Award winning artist Gilbert & George launch ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for Belfast’ at the MAC

One of the world’s most recognisable and provocative artistic duos Gilbert & George opened their most significant exhibition in Ireland in almost 20 years at the MAC, Belfast, last night. The London based artists were in town to open a specially curated exhibition SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for Belfast, which will be on show throughout all three galleries in the MAC until April.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Gilbert & George’s first meeting at St. Martin’s School of Art in 1967 and their identification of themselves as ‘Living Sculptures’, two people as one artist. The Turner Prize winning artist is the latest high profile exhibition to be held in the MAC, following Andy Warhol and David Hockney, which drew thousands from across the UK and Ireland, and further afield, to Belfast.

The ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ opens with a bold statement of intent: “We want our Art to bring out the Bigot from inside the Liberal and conversely to bring out the Liberal from inside the Bigot.”  The exhibition unflinchingly describes the volatile 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. As with much of their work, Gilbert & George themselves take their place in these ‘SCAPEGOATING PICTURES’ as shattered and spirit like forms.

Speaking at the opening, Áine McVerry from the MAC said: “There are few modern artists who have given their whole lives to their art in the same way that Gilbert & George have, and we are delighted to have this remarkable exhibition in the MAC. Like all Gilbert & George exhibitions, SCAPEGOATING PICTURES for Belfast is provocative and challenging, and it is an incredibly exciting exhibition with which to open our 2018 programme.

“It has been almost 20 years since Gilbert & George exhibited in Belfast, and, while the city and community have changed a lot in that time, we still see division, disagreement and, often, an unwillingness to confront uncomfortable truths. Hopefully, visitors from all across Ireland and the UK, and further afield, will take the opportunity over the coming months to visit this exhibition and challenge their own preconceptions.”

Gilbert & George were on top form at the launch event and spoke about their excitement at being in Belfast: “We are thrilled to be back in Belfast. We are so excited to be showing 40 of our SCAPEGOATING PICTURES to the people of Belfast and its visitors.

“We hope you will all find this exhibition exhilarating, thought-provoking, joyful, beautiful and liberating. We love exhibiting in Belfast!”

The exhibition will run until 22 April 2018 in the Sunken, Tall and Upper Galleries at the MAC, Belfast. The exhibition is open daily from 10am-7pm and admission is free.

Visit our website to book a ticket to see Gilbert & George at the MAC: www.themaclive.com