Gilbert and George are two of the most recognisable names in contemporary art and January 2018 will see the first significant exhibition of their work in Ireland in 20 years, at the MAC in Belfast where they will exhibit ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gilbert and George’s first meeting at St Martin’s School of Art in 1967 and their identification as ‘Living Sculptures’ or two people as one artist.
This new exhibition describes the volatile, tense, accelerated and mysterious reality of our increasingly technological, multi-faith and multi-cultural world. It is a world in which paranoia, fundamentalism, surveillance, religion, accusation and victimhood become moral shades of the city’s temper. Gilbert and George take their place in these ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ as shattered and spirit-like forms – at times masked, at times as grotesquely capering skeletons, at times dead-eyed and impassive.
Hugh Mulholland, senior curator at the MAC said: “We are delighted to be bringing Gilbert and George to Belfast again after an absence of nearly 20 years. In many ways Northern Ireland is a very different place to what it was in 1999 when they last exhibited here, but in many ways we remain the same and still have unresolved issues around equality and the recognition individual rights.
“Gilbert and George provoke and challenge deep seated preconceptions. By acting as a mirror to society, they place themselves and by extension us within their work, their intention is to be provocative to force us to examine our complicity in all that is wrong with society. This is a very significant exhibition for us and is very much in keeping with the MAC’s vision to bring major internationally renowned artists to audiences here.”
Noirin McKinney, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, commented: “Gilbert and George are the most influential duo of contemporary British art. ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’, like all their epic works, will no doubt offend, provoke and intrigue, presenting the viewer with an unrelenting portrayal of the fractures evident in Britain today. The Arts Council is delighted to endorse this latest exhibition at the MAC; we hope it will inspire many thousands of people to come along and be challenged and engaged by the unique vision.”
The exhibition will run from January 25 until March 31, 2018 in the Sunken, Tall and Upper Galleries at the MAC. The exhibition is open daily from 10am-7pm. Admission is free with a suggested donation of £3. Tickets are required and can be booked from themaclive.com from December 2017.