'The Shopping Centre: Artist in Residence' with Rachel Maclean
What happens when you place an award-winning multimedia media artist in residence for a month in Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre?
Well, you need wonder no more thanks to a new documentary from Channel 4 - The Shopping Centre: Artist in Residence. The film follows artist Rachel Maclean during the residency; an experience which placed her in the centre of modern consumer capitalism.
As Maclean discusses in an interview on The Guardian, it was a challenging environment in which to realise a creative vision.
“Every idea I had and everything I tried to do gradually seemed less possible. What I hadn’t considered is that these places feel like a public space, but the minute you try to critique or satirise it you hit up against all these things:
"I wasn’t allowed to film in shops, I couldn’t make work inspired by certain shops legally – the possible avenues for making art were narrowed down.
“So eventually the only way was to make art about the level of censorship around these brands.”
Maclean counters this censorship by masquerading in character as the ‘Satisfaction Bunny’; a dystopian fairy tale character styled in a manner recognisable to anyone familiar with her work.
Expect surrealism, censorship, and pre-approved Smiggle interviews.