Australian/American artist Anita Glesta’s work aims to subvert and catalyze different ways to think about our shared humanity in historic and contemporary contexts through deep time relationships. The interconnection between nature and the human body are a constant referential source. Developed with the public concern paramount to the core vision, Glesta connects with community through interactivity in public settings. Integrating these concerns by inviting the viewer to look and engage with their entire physical and psychological selves as with her work Watershed and Unnerved. Mediums including time-based installation, sculpture, video and 2 -dimensions artworks.
The arch of Glesta’s three- decade long career has occurred in both private and public settings which has included solo and group exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Krakow (MOCAK); Peking Museum of Art and Archeology, Beijing; New Museum, New York; Hudson River Museum, New York; White Columns, New York; Parrish Museum, New York; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney and other museums and galleries internationally.
Two permanent public art commissions are sited in Sydney, Australia and near Washington D.C. in the USA. The Federal Census Bureau building, 2010, in Suitland Maryland was a commission by the General Administration Services Art in Architecture. Yurong Water Gardens was a commission by Sydney city council in 1999.
She is the recipient of many awards, including the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fellowship; New York State Council of the Arts New Media, Pollock/Krasner, the Puffin Foundation and others. In 2020, Glesta was awarded a prestigious “Laureate Research Fellowship” in new media and neuroscience by the UNSW National Institute For Experimental Arts to study corresponding synapsis of the Vagus Nerve through digital and multimedia works.
Glesta’s aesthetic lures the viewer into the work and subtly seduces the viewer’s attention to understand that there is something greater than what is visually presented.
In this sense, her work can be considered subversive activism. Her subtle approach is manifested in her recent engagement with neuroscience. Glesta’s series about the inner workings of the body is an exploration of her own system and a symbolic gesture towards the universality of our humanity.
Despite the growth of research at the intersection of fine arts and health, there is still relatively little data on the impact of engaging with intersectional artwork at a neurological and physiological level. And access to therapy is often limited to the privileged few who can afford the access or even the language and tools to communicate their traumas.
UNNERVED, an animation Glesta created during her fellowship, appeared on the face of the Australian Center of the Moving Image in Federation Square, Melbourne for the month of October 2022 as part of a festival called “The Big Anxiety.”
By locating UNNERVED at a highly visible location, Glesta’s installation invites the public to understand our internal systems’ response to anxiety in a particularly anxious time. Illness has been art’s subject forever, but the medical, political, and social implications of public health and its intersections with science and human connection are even more relevant during the global experience of Covid.