upside mimi ᴉɯᴉɯ uʍop Rachel Maclean

Rachel Maclean Photo: Rachel Maclean

‘upside mimi ᴉɯᴉɯ uʍop’ is Rachel Maclean’s first fully animated video work and introduces her latest protagonist, Mimi, a fairy-tale inspired doll coming to life. In the film, Mimi sings to her reflection, ‘mirror mirror in my hand, who’s the cutest in the land?’ But she never gets a definitive answer. Instead, the mirror keeps her in a destructive cycle of self-improvement, trying to achieve an ideal of beauty which is forever out of reach. Like Mimi, the video is stuck in a loop, going round and round with no clear beginning or end.

Mimi, is a constant reminder of the ‘threat’ of ageing and degeneration. Like consumer capitalism itself: Mimi looks light and playful on the surface but becomes dark and discouraging once you look past the glossy veneer. Mimi has come to life in many forms including installations, paintings, sculptures, tapestries and an NFT. At each stage Mimi mirrors and inverts, using a mix of digital and traditional fabrication techniques to suggest a kind of uneasy, uncanny perfection. As her story unfolds, Mimi creates and references classic visual illusions to reveal new forms and faces in an attempt to undermine traditional binary notions; in the universe of Mimi ‘Up and Down’, ‘Young’ and ‘Old’, ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Grotesque’ are constantly in flux.

Mimi was first featured as part of a permanent outdoor installation: an abandoned high street shop situated within the woodlands of Jupiter Artland (Scotland).

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