Rachel McLean: Spite Your Face
Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff
Until Sun 20 Jan
Scottish multimedia artist Rachel Mclean has never been one to shy away from controversy. Her latest film, Spite Your Face, is now available to view for free in Cardiff’s Chapter Arts Centre and is a jarring, unsettling piece that shines a light on the current state of global politics and our celebrity-obsessed capitalist culture.
To say that the film is essentially a modern retelling of the 1940 Disney classic Pinocchio simply does not do this film justice. Spite Your Face tells the story of Pic, a Venetian street kid who dreams of the fame and fortune associated with the upper echelons of the world he inhabits. His wish is granted when, through the use of an iPad and an online app, he stumbles across a special perfume called Truth; with the use of this he is quickly accepted into the land of the rich and powerful, before ascending into a life of fame and fortune himself. It is not long before this façade drops, and the cracks begin to show however, as he soon finds that what awaits him is a savage world of greed, gluttony and sexual violence.
Played on a loop with no clear beginning and end, Spite Your Face becomes a metaphor for society, as the boy is trapped in an endless cycle that see his rise and fall from grace repeated over and over again, leaving the audience to question which of these two worlds is heaven and which one is hell. Originally commissioned for the Venice Biennale back in 2017, Spite Your Face is Maclean’s first solo exhibition in Wales. The film will be exhibited alongside a new commission adorning the side of the Chapter Arts Centre announcing the arrival of Pic to visitors and passers-by alike. The exhibition is sure to be a hit with those of you with those of you with an interest in radical cinema. With the exhibition being free to attend, there’s no excuses not to have a politically-charged afternoon of reflective film viewing. JAKE ANDREWS/CHLOE EDWARDS
Admission: free. Info: 029 2030 4400 / www.chapter.org