TRANSCENDENCE: NELL, ANGELICA MESITI, AURA SATZ (UK)
CURATED BY PIP WALLIS
EXHIBITION DATES: 14 MARCH – 17 APRIL 2014
OPENING: THURSDAY 13 MARCH 2014, 6PM – 8PM
A suite of three major works by Nell, Angelica Mesiti and Aura Satz explore altered consciousness and the spiritual or hallucinatory force of music.
Nell’s installation Let There Be Robe 2011 unites the artist’s long-term commitment to spiritualism and rock. Worshiping at the altar of AC/DC, Nell has 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 eliminates 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.
Nell (born Maitland, NSW) lives and works in Sydney. Her work deals with birth, sex and death understood through physical experiences of impermanence. Her great love of Rock ‘n’ Roll and small joys manifest in artworks that are everyday meditations on what is means to stay familiar with the certainty of your own mortality. Nell is represented by Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney and Station Gallery, Melbourne.
Angelica Mesiti (born Sydney) is currently based in Paris. She has a Masters of Fine Art and a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours from the College of Fine Arts, UNSW. In 2013 she was awarded The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission and the Anne Lande Award. Recent solo exhibitions include; The Calling, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, 2014; Rapture (silent anthem), Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, 2012-2013; The Line of Lode and Death of Charlie Day, 24HR Art Northern Territory Centre for Contemporary Art, Darwin, 2012. Recent group exhibition include; Turns - Possibilities of Performance, Galerie Allen, Paris, 2013; Mom, am I Barbarian?, 13th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey, 2013; Seven Points (part two), Embassy of Australia, United States of America, Washington DC, 2013; Rendez-vous 13, Institut d’Art Contemporain, Rhone-Alpes, France, 2013. Angelica Mesiti is represented by Anna Schwartz Gallery.
Aura Satz (born Barcelona) lives and works in London. She completed a PhD in Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Fine Art, London, where she held a Henry Moore post-doctoral fellowship between 2002 and 2004. Recent solo exhibitions and performances include: Impulsive Synchronization, Hayward Gallery Project Space, 2013; In and out of Synch, performance and screening, Tate Modern, 2012; Drone Rorschach, Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2012; Universal Language: A Lost Manifesto, Barbican cinema, screening performance, 2012. Sound Seam was funded by The Wellcome Trust and produced during an Artist Residency at the Ear Institute, UCL, London. Aura Satz is represented by Paradise Row, London.