From Sharne Wolff…
A video work projected across three double-sided screens, Angelica Mesiti’s The Colour of Saying – is perhaps best described as a visual meditation on the sounds of silence. Filmed in Malmo, Sweden in March this year, the original live performance involved the assistance of percussionists, two veteran ballet dancers and an entire sign language choir from Onnestad Folk High School – together with conductor Ingegerd Nyborg.
Performing in a custom built, all-white space, the viewer is encouraged to consider the relationship between visual and aural stimulus as the sound is ‘heard’ through the gestural moves of the interpreters. Not unlike the modern experience of riding the train with a carriage full of headphone-wearers listening to their ipods, the signing choir perform a silent choral piece entitled Serenade to Music (originally written for 16 voices plus an orchestra). Listening to headphones, the dancers continue the piece as they ‘dance’ to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. Seated on the white steps of the stage, together they employ a method known as ‘hand marking’ in the trade – which requires the dancer to act and think with their body while reflecting on the music. Breaking the silence, two percussionists chime in with loud rhythmic clapping to perform a minimalist piece. Like Mesiti’s past work, which includes her Anne Landa Award winning piece, Citizens Band 2012, The Colour of Saying presents the viewer with an immersive spatial and sensory experience.
Until June 13
Anna Schwartz Gallery, Darlington
Pic: Angelica Mesiti The Colour of Saying, 2015 (detail) Three-channel High Definition digital video colour, sound 25 minutes. The performance was originated in collaboration with and produced by Lilith Performance Studio, Malmö, Sweden 2015. Courtesy the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery. Photo: Lilith Performance Studio.