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Rachel Maclean - I’m Terribly Sorry

Rachel Maclean - I’m Terribly Sorry

A digital virtual-reality video commissioned by Zabludowicz Collection in partnership with Arsenal Contemporary, and produced by Rachel Maclean in collaboration with Werkflow.

I’m Terribly Sorry is an interactive virtual-reality video, which the audience experiences through VR headsets. In working with virtual reality, Maclean was keen to explore the experiential nature of the medium and how the audience can participate in the artwork, and play a role in the narrative.

The video places the viewer into an apocalyptic world familiar from movies and video games, one drenched in Brexit-era social tension where mistrust and misunderstanding are rife. Within this dystopian British urban landscape, filled with oversized Union Jack-emblazoned tourist merchandise such as Big Ben keyrings and London bus teapots, several characters approach the user, each of whom has a large smartphone for a head. These characters – stereotypes of privileged city dwellers – are played by the artist and voiced by actors. Initially benign and apologetic, they tell convoluted stories and attempt to elicit money, with their protestations soon becoming more sinister.

Virtual reality landscape - Woman with Smartphone face stands in street

In developing I’m Terribly Sorry Maclean investigated how the audience could become active participants in the story; exploring the relationship between virtual-reality artworks and popular video games.

I’m Terribly Sorry was first exhibited at the Zabludowicz Collection in London from 20 September to 16 December 2018, and subsequently toured to seven other venues around the world between 2018 and 2020.

 

Download project PDF: Rachel Maclean - I'm Terribly Sorry (1.6MB)

People with VR headsets

Main image:
Rachel Maclean, I’m Terribly Sorry, 2018, VR still.
Produced in collaboration with Werkflow. Commissioned by Zabludowicz Collection in partnership with Arsenal Contemporary.

Second image:
Rachel Maclean, I'm Terribly Sorry, 2018, Installation view
Produced in collaboration with Werkflow. Commissioned by Zabludowicz Collection in partnership with Arsenal Contemporary.