new film in the historic church.

Rachel McLean, still from Extract from Over The Rainbow (2013). Courtesy YouTube
Rachel McLean, still from Extract from Over The Rainbow (2013). Courtesy YouTube

Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean, who is representing Scotland at the 57th Biennale di Venezia, now has an official home for her 2017 presentation: Chiesa di Santa Caterina, Fondamenta Santa Caterina.

Described by the press release as “a deconsecrated former church which is now part of the Collegio Marco Foscarini,” the venue selection “provides Rachel with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new work in an exceptional context.”

For the Biennale, Maclean plans to premiere a film commissioned specifically for the event, to be produced by fellow Glaswegian production company Barry Crerar.

Long-time Scotland resident Maclean—who graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 2009 with a BA in Drawing and Painting—explores a variety of themes and mediums in her artistic oeuvre to ultimately comment on pop culture, using film, print and photography.

Chiesa di S. Caterina, Fondamenta Santa Caterina, Venice. Courtesy of Scotland + Venice.

Chiesa di S. Caterina, Fondamenta Santa Caterina, Venice. Courtesy of Scotland + Venice.

Drawing upon television reality “talent” shows, horror films, and commonplace advertising, Maclean will “incorporate the latest techniques in film with traditional theater,” according to the press release.

The artist made her initial mark through her 2009 debut at London’s Bloomberg-funded New Contemporaries. She was the 2013 recipient of the Margaret Tait Award, and she was shortlisted for the 2016 Jarman Award.

The location choice of the Chiesa di Santa Caterina demonstrates the site’s ongoing relationship with the Venice Biennale; in the event’s 2015 iteration, the church displayed artist Grisha Bruskin’s project “An Archaeologist’s Collection.”

“The Chiesa di Santa Caterina is a beautiful venue, filled with so much history and power,” Maclean said in a statement. “I’m incredibly excited to create a new work that will transform this space—and provide a new context for my work.”


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