Angelica Mesiti: Citizens Band

23. June 2015 to 2. August 2015

In her video work Australian visual artist Angelica Mesiti documents the performance of pieces of music by four musicians who are all migrants in big cities far away from their native countries. Through these personal and intimate musical expressions in the midst of unexpected urban settings, they carry their birthplace with them to their new adopted surroundings. Geraldine Zongo from Cameroun plays drums on the water of a Parisian swimming bath. In the Metro, Algerian Mohammed Lamourie sings and plays his handheld Casio keyboard. Sudanese Asim Goreshi whistles in his taxi in Brisbane, and on a street corner in Newtown, Mongolian Bukhchuluun Ganburged plays his morin khuur (a string instrument) while throat singing.

With Citizens Band, Angelica Mesiti has put particular emphasis on how people perform and the potential for change to be found in music. In the films, the musicians are captured in the middle of particularly intense, emotional and dreamy performances in which the spectators are transported with the musicians back to their native places through the sounds they make, but without focusing on individual life stories. Instead, Citizens Band culminates in a fusing of cultural traditions, identities, time and place. As an outcome, an interaction emerges from the carefully prepared, beautiful images and what might otherwise go unnoticed without time and room for contemplation and absorption.

Angelica Mesiti (b. 1976) works with performance, video and installations. In her own practice, she explores concepts of community, cultural traditions and spirituality through performance and elements of music. Angelica Mesiti lives and works in Paris and Sydney. 

The presentation of Angelica Mesiti’s work Citizens Band takes place as a part of Nikolaj Kunsthal’s summer programme that, under the heading Let There Be Light, presents a selection of thought-provoking and challenging art projects, featuring various international artists. The works revolve around themes such as diversity, communities, joint experiences, gathering, and dissolving.