MAC International 2018 Shortlist Announced

The MAC, has launched ‘MAC International 2018’ - the biggest contemporary art prize in Ireland and one of the most significant prizes in the UK. The award offers professional artists across the world the opportunity to exhibit at the MAC, as well as a prize fund of £20,000 for the overall winner.

The MAC Belfast is pleased to announce the 13 artists shortlisted for the MAC International Prize 2018:

Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Romania

Ali Cherri, Lebanon

Larissa Fassler, Canada

Nikolaus Gansterer, Austria

Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi & Simone Trabucchi), Italy

Ronan McCrea, Dublin

Aisling O’Beirn, N Ireland

Vesna Pavlović, Serbia

Renata Poljak, Croatia

Larissa Sansour, Palestine

Özge Topçu, Turkey.

Chosen from more than 800 submissions the shortlist includes artists from Ireland, Italy, Romania, Hungary, Croatia, Canada, USA, Palestine, Austria, France and Turkey, working across a range of mediums including photography, film, installation, sculpture and drawing.

MAC International is the largest arts prize in Ireland and one of the few major art prizes in the UK, offering artists from around the world an opportunity to exhibit at the MAC in Belfast.

Now in its third edition, MAC International presents a snapshot of the most exciting and ambitious art practices from across the world. The exhibition will run from 9 November 2018 to 31 March 2019.

The MAC International Prize 2018 of £20,000 GBP will be awarded at the exhibition preview on 8 November to the artist judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the exhibition.

Previous winners of the MAC International prize are Mairéad McClean (2014) and Jasmina Cibic (2016).

The judges for MAC International 2018 are Hugh Mulholland, Senior Curator at the MAC Belfast; Anne Barlow, Director at Tate St Ives; and Başak Şenova, Curator, CrossSections (Vienna, Helsinki and Stockholm).

Hugh Mulholland, Senior Curator at the MAC, on making the announcement said: “We are incredibly excited to reveal the shortlist for the MAC International. It is an exceptionally strong cohort of artists, all of whom are making diverse and challenging work. The artists represented this year individually and collectively contribute to a critical understanding and discourse around an expanded view of contemporary art and the question of art’s context in the world today, and I am confident their work will find a receptive audience in Belfast.”

Anne Barlow said “I am thrilled to be part of the jury for this significant prize for contemporary art. Since its inception in 2014, MAC International has made a vital contribution to the visual arts in Belfast and beyond, offering opportunities for artists from around the world to present both existing and new work to the public. It has been wonderful to see the breadth and quality of applications for this 2018 edition, and I very much look forward to seeing the work of the shortlisted artists at the MAC in November.”

Başak Şenova said: “MAC International is an important measure of the current state of contemporary art production around the world. The quality of work submitted this year was outstanding and the process of selecting the artists to take part in the exhibition, alongside my fellow jurors Hugh Mulholland and Anne Barlow, has been a wonderful experience. It has been inspiring to see the quality and criticality demonstrated in the eleven selected projects and I am very excited to see the resulting exhibition in November.”

Dr Suzanne Lyle, Head of Visual arts, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, added, “ACNI is delighted to see the launch of MAC International 2018. The MAC’s contribution to the contemporary visual arts sector in NI is exemplified in this exhibition which gives audiences here the chance to see contemporary art created by artists from around the world. I look forward to seeing the work of the selected artists and to seeing their insights and perspectives on the modern world.”

John McGrillen, Chief Executive, Tourism NI said “Tourism Northern Ireland is delighted to fund MAC International as part of its Tourism Event Funding Programme. Events such as this offer a unique tourism opportunity for national and international visitors. They create a positive perception about Northern Ireland and help to profile the destination to those who are culturally curious. We congratulate each of the artists for getting this far and wish them the very best of luck for the final.”

The exhibition runs from 9 November 2018–31 March 2019.

The winner of the MAC International Prize will be announced at the exhibition launch on November 8, 2018.

For press enquiries contact Maeve Hawkins at [email protected]