April 6, 2018 - Australia Council for the Arts - Angelica Mesiti to represent Australia at Venice Biennale 2019
April 6, 2018

Australia Council for the Arts

Angelica Mesiti. Photo: Josh Raymond.

Angelica Mesiti to represent Australia at Venice Biennale 2019

Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Giardini della Biennale

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Angelica Mesiti is one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists working across video, performance and installation. Since her early work with performance collective The King Pins, Angelica has developed a sophisticated solo practice characterised by large-scale video works. She is known for using cinematic languages and performance to explore deeply personal stories of the individual and the collective, grappling with the complex dimensions of human experience.

Angelica lives and works between Paris and Sydney, and has developed an international reputation for creating rich aesthetics and elegant expressions of social ideas which draw the audience in. Angelica’s work is held in national and international collections, and she currently has exhibitions in Denmark, the Adelaide Biennial and the National Gallery of Australia.

Angelica has said that she is completely thrilled to be selected to represent Australia at the Venice Biennale 2019.

“It’s such a huge honour that I’m very grateful to accept. I’d like to say a big thank you to the selection panel for their faith in my practice and recognition of my work. I’m excited to be working with the brilliant Juliana Engberg as curator; someone whose intelligence and integrity I admire. With her depth of experience, humour and passion I feel assured of a wonderful partnership,” said Ms. Mesiti.

“I’m looking forward to an amazing year ahead developing the project with my valued team of collaborators and the Australia Council Venice Project team to present an artwork which will challenge and engage the many audiences of the Biennale.”

Angelica’s Venice exhibition will be curated by Juliana Engberg. Juliana is a curator with an extraordinary depth of experience and a global reputation, with over 500 exhibitions curated to date. Juliana has curated critically acclaimed exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including through her roles as Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Biennale of Sydney and the Melbourne International Biennial. She has been Curator of the Visual Arts Programs for the Edinburgh, Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals.

Juliana expressed how delighted she is to be able to support Angelica and the Australia Council in presenting this timely and relevant project at the 58th Venice Biennale.

“Angelica Mesiti has proposed a powerful project that reflects the complexity of contemporary Australian society through its legislation and through those actions that challenge, revise and reinterpret those laws,” said Ms Engberg.

The 2019 artistic team was chosen through an open call for expressions of interest and chosen by an independent panel of highly respected arts professionals: Professor Callum Morton (Chair) Monash University; Chris Saines, Director, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art; Franchesca Cubillo, Senior Curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia; Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, Director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures, University of Melbourne; Kathryn Weir, Head of Cultural Development, Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Louise Neri, Director, Gagosian Gallery, New York.

Angelica Mesiti biography
Angelica Mesiti was born in Sydney in 1976. She lives and works between Paris and Sydney. She was a member of the performance collective The Kingpins from 2000 to 2010 with whom she performed and exhibited in international biennales and museum shows including Gwangju, Taipei (2004) and Liverpool (2006) biennales, Nuit Blanche Paris and NotreHistoire, Palais de Tokyo Paris (2006), and Playback, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2007).

In 2009 Rapture (silent anthem) was the first video to win the 58th Blake prize for religious and spiritual art. Her work Citizens Band won the Anne Landa Award for Video and New Media Art in 2013 andhas since been exhibited worldwide in biennales including Istanbul, Sharjah, Kochi-Mizuris, Auckland, Aichi and solo presentations at MAXXI Rome, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Williams College Museum of Art Massachusetts, Nikolaj Kunsthal Copenhagen and Palais de Tokyo Paris.

In 2013 she was the inaugural recipient of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission, producing The Calling which has been shown at the Banff Centre, Basis Frankfurt and the National Gallery of Australia. Also that year Juliana Engberg commissioned her to produce a new work for the 19th Biennale of Sydney, The Ear of the Tyrant. Other major works include The Colour of Saying (2015), Relay League (2016); and Mother Tongue (2017).

Mesiti’s work is held in national and international collections including National Gallery of Australia, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Queensland Art Gallery |GOMA, Monash University Museum of Art, FRAC Franche Compte France, Kadist Art Foundation San Francisco, Deutsche Bank and Art Bank.

Juliana Engberg biography
Juliana Engberg is a curator, writer, editor and designer. She is currently the Programme Director of the European Capital of Culture Aarhus 2017 in Denmark. She is the immediate past Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art. Juliana was the Artistic Director of the 2014 Biennale of Sydney: You Imagine What You Desire and Artistic Director of the 1999 Melbourne International Biennial: Signs of Life and 1998 Adelaide Biennial: All This and Heaven Too (with Ewen McDonald). In additional to Biennale work she has also been the curator of visual art projects for the major international Festivals: Melbourne, Edinburgh and Adelaide; curatorial advisor for the Australian presentations at the Venice Biennale 2007 and with curator, Charlotte Day, presented the ACCA Venice Pop-Up Projects at the Venice Biennale in 2011. Juliana has held teaching positions at the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, and is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University and an adjunct professor at RMIT in the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Design. 

Australia at the Venice Biennale
Australia’s representation in Venice began in 1954 and since then 39 distinguished contemporary visual artists have exhibited under the Australia banner. Australia’s national participation is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts and supported by a highly successful private-public partnership. The award winning Australian Pavilion (2015) was designed by Denton Corker Marshall.

Full media release.

Brianna Roberts, Media Manager, Australia Council for the Arts
T +61 2 9215 9030
b.roberts [​at​] australiacouncil.gov.au

Australia Council for the Arts
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