Guest curators David Campbell and Mark Durden present the second phase of their major two- part, twin venue, curatorial project, Double Act: Art & Comedy at the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC), Belfast. The exhibition includes work by internationally significant artists including: 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 staged across all of MAC’s galleries explores the importance of comedy in shaping meaning, and how it helps negotiate the complexities of everyday life. Examining what we find funny can be cruel and hateful and 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.