Monday, June 16, 2014
Angelica Mesiti's The Calling
Before visiting ACMI last weekend I would have said that DreamWorks Animation: The Exhibition would be hands-down more entertaining than Angelica Mesiti's The Calling. I am pretty sure I don't have to explain the DreamWorks studio (creators of feel-good animations including Shrek, Madagascar, Kung-Fu Panda etc). The Calling is a half hour non-narrative multi screen artwork about whistling. And yet despite DreamWorks' pleasures – and there were many including several interactive opportunities, delightful dioramas, masterful illustrations and informative documentary shorts that outlined the creative process – Mesiti's beguiling artwork won out.
Me and the monkeys sat glued to our bench seat captivated by the action as it unfolded across three screens. We saw goats on a hill side, old ladies picking tea leaves, a tourist bus stopping at a restaurant, children in a classroom. The settings shifted between Turkey, France and the Canary Islands. Each sequence showed, at some point, whistling conversations between people separated by distances. We were intrigued by so many different things: the ambiguous relationship between footage that created a strong sense of suspense; the different whistling techniques; the rituals and routines of rural life in different parts of world.
I appreciated the calming sense of space that it opened up internally. I only ever feel like that after practicing yoga, a trip to the country or an hour with the psychotherapist.
4 February – 13 July 2014
Still from Angelica Mesiti: The Calling 2013-14.