The sad, strange and beautiful vulnerability of the human condition are all considerations in the work of Miami-based artist Antonia Wright. Wright explores the various politics and comic facets of human experience through a multifarious, process-oriented practice combining video, performance, photography, poetry, sound and sculpture. Wright acknowledges the layers of societal taboos and barriers between her artistic choices, and pointedly pushes them into the public realm for the viewer to examine.
The exhibition will present two videos: the premiere of the eponymously titled Be (2013) and Deep Water Horizon (2009). For Be, Wright covered herself in a colony of bees while practicing Tai Chi. Tai Chi and bees are similar in that they both have the capacity for violence, but in their peaceful states, raise vitality in the body and the environment. Wright's decision to place her own life in danger becomes a powerful metaphor for the
fragility of life and a lesson for how we can remain peaceful in the face of danger. In preparation for the performance, Wright spent an extended period learning Tai Chi and meditation, including traveling to India to receive personal instruction at an ashram.
Created in response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Deep Water Horizon depicts Wright rolling her naked body down a filthy, glass-strewn back alley in Miami during the middle of the night—as "a way to feel the equivalent of something that seemed so far away." Through Be and Deep Water Horizon, Wright stakes a personal claim to the survival of our ecosystem, while the duality in these chosen subjects creates a visual metaphor that questions the violent direction our society continues to move in.