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.