Talbot Rice to be creative partner at Venice Biennale

The University and Talbot Rice Gallery have been selected as one of the partners in Scotland’s entry to the world’s most important visual arts event, the Venice Biennale.

Rachel Maclean, an Edinburgh College of Art graduate, will be the artist representing Scotland at its national pavilion next year.

A major new film by Maclean will be commissioned and curated by Alchemy Film and Arts in partnership with the Gallery and the University.

As the project’s creative and academic partner, Talbot Rice Gallery will host Maclean’s work from Venice in early 2018.

Still image from Rachel Maclean's "Feed Me" video
Still image from Rachel Maclean's "Feed Me" video

The world's most prestigious exhibition

The 57th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale runs 13 May to 26 November 2017. It is the largest and most prestigious visual arts exhibition in the world.

Each country that participates selects an artist or group of artists to create an exhibition that showcases the best of its contemporary art scene.

This will be the eighth presentation from Scotland + Venice, a partnership between Creative Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and the British Council Scotland.

Rachel Maclean

Rachel Maclean graduated from Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) in 2009. She works across film, print and photography to construct fantastical stories that play with issues of identity, social values and politics. Maclean often plays an extraordinary, colourful cast of characters in her exacting and engaging films.

Her work has attracted national attention through her presence in the current British Art Show. She has an upcoming residency at Artpace, San Antonio and a solo show at HOME, Manchester in late 2016.

It is hugely exciting to be representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale. I am honoured to be participating in such a significant international event and can't wait to get started on the new commission.

Rachel Maclean

Talbot Rice Gallery

Talbot Rice is the University of Edinburgh’s public art gallery. Founded in the early 1970s, Talbot Rice has an influential national and international reputation founded on its exhibition and integrated education programmes.

We are delighted to be one of the partner organisations presenting Rachel Maclean's work at the Venice Biennale. The University is extremely proud that the audacious work of an ECA graduate will represent her country on a world stage. Since graduating in 2009 her striking and relevant work has been a great inspiration to succeeding generations of students and staff. The potential for Rachel in Venice is vast. It is a place of decadence and Carnival, of mythical history and masquerade balls. We eagerly anticipate how she will respond to it.

Pat FisherPrincipal Curator of Talbot Rice Gallery

 In the last decade the Gallery has curated exhibitions with some of the most influential artists in the world, including: Luc Tuymans; Jane and Louise Wilson; Joseph Kosuth; Jenny Holzer; Lucy Mc Kenzie; Alasdair Gray; Mark Dion; Rosemarie Trockel; and Tim Rollins.

Partners in Venice

Alchemy Film & Arts produces Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, an international festival of experimental film and artists’ moving image, alongside developmental projects for experimental film and artists’ moving image production in Scotland.

Rachel Maclean is a powerfully original artist filmmaker, and we look forward to working with her on a striking new film and exhibition presentation at Venice. Rachel’s new film commission will create a significant legacy as part of a national and international touring programme, working with a range of partners across Scotland and beyond.

Richard AshrowanCreative Director at Alchemy Film & Arts

Previous artists chosen to represent Scotland as part of Scotland + Venice include Karla Black, Martin Boyce, and Jim Lambie.

The Scotland + Venice partners are delighted to be presenting the work of Rachel Maclean at the Venice Biennale in 2017. Rachel’s work is remarkable and has the power to captivate and enthral. The Biennale is a significant international platform that will bring Rachel’s work to new audiences, especially the large number of international visitors that come to Venice.  Our partnership with Alchemy Film and Arts and Talbot Rice Gallery and the University of Edinburgh is extremely valuable, providing exciting new possibilities to strengthen the impact of the project in Scotland, to produce an outstanding exhibition and to ensure our visitors are given the very warmest of welcomes.”

Amanda CattoChair of the Scotland + Venice Partnership and Portfolio Manager for Visual Arts at Creative Scotland