Having recognised a kindred sensibility in McRae’s provocative work, Australian skincare brand Aēsop commissioned her to conceive a short film to coincide with their website relaunch. ‘Morphe’ playfully presages a new juncture for science and beauty, transforming an old Amsterdam church into a meticulously ordered space that references Aesop’s own laboratory. Here, a painstaking Scientist employs an assortment of gels, liquids, and weird contraptions to minister arcane beauty treatments to a sleeping Muse. At the edge of this world, the skin and hair play key roles for the female specimen fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a new kind of super-sensory beauty treatment.
McRae describes her film inspired chiefly by nineteenth-century scientist and philosopher Hermann von Helmholtz, and his revolutionary research on human perception: ‘Everything’, wrote Helmholtz, ‘is an event on the skin’. ‘I wanted to suggest a journey inside a world beyond skin care, one that involves farther realms of perception within the sensory landscape of the human body. The skin and hair play key roles for the female specimen fortunate enough to be on the receiving end of a new kind of super-sensory beauty treatment.