9th September 2017 – 2nd April 2018
National Gallery of Australia
Angelica Mesiti has long been fascinated by performance: as a mode of storytelling and a means to express social ideas in physical form. In recent years she has been making refined videos that reveal how culture is manifested through non-linguistic forms of communication, and especially through vocabularies of sound and gesture. While borrowing archetypes and stylistic cues from cinema, and using the visual language of film to present detailed studies of human subjects in heightened states of reverie or reflection, Mesiti’s works eschew linearity. Instead, she uses a rich, aesthetic treatment to uncover the transformative potential of all human beings, valuing the qualities of ambiguity and indeterminacy in their own right.
This exhibition features five recent works, offering an expansive view of the range of subjects with which Mesiti has engaged. When considered together, this suite reveals how the artist bears witness to enchanted moments of inner life with her camera. Intensity builds through an accumulation of rhythms, sounds and gestures, flowing back and forth between individual and social space – from person to person, situation to situation, culture to culture.