Filmed in international senate chambers, Angelica Mesiti’s large-scale video installation imagines a community of movement, poetry and song – exploring our need to come together democratically across many nations, to speak differently, act together, and form new assembles.

ASSEMBLY establishes an evolving set of translations from the written word to stenographic codes then music, and performance. Filmed in the Italy and Australia’s legislative spaces, the three screens of ASSEMBLY travel through the corridors, meeting rooms and parliaments of government with performers imagining a community of movement, poetry and song.

Shown alongside two single channel video works, Nakh Removed (2015) and Tossed by Waves (2017), this exhibition was developed to coincide with the UK’s official withdrawal from the European Union – a gentle exploration of the place of the people’s voice in state politics; dissonance, harmony, and cacophony.

To accompany the exhibition and extend on its focus on the sung voice, a public programme of three choral residencies was planned – a new commission by Dionne Draper’s Sing With Soul ensemble; the decorated Bath Camerata, with conductor Benjamin Goodson; and an experimental choir led by sound artist Yas Clarke. (Due to the COVID-19 crisis, this programme was unfortunately cancelled).

Exhibition and public programme curated by Kieran Swann.

Curatorial essay.

Arnolfini, Bristol: 17 January – 26 April 2020
(early closure in March due to COVID-19)


Photography by Max McClure.