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New details revealed about Angelica Mesiti's exhibition for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Angelica Mesiti. Photo: Josh Raymond.

SYDNEY.- The Australia Council for the Arts announced Angelica Mesiti’s exhibition for the Australian Pavilion at the 58th Biennale di Venezia will be a multi-screen installation titled ASSEMBLY.

One of Australia’s most celebrated and internationally profiled contemporary artists, Angelica Mesiti works across video, performance and installation. Mesiti has developed a practice characterised by large-scale video and sound works. She is known for using cinematic language and performance to explore stories of the individual and the collective.

“ASSEMBLY engages with sound, music, performance, choreography and the moving image” said Angelica Mesiti, “and I use these forms of expression to explore the musical tropes of polyphony, cacophony, dissonance and harmony which, in the film installation I am creating, can be understood as metaphors for the range of dynamics within a democratic system.”

The exhibition, which will open in May 2019, will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue that includes essays by Jennifer Higgie, Luca Arnaudo, Caleb Kelly and 2019 Australian Pavilion curator Juliana Engberg.

“For her presentation in the Australian Pavilion, Angelica Mesiti continues her exploration of how society is shaped through communication and participation”, said curator Juliana Engberg. “In ASSEMBLY, non-verbal, performative and musical expressions coalesce into a dialogue between the many who gather to maintain and advance the spirit of democracy. Mesiti’s work challenges the rancour and hostile politics of today with a work that is nuanced, poetic and which represents the ideals of a growing and evolving society that is open and attentive to new voices, ideas, desires and beliefs.”

Dr Wendy Were, Australia Council Executive Director, Strategic Development and Advocacy said, “Angelica’s practice not only represents the vibrancy of Australian contemporary art but also the dynamism of our society. We are delighted that Angelica’s work ASSEMBLY will continue Australia’s strong representation at the Venice Biennale, captivating global audiences and sharing Australia’s exceptional creative talents with the world.”

Angelica Mesiti, born in in 1976, lives and works between Paris and Sydney. Between 2000 and 2010, she was a member of the performance collective The King Pins, with whom she performed and exhibited in many international biennales and museum shows. She has exhibited her work individually in the biennales of Sydney, Istanbul, Sharjah, Kochi-Muziris, Adelaide, Auckland and Aichi, as well as receiving solo presentations at MAXXI Rome, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, O Space, Aarhus, Williams College Museum of Art Massachusetts, Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen and forthcoming at Palais de Tokyo Paris. Her work is held in national and international collections including the National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery Gallery of OMA, Monash University Museum of Art, FRAC Franche-Compté France, Kadist Art Foundation Paris/San Francisco, Deutsche Bank and Art Bank.

Juliana Engberg is a curator and writer. She was the Program Director for the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 and has been the Artistic Director of The Biennale of Sydney, Melbourne International Biennial and Adelaide Biennial. She was the Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art and has been the curator of the Melbourne, Edinburgh, and Adelaide Festivals.

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