Dimensions:11 minutes, 30 seconds minutes
Credit:Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2014
Ownership history:Purchased from the artist by the Contemporary Art Society, 2014; presented to Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums, 2014
Relationship:Aberdeen Art Gallery & Museums
A central strand of Maclean’s work addresses the ideals of Scotland and Scottishness and their reality as portrayed by contemporary mass media. The Lion and the Unicorn is a short film in which three archetypal characters debate points of view on nationalism, trade and finance, natural resources and politics. They each use Scotland’s history to expound their arguments, yet their views cannot be reconciled. Maclean uses costumes, makeup and digital retouching to embody each of these Scottish national stereotypes. The video uses audio from television broadcasts, dubbed over Maclean’s performances: the Lion is given Jeremy Paxman’s voice and the Unicorn Alex Salmond’s, as they squabble over the future of Scottish governance. A series of four prints also presented by the Contemporary Art Society echoes the video’s engagement with themes of Scottishness in Maclean’s signature maximalist style.
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