14 March -
17 April 2014
200 Gertrude Street200 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy
A suite of three major works by Nell, Angelica Mesiti and Aura Satz explored altered consciousness and the spiritual or hallucinatory force of music.
Nell’s installation Let There Be Robe in 2011 united the artist’s long-term commitment to spiritualism and rock. Worshiping at the altar of AC/DC, Nell created an ecclesiastic robe from fan t-shirts that stands with arms raised in praise of the sacred and the profane. Crucifixes made from drumsticks collected from musicians and fans encircle the installation, a tribute to the cult of fandom, devotion and the potential for transcendence through sound. The endurance of the chant, meditative hymn or hedonistic chorus, brings spiritual and musical reverie together.
Collective ritual underscores Angelica Mesiti’s video work Rapture (Silent Anthem) 2009. Mesiti eliminated the sound of a rock concert to create a meditative observation of young fans giving themselves over to the fever of music. Dripping with sweat in the bright light, moving freely with the sound and worshipping the band with wide eyes, the crowd, slowed to a hypnotic pace, could be in the throes of spiritual ecstasy. Mesiti’s work, capturing moments of private euphoria and collective adoration of rock gods, weaves music and the transcendental.
The optical and auditory repetitions of British artist Aura Satz’s film Sound Seam 2010 create hypnotic transcendence. The work refers to Rainer Maria Rilke’s text Primal Sound 1919, in which a phonograph needle plays the coronal suture of a human skull. These secret voices are paired with images of anatomy and sound recording technology in a hypnotic intermingling; stereocilia and cochlea, gramophone grooves and wax cylinders. An eerie and ethereal musical composition interlaces with the tale of a mournful love story and attempts to decode an elusive secret. Memory and time, macro and micro, internal and external are tangled in this work that evokes the mind-altering potential of sound.