Discussion: Shaun Gladwell and Sean Lowry
Anna Schwartz Gallery 2021
Release date: 13 Oct 2017
Hardback ISBN: 9781760640149
Imprint: Schwartz City
Size: 240 x 300mm
Angelica Mesiti: A Communion of Stranger Gestures is the first significant publication dedicated to chronicling the practice of this leading contemporary Australian artist. The 224-page, full-colour book has been designed by Formist to reflect the elegance and beauty of Mesiti’s approach, with a subtle aesthetic nod to the ideas of communication and transmission that her work explores. This book was produced to accompany Relay Leagues, a major solo exhibition commissioned by Artspace Sydney in 2017 and curated by Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor and Deputy Director Michelle Newton.
Relay Leagues takes as its departure point a Morse code message transmitted by the French Navy on 31 January 1997 to signal the imminent demise of this communication method. Mesiti interprets the dots and dashes of this final poetic phrase through music, choreography, non-verbal communication and sculpture. A Communion of Stranger Gestures features extensive imagery from the development and presentation of this exciting work, which toured to Art Sonje Center, Seoul, in addition to nine venues across Australia including Griffith University Art Gallery, Brisbane; and Ian Potter Museum of Art, Melbourne.
Working with video, installation, music and performance, Mesiti’s practice expands ideas of collective behaviour, social dynamics and human subjectivity through non-verbal forms of language and communication, exchange, and adapted methods of expression. In 2017 Mesiti exhibited in a major solo presentation at the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, as part of an ongoing series focused on leading contemporary practitioners. Recently shortlisted for the 9th edition of the prestigious Le Prix Meurice for Contemporary Art and with a residency at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, Mesiti’s selection for the 58th Venice Biennale cements her as one of Australia’s most outstanding contemporary artists.
To expand the field of writing around Mesiti’s practice, two major new texts have been commissioned for this book from leading Australian academic and writer, Justin Clemens, and from Director of Lafayette Anticipations, Paris, François Quintin. A Communion of Stranger Gestures also includes an in-depth artist interview with Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor and Curator Talia Linz, along with nine original short texts on new and existing works over the last ten years. This publication has been produced in collaboration with Artspace, Australia’s leading interdisciplinary space for the production and presentation of contemporary art. Publishing is integral to Artspace’s Artistic Program, and reflects the importance of presenting contemporary art in book form as an expanded tool for engaging broad audiences in contemporary art.