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Australia at La Biennale di Venezia

8 May 2019: Angelica Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY officially opened in the Australian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. 

‘The piece is breath-taking – beautiful and powerfully sophisticated, and nourishing in a very important way.’ – Exhibition visitor 

‘The best Australian Pavilion I have ever seen - and you can quote me on that!’ – Exhibition visitor 

‘A very sophisticated expression of Australia’s complex cultural identity’ – Exhibition visitor 

'Australian artist Angelica Mesiti uses film to examine ways citizens can assemble and communicate against the backdrop of fragile democracy.' – Associated Press

'Complicated and fascinating… Angelica Mesiti dramatizes the dissolution of old orders, power structures and aesthetic ideologies, dissolved into the liquid of rhythm and dance and a momentarily (and perhaps imaginary) utopia of communion.'Washington Post

'With great sensitivity, she has portrayed the talent and individuality of various members of migrant and refugee communities via performances of rare beauty.' Frieze UK



Angelica Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY is a new three-channel video installed within an architectural setting inspired by the historical shape of the community circle and amphitheatre. ASSEMBLY establishes as an evolving set of translations from the written word to stenographic codes then music, and performance. Filmed in the Senate chambers of Italy and Australia, the three screens of ASSEMBLY travel through the corridors, meeting rooms and parliaments of government while performers, representing the multitude of ancestries that constitute cosmopolitan Australia, gather, disassemble and re-unite, demonstrating the strength and creativity of a plural community.

Commissioner for Australia, Australia Council Chair Sam Walsh AO, said, “Angelica Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY continues Australia’s important contribution to contemporary visual arts and to this very significant international exhibition. “Angelica Mesiti has created an important new work that depicts the many faces of modern Australia, the fragility of the human condition, and our need in difficult times, to come together to share, celebrate and gain strength. We expect ASSEMBLY will resonate for international and Australian audiences alike.”

The Australia Council for the Arts announced Angelica Mesiti’s exhibition for the Australian Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2019 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.

Australia has been represented at the La Biennale di Venezia since 1954 by many distinguished contemporary visual artists. La Biennale di Venezia provides Australian artists with critical international coverage, exposing them to key new audiences, markets and contexts. The Biennale Arte 2019 sees artistic team, Angelica Mesiti and Juliana Engberg representing Australia at our pavilion in the Giardini.

Australia’s representation at the La Biennale di Venezia is a signature project of our international strategy, realised through significant co-investment from the Australia Council and supporters who are committed to showcasing contemporary Australian visual arts across global borders. Become a Champion and join us in celebrating the impact of this international project. The May Champions’ Program runs from Sunday 5 May to Friday 10 May 2019 (Vernissage 8-10 May), or attend later in the year during the September Champions’ program; from Sunday 29 September to Thursday 3 October 2019.

Biennale Arte 2019 Professional Development Program

The Biennale Arte 2019 Professional Development Program supports the Australia arts sector by providing a range of opportunities for arts professionals to further their experience and professional skills in Venice. 

Biennale News

24
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A postcard from the Pavilion: Amy Perejuan-Capone

Amy Perejuan-Capone travelled from Perth for her four-week stint as a Volunteer Exhibition Attendant in the Australian Pavilion in Venice. Amy gives us her personal impressions of the experience here...

24
Jul
‘19

A postcard from the Pavilion: Kate Davis

Audiences are visibly affected by Angelica Mesiti's ASSEMBLY. People emerge wide-eyed with wonder; exhilarated and excited by what they have seen, while others are moved to tears. People seem to enjoy dissecting the many layers of the work with my team and I, often returning to watch it again armed with new knowledge or actualisations. One visitor watched it five times!

24
Jul
‘19

A postcard from the Pavilion: Mary-Louise Carbone

After visiting the Biennale Arte in 2015, University of Melbourne Master of Art Curatorshipstudent Mary-Louise Carbone returned to Venice this year as one of our Venice Biennale 2019 interns. We asked Mary-Louise to share her impressions of Venice and her experience working with the Australia Council Venice project team.

08
May
‘19

Angelica Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY officially opened in the Australian Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.

Venice, Italy: Australia’s 2019 representation for the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Angelica Mesiti’s ASSEMBLY, was officially opened today in the Australian Pavilion within the historic Giardini della Biennale precinct.

08
May
‘19

Australian Pavilion to present Angelica Mesiti’s solo exhibition ASSEMBLY

The Australian Pavilion at the Biennale Arte 2019 is proud to present ASSEMBLY, a solo exhibition by Angelica Mesiti. A new, three-channel video installed within a constructed amphitheatre, ASSEMBLYinvites the audience into a symbolic circular gathering to encounter a multiple filmic scenario. Each screen draws the audiences’ attention to differing points of view in Mesiti’s imagined new world, in which a ‘contingent’ gathering of ‘the people’ is allowed to disintegrate and resolve by perpetually reforming and revolutionizing itself.

19
Mar
‘19

New details announced for ASSEMBLY, Angelica Mesiti's exhibition at the Biennale Arte 2019

March 19 2019, Sydney, Australia - Angelica Mesiti’s exhibition ASSEMBLY opens with the ‘Michela’ machine, a 19th century stenographic machine, modelled on a piano keyboard, which is used in the Italian Senate for official parliamentary reporting to ensure transparency within the democratic process. The machine’s inventor, Antonio Michela Zucco, was originally inspired by musical notation as a universal language.

14
Mar
‘19

The 2019 Cross Family Fellowship Recipients

This initiative is made possible thanks to the generous donation from Paul and Samantha, and Anthony and Clare Cross. The Cross Family Fellowship offers participants in the Biennale Arte 2019 Professional Development Program.

More news

History

Co-investing to deliver Australia's representation at La Biennale di Venezia

Australia’s representation at La Biennale di Venezia is realised through a long standing co-investment project managed by the Australia Council for the Arts. The generosity and passion of the individuals and organisations who share our commitment to showcasing contemporary Australian visual arts globally ensures the continued success of Australia at Venice.

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