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

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Antonia Wright © Courtesy of the Artist and Luis De Jesus Los Angeles
Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire

2685 S. La Cienega Blvd.
90034 Los Angeles
January 7th, 2017 - February 11th, 2017
Opening: January 7th, 2017 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

culver city/west la
Tue-Sat 11-6

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles is very pleased to present ANTONIA WRIGHT: Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire, an ambitious large-scale site-specific installation that has been specially designed to engage the senses and provoke a heightened emotional state in the viewer. This will be the artist's second solo exhibition at the gallery, and will be presented in Gallery 1 and Gallery 2 from January 7 through February 11, 2017.
For the duration of the exhibition, day will become night. Using lights, Wright has tricked night blooming plants to release their fragrance during the day. Upon entering the gallery, the viewer will be immersed in darkness, greeted by the rich scent of flowers, and experience an especially composed soundscape by experimental jazz musician and composer Jason Ajemian. The viewer negotiates their way through a maze of plants and moves towards the light emitted by the films projected in the galleries. 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. 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.
As the regular day draws to an end, a timer will activate the lighting, deactivate the video projections, and transition the space into a sculptural light installation. 
The title of the exhibition is drawn from Dave Eggers' novel You Shall Know Our Velocity!(2002):
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 andmy faint breathing, were mine, and I loved them and what they could do. There was so much water in so many places, rushing everywhere, up and down, the water on top moving so much faster than the water below it. Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire.
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. Recent solo presentations include Locust Projects, Miami, FL; Spinello Projects, Miami, FL; Luis De Jesus 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 Ping Pong, Basel, Switzerland; Faena Art Center, Buenos Aires, Argentina; Casa de las Americas, Havana, Cuba; 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 presented in numerous publications including The New York Times, Artforum, Art In America, The Art Newspaper, and The Miami Herald.
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