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Glasgow-based artist Rachel Maclean’s powerful and unsettling social critique makes its UK premiere.

Commissioned for the Venice Biennale, Spite Your Face takes inspiration from Italian folk tale The Adventures of Pinocchio to respond to the turbulent political climate in the UK and the US during the last few years, most significantly the Brexit vote and the US presidential election.

Set between two worlds – the materialistic, shallow and celebrity obsessed upper world and the dark and impoverished lower world – a poverty-stricken young boy rises through the ranks to the upper world by constantly lying. This darkly humorous moral tale takes inspiration from our own times of political uncertainty, covering the themes of patriarchal power, capitalist deception, exploitation and the dark side of fame.

Shown as a perpetual 37-minute loop with no definitive beginning or end, the unique setting of the Georgian Gallery at Talbot Rice evokes a sense of the opulent upper world, and the audiences are invited to sit, lie and reflect in the light of the monolithic portrait-format screen.

Talbot Rice Gallery

The University of Edinburgh, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh, Midlothian, EH8 9YL

0131 650 2210


Opening times

Tue – Fri, 10am – 5pm
Sat, 12 - 5pm

Aug only Tue – Fri, 10am – 5pm
Sat - Sun, 12 - 5pm

Please check the website for our current exhibition dates.

Free to all

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