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Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
2685 S La Cienega Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90034 | T 310 838 6000

Antonia Wright

Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire

Jan 07 - Feb 11, 2017

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press release

ANTONIA WRIGHT: Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire, 2017, INSTALLATION VIEW


ANTONIA WRIGHT: Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire January 7 – February 11, 2017 Opening Reception: Saturday, January 7th, 6-8 pm. At that moment I was sure. That I belonged in my skin. That my organs were mine and my eyes were mine and my ears which could only hear the silence of this night and my faint breathing, were mine, and I loved them and what they could do. - Dave Eggers,You Shall Know Our Velocity! Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present ANTONIA WRIGHT: Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire, the artist’s third solo exhibition at the gallery, to be presented in Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 from January 7 through February 11, 2017. An artist's reception will be held on Saturday, January 7th, from 6 to 8 pm. Originally presented at Locust Projects in Miami, the second iteration of this ambitious large-scale installation has been designed to engage the senses and provoke a heightened emotional state. For the duration of the exhibition, day becomes night. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer will be immersed in darkness and the rich scent of pine as they experience a specially composed soundscape by experimental jazz composer Jason Ajemian. The viewer negotiates their way through a maze of plants suspended in space and moves towards the light emitted by the film projected in the far gallery. As the regular gallery day draws to an end, timers will activate lighting, deactivate the video projection, and, for a short time, transition the space into a sculptural light installation. Reenacting an event from her youth, Wright – dressed in a flame-colored suit – crosses a frozen lake, eventually falling through the ice into the water. The scene, filmed on Vermont’s Lake Champlain, memorializes a moment when, at the age of fifteen, she snuck into a reservoir and accidentally fell beneath its frozen surface. With an eye to the endurance art that came before her, Wright combines form, image, and duration in a conceptual cocktail of ecstasy and anxiety.1 Under the, more than a revisited memory or physical feat, an examination of duality—of living plants and Northeastern ice, frigid water and fiery heat, night and day. All this serves as a reminder of the fleeting, melancholic transience that is part and parcel of existence.2 Through the duality of light and dark, the exertion of control over elements from the natural world, and the reenactment of an incident from her life, Wright considers the fragile border that separates life and death. Antonia Wright (b. 1979, Cuban-American) studied at the International Center of Photography and The New School in New York City, where she graduated with an MFA in Poetry. She has exhibited, and been awarded artist residencies, nationally and internationally. Upcoming exhibitions include “Relational Undercurrents” (in conjunction with the Getty Institute’s initiative Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA) at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA. Recent solo presentations include Locust Projects, Miami, FL; Spinello Projects, Miami, FL; Luis De Jesus Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; NSU Art Museum, Ft. Lauderdale; Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami, FL; The Screening Room, Miami, FL; and the Mosquera Collection/The Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami. International shows include Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; Ping Pong, Basel, Switzerland; The National Gallery of Art, Nassau, Bahamas; and Aeroplastics Brussels, Belgium. Wright is the recipient of the 2015 Florida Prize in Contemporary Art, from the Orlando Museum of Art. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Lotus House Shelter for women and children in Overtown, Miami, in 2012, and more recently was awarded residencies at Pioneer Works (2015) and the Leipzig International Program (2016). Wright’s work has been reviewed and discussed in numerous publications, including The New York Times, Artforum, Art In America, The Art Newspaper, and The Miami Herald. 1 Carney, Sean J. Patrick, “First Look: Antonia Wright,” Art in America (print), September 2016. 2 Uszerowicz, Monica, review of “Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire,” The Miami Rail, Winter 2016. ### For further information and images, please contact the gallery at 310-838-6000, or email Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is located at 2685 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am to 6pm, and by appointment.