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In the ear of the tyrant



Angelica Mesiti


1976 –

  • Details

    Media categories
    Time-based art , Installation
    Materials used
    three channel digital video, colour, sound
    edition of 3 + AP1, AP2
    duration: 00:05:00 min, aspect ratio: 16:9, display dimensions variable
    Signature & date

    Signed l.r. certificate of authenticity, black fibre-tipped pen "Angelica Mesiti". Not dated.

    Viktoria Marinov Bequest Fund 2014
    Not on display
    Accession number
    © Angelica Mesiti

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Angelica Mesiti

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Sydney born/ Paris based video artist Angelica Mesiti and Italian vocalist Enza Pagilara have re-enacted a traditional ritual of grieving in the three-channel video installation 'In the ear of the tyrant' 2013-14. Presented is the silhouette of Pagilara singing the Greek lament 'Moroloja', which was recited by Prefiche (hired wailers) women at funeral processions in Sicily up until the 1950s. The footage was shot on location in the Ear of Dionysus, an ancient ear shaped cave which had been carved out of solid limestone in Temenites Hill. Legend states that Dionysus used the site as a prison; its excellent acoustics amplifying the escape plans of his political dissidents. Mesiti's real-time camerawork scans the chiselled walls not to mention the emotive hand movements and facial expressions of Pagilara as her refrain intensifies. The recorded performance mourns corporeal as well as cultural death.

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 1 exhibition

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 3 publications

    • Michael Brand, Look, 'From the Gallery director', pg. 13, Sydney, Sep 2014, 13.

    • Juliana Engberg (Editor), 19th Biennale of Sydney: you imagine what you desire, 'Angelica Mesiti', pg. 206-207, Sydney, 2014, 206 (colour illus., video still), 207, 281.

    • Jill Sykes, Look, 'What to see in the 19th Biennale of Sydney', pg. 22-25, Sydney, Mar 2014, 24.

Other works by Angelica Mesiti