Angel­i­ca Mesi­ti: A Com­mu­nion of Stranger Gestures

Pub­lished by Schwartz City and Artspace

Release date: 13 Oct 2017
Hard­back ISBN: 9781760640149
Imprint: Schwartz City
For­mat: Hard­back
Size: 240300mm
Extent: 224pp

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.