The third edition of MAC
International has launched in Belfast, with Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer announced as the winner of the 20,000 GBP MAC International prize; Ireland's largest art prize and one of the few major art prizes in the UK.
Spanning all three of the MACs galleries, MAC International provides a truly global perspective on contemporary art and presents a snapshot of some of the most urgent voices in contemporary practice operating in our world today. This years exhibition includes work by artists from Ireland, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, France, Turkey, Palestine, USA and Canada.
The works in MAC International 2018 take many forms; from photography and film, through to installation, sculpture and painting. Conceptually, they address some of the main concerns facing artists, and wider society, today. Many of the artworks in this years MAC International address issues around land, borders and territory; some through an investigation of urban spaces, others through geological or archaeological enquiry. Other works critique the legitimacy of dominant historical and political narratives or call into question the very nature of fact and fiction in our apparently "post-truth" world of fake news and social media. Other works explore more material concerns, providing investigations of particular mediums and modes of artistic expression.
This year's MAC International Prize was awarded to Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer for his piece Wor(l)ding: a meshwork of sense in flux. Gansterers work is based on an expanded, open notion of drawing, exploring how the act of drawing can become a tool of communication, a score, or even an instruction for taking action.
Previous winners of the MAC International prize are Mairéad McClean (2014) and Jasmina Cibic (2016).
The MAC International jury for 2018 comprised of Hugh Mulholland, Senior Curator at the MAC Belfast; Anne Barlow, Director at Tate St Ives; and Başak Şenova, Curator, CrossSections (Vienna, Helsinki and Stockholm).
The shortlisted artists on display in the exhibition are:
Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan / Ali Cherri / Larissa Fassler / Nikolaus Gansterer / Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi & Simone Trabucchi) / Ronan McCrea / Aisling OBeirn / Vesna Pavlović / Renata Poljak / Larissa Sansour / Özge Topçu.
The exhibition continues until March 31, 2019.