April 24, 2016 - The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre) - Double Act: Art and Comedy
April 24, 2016

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre)

Maurice Doherty, I Slept With The Curator To Get This Show, 2016.

Double Act: Art and Comedy
April 9–July 31, 2016

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre)
10 Exchange Street West
BT1 2NJ Belfast
Northern Ireland
Hours: Monday–Sunday 11am–5pm

T 02890 235 053


The MAC and Bluecoat are pleased to present Double Act: Art and Comedy, curated by David Campbell and Mark Durden.

This major exhibition explores how comedy is important in shaping meaning, and how it can help us negotiate the complexities of everyday life. What we find funny can be cruel and hateful, it can establish symbolic boundaries that divide people into distinct groups, setting those with power against those without and vice-versa. But it is also a way of binding people together; providing consolation, a sense of shared experience and a powerful weapon of resistance.

Double Act presents the multiple forms of the comedic as it is manifest through the experience of contemporary art.  Drawing together artists from diverse cultural and political contexts, each of whom share an interest in humour as a resource with which to animate their art practice and connect with an audience, both local and international, this exhibition explores questions of cultural distinctiveness in an increasingly globalised world.

Within the project a wide variety of media is presented to communicate different approaches to comedy, ranging from the bodily humour of slapstick to more conceptual articulations of wit and absurdity.

To further explore its theme of duality, the exhibition will itself be a "double act" and will take place at two venues: at Bluecoat in Liverpool, and at the MAC in Belfast, with each venue presenting a different line up of artists simultaneously. Both institutions will be exhibiting a specially commissioned neon work by Maurice Doherty spelling out the phrase "I slept with the curator to get this show," a playful and provocative piece which uses humour to undermine the assumed impartialities that lie behind curatorial decisions and exhibition making today.

Double Act is curated by artists David Campbell and Mark Durden, founding members of the artists’ group Common Culture, studio holders at Bluecoat, and guest curators at the MAC for 2016. The project stems from explorations in their own work of the comedic impulse within contemporary British culture.

Artists at Bluecoat: Alex Bag, BANK, Mel Brimfield, Common Culture, Jo Spence and Terry Dennett, Maurice Doherty, Erica Eyres, Peter Finnemore, Thomas Geiger, Kara Hearn, Peter Land, Sarah Lucas, Gemma Marmalade, David Sherry, Pilvi Takala, Bill Woodrow

Artists at the MAC: Bas Jan Ader, Cory Arcangel, Terry Atkinson, Mel Brimfield, Common Culture, Keith Coventry, Maurice Doherty, Richard Hughes, Paul McCarthy, Jonathan Monk, Adrian Paci, Julian Rosefeldt, Joachim Schmid, Michael Smith, John Smith, Richard Wentworth, Olav Westphalen, and Erwin Wurm        

The exhibition will be accompanied by a new publication designed by Lawn Creative in Liverpool, and there will be a public programme of events unfolding at both venues over the course of the project.  

Exhibition runs from April 9–June 19 at Bluecoat, Liverpool and from May 6–July 31 at the MAC, Belfast.

School Lane
Liverpool L1 3BX
Hours: Monday–Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 11am–6pm

T 0151 702 5324 / info [​at​] thebluecoat.org.uk

The MAC (Metropolitan Arts Centre)
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