“This acquisition is a significant work to add to the collection by one of Australia’s leading artists at a major point in her career as she represents Australia at the celebrated Venice Biennale,” Nick Mitzevich, Director of the National Gallery of Australia, said.

The work was officially opened at the Australian Pavilion within the historic Giardini della Biennale precinct on May 8.

In ‘ASSEMBLY’, Mesiti explores the nature of connection, using a 19th-century stenographic machine to “translate” David Malouf’s poem To Be Written in Another Tongue into a musical score performed by an ensemble of musicians. 

‘ASSEMBLY’ was commissioned by the Australia Council for the Arts on the occasion of the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

Curator Juliana Engberg described Mesiti’s work as cutting “a rupture into the voided place of government to ignite a next succession of communication”.

“‘ASSEMBLY’ seeks to create a new space for those who want to speak differently, hear attentively, and act together to form a new translation of the democratic process,” she said.

Mesiti is the 39th artist to present work for Australia at the La Biennale di Venezia, which is widely considered one of the most important and prestigious events on the international arts calendar.

She is a second-generation Italo-Australian who now resides in Paris.

The National Gallery of Australia (NGA) in Canberra is the Commonwealth of Australia’s national cultural institution for the visual arts.

The work will be part of the National Gallery’s 2020 program, with plans to tour nationally the following year, in partnership with the Australia Council for the Arts.