Guess who’s going to the Venice Biennale?

The Australia Council announced the Australian artist to represent Australia at Venice Biennale 2019 this morning with a selection panel headed by artist Callum Morton choosing his Anna Schwartz Gallery stablemate, Angelica Mesiti.

The curator of her show will be Juliana Engberg.

The pair were selected by Morton and his panel as Australia’s representation at the 58th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale 2019 after an open call for expressions of interest and then finally selected by “an independent panel of highly respected arts professionals”.


In a statement, the Australia Council said:

“Angelica Mesiti is one of Australia’s most celebrated contemporary artists working across video, performance and installation. Since her early work with performance collective The King Pins, Angelica has developed a sophisticated solo practice characterised by large-scale video works. She is known for using cinematic languages and performance to explore deeply personal stories of the individual and the collective, grappling with the complex dimensions of human experience.

“Angelica lives and works between Paris and Sydney, and has developed an international reputation for creating rich aesthetics and elegant expressions of social ideas which draw the audience in. Angelica’s work is held in national and international collections, and she currently has exhibitions in Denmark, the Adelaide Biennial and the National Gallery of Australia. Angelica’s work Rapture (silent anthem) was the first video to win the Blake Prize in 2009, and in 2013 she was the inaugural recipient of the Ian Potter Moving Image Commission, producing critically acclaimed The Calling.”

The curator, Juliana Engberg, the Australia Council said, “is a curator with an extraordinary depth of experience and a global reputation, with over 500 exhibitions curated to date. Juliana has curated critically acclaimed exhibitions in Australia and internationally, including through her roles as artistic director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, the Biennale of Sydney and the Melbourne International Biennial. She has been Curator of the Visual Arts Programs for the Edinburgh, Melbourne and Adelaide Festivals.

“Angelica Mesiti has proposed a powerful project that reflects the complexity of contemporary Australian society through its legislation and through those actions that challenge, revise and reinterpret those laws,” said Engberg.

“The artistic team was selected by a panel chaired by Professor Callum Morton from Monash University. It comprised Chris Saines, director, Queensland Art Gallery I Gallery of Modern Art; Franchesca Cubillo, senior curator Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art, National Gallery of Australia; Professor Nikos Papastergiadis, director of the Research Unit in Public Cultures, University of Melbourne; Kathryn Weir, head of Cultural Development, Centre Pompidou in Paris; and Louise Neri, director, Gagosian Gallery in New York,” the media statement said.

The Australia Council said more than 70 applications were received by artists for the accolade and it recognised and congratulated all the shortlisted teams.

These were:

Abdul Abdullah and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah with curators Michael Dagostino and Dr. Mikala Tai

Richard Bell with curator Clothilde Bullen

Mikala Dwyer and Justene Williams with curators Susan Best and Ann Stephen

Joyce Hinterding and David Haines with curator Anna Davis


3 responses to “Guess who’s going to the Venice Biennale?

  1. Well… one of the selectors is EDITED (see XMAS party photos) and the other is a represented artist of her gallery… I’m sure Angelica Mesiti is extraordinary (her videos are very interesting), but will we ever have a fair, open and independent selection process? I doubt it.

  2. Look, in many ways who cares. I know Angelica from The Kingpins, she seems fine and good luck to her. Is her work so fantastic? Who really knows, I mean its arty video that the Art Luvvies love. If one looks on the Anna Schwartz website there is some uselessly arty snippet of a 19th Century statuary (is it the Arc de Triumph?) that we suppose the artist has put some dried flowers on. And as for the art babble above explaining her work….ho hum.

    In many ways ALL VIDEO IS THE SAME. ALL CONTEMPORARY ART IS THE SAME! And here is little old Australia AGAIN sending just som emore arty product overseas to a Market AWASH with Art Product. Its what the Art Class wants, its what they crave: More Art that will not move the situation forward one jot.

    Who knows maybe Louise Neri will get Angelica some sort of big gig OS somehow. BUT in reality it will mean nothing nothing much except more of the same.

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