Australian artists at the Venice Biennale

The Australia Council for the Arts have announced Angelica Mesiti as the representative artist for the Australian Pavilion during the ‘Biennale Arte 2019’, the 58th Venice Biennale di Venezia, on from 11 May to 29 November.

Mesiti’s exhibition ‘ASSEMBLY’ premieres a three-channel video piece, which opens with the Michela machine (2019), a new work inspired by the stenographic shorthand machine originally invented by Antonio Michela Zucco in 1863. In the form of a piano keyboard, Mesiti uses the creation as a mode from which to translate the poem ‘To Be Written in Another Tongue’ by David Malouf. Curator Juliana Engberg says Mesiti ‘translates text to code, music to movement and actions to occupations to represent the way a society gathers and builds upon itself.’ More will be revealed in Venice.

Angelica Mesiti, ASSEMBLY, 2019, production still, three-channel video installation in architectural amphitheater, HD video projections, colour, six-channel mono sound, 25 mins, dimensions variableCommissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition–La Biennale di Venezia. Photograph: © Bonnie Elliott. Courtesy the artist, Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne and Galerie Allen, Paris

As part of the European Cultural Centre’s International Art Project ‘Personal Structures’ artist and political activist Richard Bell presents ‘Embassy 2019’. For this he showcases “… no tin shack …” (2019), a replica model of the Australian Pavilion encased in chains, as representation of 19th century images of Aboriginal men in chains. The work will have a powerful presence throughout the duration of the Biennale as it floats on a barge down the Venetian lagoon, which runs alongside the Giardino della Marinaressa. Bell’s practice reflects on social justice, land rights and sovereignty for Aboriginal people.

Richard Bell, “… no tin shack …”, 2019. Launched on the Venetian lagoon on May 8, 2019.
Photograph: Caroline Gardam. Courtesy the artist