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Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

From e-flux

Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY (production still), 2019. Three-channel video installation in architectural amphitheater. HD video projections, color, six-channel mono sound, 25 mins, dimensions variable. Commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts on the occasion of the 58th Venice Biennale.

Angelica Mesiti
ASSEMBLY
Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
May 8–November 24, 2019

Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini della Biennale
Venice
Italy

Artist: Angelica Mesiti
Curator: Juliana Engberg
Commissioner: Australia Council for the Arts
The Pavilion of Australia, Giardini della Biennale

Evolving as performed translations in the styles of polyphony, dissonance and cacophony, and finally culminating in a moment of harmony, Angelica Mesiti has created an imaginable, musical world in which a “contingent” gathering of “the people” is allowed to disintegrate and resolve by perpetually reforming and revolutionising itself.

Utilising the device of the Italian stenographic “Michela” machine to re-code a poem by Australian writer, David Malouf, which has been transposed into a musical score by Australian composer, Max Lyandvert, then played by an ensemble of musicians, Mesiti explores the transformative power of group communication through interpretation and non-verbal languages.

Translation and the way it forms a community has been a particular enquiry and methodology for Mesiti for a number of years and it occurs in a variety of contexts in her work. Perhaps most notably expressed as a movement from verbal and written language to non-verbal, gestural and musical translations.

Mesiti has physicalised this desire for communication and communality in the architectural installation that houses her three-screen projections in Venice. Mesiti activates the audience and encourages them to be participants, alert to small manoeuvres and shifting sensibilities.

In ASSEMBLY, Mesiti’s musical transpositions are generative, inclusive and perform a future that is multiple and fluid. Through poetry and metaphor Mesiti shows the joy of making a hospitable place for the “Other” in the processes of society. Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY uses and personifies the exilic energies of those who seek hospitality in the community—the young, the female, the Indigenous, the arrived, the exiled, the hopeful, the refugee and the artist.

 

Angelica Mesiti
Angelica Mesiti (b. 1976) lives and works between Paris and Sydney. She is currently presenting a solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo Paris, and has previously held solo exhibitions at MAXXI Rome, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, O Space, Aarhus, Williams College Museum of Art Massachusetts, and Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen. Her work is held in national and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art, FRAC Franche-Compté France, and Kadist Art Foundation Paris/San Francisco.

The Australia Council for the Arts is the Australian Government’s principal arts funding and advisory body. Australia’s participation at the Venice Biennale began in 1954 and has been managed by the Australia Council since 1978.

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