Angel­i­ca Mesiti
Borås Art Bien­ni­al: Deep lis­ten­ing for longing

29th May – 26th September 2021
Borås Art Museum

The sev­enth bien­ni­al arranged by Borås Art Muse­um has the title Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ing and is curat­ed by Stock­holm-based Ulri­ka Flink and Lon­don-based Aman­prit Sand­hu. The title alludes to the val­ue of being hum­ble enough to lis­ten deeply to each oth­er, to our­selves, and to the world and the envi­ron­ment around us. The theme of the exhi­bi­tion explores new forms of col­lec­tiv­i­ty, some­thing that is high­ly top­i­cal giv­en the cur­rent state of the world.

Deep lis­ten­ing for long­ing tunes into past and present imag­in­ings of the city — and beyond. Learn­ing how to lis­ten deeply to each other’s expe­ri­ence is a way to build con­scious­ness and a shared under­stand­ing of the world. New forms of col­lec­tiv­i­ty are deter­mined or defined by the depth of rela­tion­ships and shared long­ing. It is the sim­ple inter­ac­tions that con­nect us, from how we relate to the peo­ple we encounter in our dai­ly lives to how we show up in our rela­tion­ships and how we exist with­in com­mu­ni­ties. These actions cre­ate the pat­terns that give rise to our social fabric.

As author Adri­enne Maree Brown states in her book Emer­gent Strat­e­gy: Shap­ing Change, Chang­ing World, it is the depth of rela­tion­ships that deter­mines the strength of a sys­tem: crit­i­cal con­nec­tions over crit­i­cal mass.” A num­ber of the bien­ni­al artists explore the impor­tance and trans­for­ma­tion­al pow­er of small and sim­ple inter­ac­tions as ways of rene­go­ti­at­ing how one moves through the world.

Deep lis­ten­ing, as devel­oped by com­pos­er Pauline Oliv­eros, is inti­mate­ly linked to long­ing. Oliveros’s son­ic med­i­ta­tions sought to cre­ate an atmos­phere of open­ing for all to be heard, with the under­stand­ing that lis­ten­ing is heal­ing.” The prac­tice extends beyond the tra­di­tion­al under­stand­ing of hear­ing to a rela­tion­al and active lis­ten­ing that requires the pres­ence of both body and mind. Many of the bien­ni­al artists enact an advanced form of lis­ten­ing that turns inwards, while at the same time find­ing a mode of out­ward deep lis­ten­ing that attempts to doc­u­ment, present, and under­stand the socio-cul­tur­al con­texts, his­to­ries, and pol­i­tics of our time.

Angel­i­ca Mesiti’s two-screen instal­la­tion Moth­er Tongue (2017) explores the way diverse com­mu­ni­ties in and around Aarhus, Den­mark con­nect to their cul­tur­al her­itage through music, dance, and song.

Images

Angel­i­ca Mesiti

Moth­er Tongue, 2017
two-chan­nel High Def­i­n­i­tion video instal­la­tion, 16:9, colour, sur­round sound
17 min­utes 54 seconds
Instal­la­tion view, Borås Art Bien­ni­al 2021
Pho­to: Hen­drik Zeitler

Angel­i­ca Mesiti

Moth­er Tongue, 2017
two-chan­nel High Def­i­n­i­tion video instal­la­tion, 16:9, colour, sur­round sound
17 min­utes 54 seconds
Instal­la­tion view, Borås Art Bien­ni­al 2021
Pho­to: Hen­drik Zeitler