Rachel Maclean, It’s What’s Inside That Counts, 2016
Commissioned by HOME, University of Salford Art Collection, Tate, Zabludowicz Collection, Frieze Film and Channel 4
It’s What’s Inside That Counts transports us from an anxious present to a dystopian near-future metropolis fuelled by fevered connectivity. A blankly glamorous celebrity demigod embodies data, feeding the desperate masses with selfies and internet cables. Playing all of her characters herself, Maclean uses green-screen backdrops to create sinister animated environments. Part Baroque heaven, part post-apocalyptic nightmare, the grotesque, cartoonish figures are seen to share in and compete for attention within a forever connected, corrupt, caffeine marinaded environment where power dynamics are repeatedly inverted and reconfigured. The film parodies social media, advertising, children’s television programmes and fairy tales, subjects that appear frequently in Maclean’s work. This film critiques consumption in all its forms, focusing particularly on our dependence on technology.