In August 2017, I, along with Fiona and a few BOM friends, were extras in Rachel Maclean’s new film Are You Satisfied, made as part of her Channel 4 sponsored residency at Birmingham’s Bullring shopping centre which was broadcast a year later.

The show is no longer on the C4 website but there was an interview with her about it in the Guardian.

I wrote about the experience, republished below:

Are You Satisfied?

8 August 2018

In August 2017 a message went around the Birmingham art grapevine saying Rachel Maclean needed unpaid extras for a film she was making in the Bullring titled Are You Satisfied. She’d been In Residence there for a Channel 4 programme and the shoot was going to be all night.

Fi and I had seen and enjoyed her film Feed Me at BMAG (you know you like a piece of video art when you sit through it for the full hour) so we signed up, as did a few friends, Louise, Ben and Joe.

The programme, The Shopping Centre, was finally broadcast a year later on Sunday night and is on C4’s shonky iPlayer clone. There’s also an interview with Rachel in the Guardian.

As extras our involvement was pretty superficial and it really wasn’t clear how we were going to be used until the final piece was shown, but it was still a lot of fun getting painted blue-for-boys and pink-for-girls, even if in the end we were heavily pixelated. This is Fi being recommended face cream, followed by me being offered pants.

I have many thoughts and opinions about the Bullring’s relationship with the city and the experience of making work there, be it a full-on residency or just trying to take photos on their property. But I think Rachel deals with everything I might say in the programme, so go watch it.

We were asked not to share photos before broadcast, so here’s a few from the makeup room. Photography nerds will be delighted by how Auto White Balance got very very confused with these faces.

This also partially answers the question Pete With Hair?