Cover image of the review
Installation view of Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY, 2019, three-channel video installation in architectural amphitheater. HD video projections, color, six-channel mono sound, 25 mins, dimensions variable. © Photography: Josh Raymond. Commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition–La Biennale di Venezia. Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Australia and Galerie Allen, Paris.

Angelica Mesiti: ASSEMBLY

29 Jun 2019
11 May - 24 Nov 2019

Angelica Mesiti’s sumptuous three-channel video ASSEMBLY takes democracy as its central concept. Curated by Juliana Engberg, the work slickly weaves together the artist’s trademark vehicles of music and non-verbal language.

This is the third time that Denton Corker Marshall’s black box pavilion has housed the Australian exhibition in the Giardini. 2017’s offering, My Horizon, from Tracey Moffatt and curator Natalie King, was an exhibition of photographs and videos that bore little relationship to the architecture of the pavilion. Mesiti and Engberg present Moffatt and King’s antithesis, working with and augmenting the architecture of the pavilion to produce a magnificently slick, site-specific installation.

To achieve this, a floating floor was installed over a pre-existing architectural focal point: a central, sunken ‘amphitheatre’—designed to mimic the architecture shown in the video—that audience members are encouraged to sit around to view the video work that is distributed across three enormous projections that surround the amphitheatre. The installation is flawless. Even if the mechanics behind it are quite complex. French architect Simon de Dreuille was commissioned to design the floor, while a specialised team headed up by Gotaro Uematsu and Simone Tops were on site months in advance to overlook the installation of the videos. Little was left to chance. And it shows. The exhibition is unmistakably a product of Mesiti and Engberg; it is a display of Mesiti’s ethereal and poetic beauty mediated through a restrained display of emotion that Engberg often displayed in exhibitions curated during her time as artistic director of ACCA.

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