Rapture (Silent Anthem)

Angelica Mesiti

25 April 2010


Angelica Mesiti works within the traditions of video, performance and installation and generates material through a range of approaches including staged situations, site-specific performance, re-enactment and documentation to explore themes of cultural translations and time/space crossings. Shot from a concealed location beneath the stage at a Big Day Out rock festival, Rapture is a silent, slow-motion video of teenagers in the front row. Mesiti’s closely cropped and semi-suspended frame delivery rate exposes a mighty emotional fervour building and releasing through the crowd. As the afternoon sun glides down the audience’s limbs, water thrown into the air mixes with sweat to shower the atmosphere with millions of tiny crystalline particles. Hands wave and clap, and fingers gesticulate to signal their owners’ connection to this collective state of ecstasy. Each individual appears utterly unaware of her/his animated, at times distorted facial expressions, the subtle emotional nuances of which are revealed moment by moment under the artist’s watch. This level of unconscious abandon strikes a significant change of focus from the posed photographs found on social networking websites also favoured by this generation. Lost in the worship of the Rock Gods performing just out of reach, Rapture captures a cast revelling in complex states of longing, belonging and personal spirituality.