Make Me Up is a new film by acclaimed Scottish artist Rachel Maclean. Part horror movie, part comedy, Make Me Up reflects on the shortcomings of a century of female enfranchisement. It is inspired by suffragette protest, including Mary Richardson’s famous 1914 attack on Velázquez’s painting The Rokeby Venus.
Make Me Up imagines a dystopian future where a group of women are trapped in a cruel reality TV-style competition, set in the modernist interiors of St Peter’s Seminary. Here, voting is not a liberation – it’s a harsh judgement the contestants must face. New arrival Siri learns the rules of a show where compliance and attractiveness are key. Emboldened by her growing friendship with fellow inmate Alexa, Siri finds ways of sabotaging the system, discovering some terrible truths in the process.
Make Me Up is part of Represent, a series of artworks inspired by the Representation of the People Act 1918. While the act gave the vote only to women over 30, Represent invites young female artists to explore democracy, equality and inclusion in contemporary Britain. Presented by 14-18 NOW and supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Represent is accompanied by a programme of events, talks and professional development opportunities.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and the BBC Scotland. Produced by NVA and Hopscotch Films, supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Creative Scotland, BBC Scotland and Argyll and Bute Council