Ruth Maclennan’s work begins with her own encounter with a place—a neighbourhood of London, a futuristic capital city in Kazakhstan, a derelict cottage on an abandoned island, a ruined railway station in a desert, a fishing boat off the coast of Scotland. Her single and multi-channel video installations focus on overlooked moments, material remains and fragments of stories that reveal unresolved conflict. Maclennan has a Masters in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, and in Modern Languages from Cambridge University. Her work includes video installations, photography, bookworks, drawings, live events, and curatorial projects. Her collaborative art project Polytechnical Institute for the Study of the Expanding Field of Radical Urban Life, interrogates the present and speculates on the future through writing, performance, film, and events in the city. She is currently developing a body of work in the Russian Arctic and the North of Scotland investigating the histories and present manifestations of relationships with the sea. Her upcoming solo exhibition, The faces they have vanished, featuring new work filmed in Crimea and Odessa, opens at ICIA, Bath in 2013.
Ruth Maclennan’s solo exhibition and film, Anarcadia, was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and John Hansard Gallery and toured to Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Stills, Edinburgh, ICIA, Bath, Castlefield, Manchester, Loop, Barcelona and Edinburgh International Film Festival. Her work is on permanent display in Wellcome Collection, London. She exhibits internationally, and has participated in group shows at Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne, La Casa Encendida, Madrid, Loop, Barcelona, Kaaitheater, Brussels, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Munich Kunstverein, and also in Japan, Russia, Central Asia, and New York. Awards include the Joanna Drew Travel Award, Leverhulme artist in residence at the London School of Economics, Wellcome Trust award for State of Mind at LSE, and Arts Council England award for Archway Polytechnic. (www.archwaypolytechnic.org). Her work is included in several monographs on contemporary art and archives, including All This Stuff: Archiving the Artist, edited by Judy Vaknin, Karyn Stuckey and Victoria Lane, Libri and Arlis, UK, 2013; Ghosting, The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists’ Film and Video, J. Connarty and J. Lanyon, 2006 and Potential: Ongoing Archive, ed. A. Harding, John Hansard Gallery, 2002. The book Anarcadia, published by John Hansard Gallery and Film and Video Umbrella, 2011, includes essays by Steven Bode and Lucy Reynolds and a conversation between Owen Hatherley and Ruth Maclennan. Other bookworks include Hide, ed. Hart/Maclennan (AIR, 2011), Reflections on the City from a post-flâneur, Proboscis (2011); Re: the archive, the image, and the very dead sheep with Uriel Orlow (London, Double agents: 2004), and Style/Substance—The MaxMara Coat Project with Volker Eichelmann (MaxMara, 1999). Ruth Maclennan’s work is distributed by LUX.