Angelica Mesiti: Relay League

WHEN : 29th November - 24th February
WHERE : Griffith University Art Museum

“Calling all.
This is our last cry before our eternal silence.”

This message sent by Morse code in 1997 was the poetic starting point for artist Angelica Mesiti as she embarked on creating her exciting new work ‘Relay League’. The message was not, as one may assume, a desperate transmission sent from a sinking ship, but rather, the final message signaling the end of the use of Morse code sent by the French Navy. In her latest work, Mesiti takes the dots and dashes of this forsaken language and brings them to life in a three-channel video installation.

Filmed during Mesiti’s residency at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, the work explores emotional states such as uncertainty, intimacy and humility through movement, music and language. The videos feature the Morse code message translated into percussion by musician-composer Uriel Barthélémi and movement by Emilia Wibron Vesterlund and Sindri Runudde. In the third video dancer Filipe Lourenço interprets Barthélémi’s percussive sounds with improvised movement creating a feedback loop. Visitors can anticipate a sensory and contemplative experience as they move through this immersive installation. Morse code dots and dashes are constantly re-transmitted by the performers throughout the galleries.
“Each performance is an act of interpretation, revival and renewal. The separate performances forming a chain of message forwarding stations-like a ‘relay league’ –in early telegraphic technology”
– Angelica Mesiti

The artist’s first monograph will also be available to purchase from Griffith University Art Museum, designed by Mark Gowing Studio and published by Schwartz City.

About Angelica Mesiti:
Mesiti’s work consistently grapples with transition, culture, communication and displacement. This has been explored via music and dance as a form of cultural remembrance in widely-seen works including Citizens Band (2012), In the Ear of the Tyrant (2014) and Nakh Removed (2015). She has investigated adapted methods of communication in the face of adversity in The Calling (2013–14), which depicts the intricacies of whistling languages in three remote communities, and in The Colour of Saying (2015), for which she worked with a sign language choir and elderly ballet dancers to consider the paradox of ‘ability’.

Shortlisted in 2016 for the 9th edition of the prestigious Meurice Prize for Contemporary Art and with a residency at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris, Mesiti is increasingly establishing her reputation as one of Australia’s most outstanding artists. Working with the mediums of video and installation, and incorporating music and performance, her practice expands ideas of collective behaviour, social dynamics and human subjectivity through non-verbal forms of language and communication, exchange and adapted methods of expression.

Relay League was curated and developed by Artspace and is touring nationally with Museums & Galleries of NSW. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body. The development and presentation of Relay League is supported by Commissioning Partner the Keir Foundation. Relay League was produced with the support of C ND National de la Danse, Paris and University of New South Wales Art & Design. Relay League will be accompanied by a book published by Schwartz City and designed by Formist.

OPENING – Wednesday 29 November 2017, 6-8PM