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Media Release: The Calling Exhibition dates

Angelica Mesiti, The Calling (production still), 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery. Produced by Felix Media.

Angelica Mesiti: The Calling

Exhibiting at ACMI Tuesday 4 February to Sunday 13 July 2014

7 January 2014

The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission proudly announces the world premiere exhibition The Calling, by acclaimed Australian artist Angelica Mesiti. Opening on Tuesday 4 February at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) with free admittance, the exhibition will run through until Sunday 13 July, 2014. This is the inaugural exhibition of the commission series, a 10 year joint initiative between The Ian Potter Cultural Trust (IPCT) and ACMI.

Angelica’s work The Calling is an evocative exploration of traditional whistling languages. Still used as a communication tool across vast distances, Angelica chronicles three remote communities, Kuskoy in Turkey, Anita in Greece and La Gomera in the Canary Islands, capturing the tenacity and creativity of traditional communities in preserving important parts of their culture.

The work is a multi-channel video installation that will be displayed in ACMI’s Gallery 2, in a purpose-built environment. The immersive experience has been in development over 15 months, with the commission allowing Angelica to conduct in-depth research into an area of interest first piqued through her work in her award-winning video installation Citizen’s Band (2012). Angelica employed the context for and sound of the language, to explore its complexities in this new major artwork.

It was the medium of moving-image artwork coupled with sound exploration which moved her to develop this major work exploring the complexities of whistling languages.

In travelling to the communities, Angelica noted the flux of culture, seeking to research the metamorphosis of these dialects from everyday use to artefact. The work explores how these communities work to protect their traditional culture in the face of an ageing population, technical progress and environmental changes. Conservation of the tradition is undertaken by the introduction of the language into the education system, as well as through tourism.

To discuss her compelling new work, ACMI Curator Amita Kirpalani will host an In Conversation with Angelica on Wednesday 5 February. Extrapolating the context and content of her work as well as her creative process, this will be a rare insight into the machinations and complexities of creating, developing and producing a work of this scale.

The Ian Potter Moving Image Commission provides a mid-career Australian artist with financial, production and curatorial support to produce a major moving-image artwork, with an edition of the work entering the ACMI Collection to sit alongside works by other Australian and international artists such as Shaun Gladwell, Bill Viola, Candice Breitz and Warwick Thornton. Awarded biennially, the decade long project will contribute five major works and an award fund of $500,000 to moving-image art.

The Calling will be at ACMI from Tuesday 4 February through to Sunday 13 July, 2014 and open to the public daily with free admittance. In Conversation with Angelica Mesiti will be on Wednesday 5 February at 6.15pm. 

Angelica Mesiti is represented by Anna Schwarz Gallery.

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