Antonia Wright explores the various politics and comic facets of human experience through a multifarious practice combining video, performance, photography, poetry, and perception. Her work brings everything to the body to create powerful visual metaphors that at times appear ambivalent but are never obscure. 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 and assimilate.
Antonia Wright graduated from the New School University in New York City with an MFA in Poetry as well as at the International Center of Photography. She has exhibited extensively in U.S and abroad and has been awarded artists residencies both nationally and internationally. Recent exhibitions include Spinello Projects (Miami, FL) Luis de Jesus Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Ping Pong (Basel, Switzerland), The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (FL), Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (Miami, FL), The Margulies Collection at the Warehouse (Miami, FL), The Tampa Museum of Art (Tampa, FL), The Cisneros-Fontanals Foundation (CIFO) (Miami, FL) Aeroplastics (Brussels, Belgium), The National Gallery of Art (Nassau, Bahamas). Wright’s work has been presented in publications including The New York Times, Artforum’s Critics’ Picks, Art In America, New York Magazine, Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, The Art Newspaper and The Sun-Sentinel.
If there was one piece of art you could feature in, which would it be and why?
I would love to have strapped myself to a mast with William Turner as he painted Snow Storm - Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth. He tied himself to the boat during an intense storm so he could paint the experience. He said of the occurrence, “I did not expect to escape, but I felt bound to record it if I did.” That is my kind of thinking. The idea of having had an encounter with Anaïs Nin and then having had her write about it in one of her diaries sounds kind of fun too.
Who inspires you and why? an artist, a family member, someone current or historical?
My two-and-a half year old niece, Violet, is an inspiration. She touches everything, she shows you everything, smiles constantly, questions, demands, plays, takes two hour naps, says I love you to strangers, etc... She is always very present. It is an honorable way to exist in the world.
What are your cultural aspirations? what do you still want to see, do and achieve?
I have worked with the Lotus House, a homeless shelter for women and children, for many years to find ways to incorporate art into the healing work and transitioning process that is done at the shelter. In 2011 I set up an artist-in-residence program where I lived at the shelter for one month making and teaching art. Although the shelter is a success, there is still much to be done to end violence against women and to stop the cycle of poverty.
What are your favourite cultural cities in the world and why?
Miami is very interesting right now, New York City and Berlin always are, Mexico City, Luang Prabang, and Memphis are new favorites. It doesn’t get much cooler than Rio de Janiero.
What are you up to at the moment and where can we find it?
I am having a show with an alternative video space called The Screening Room in Miami which opens May 7th. I have recorded my voice reading a single poem I have composed and then invited several artists to create original videos to interpret this text. The final piece is a multi-channel video installation with the same audio soundtrack played simultaneously as an experiment on how the visual alters the poem’s interpretation. Right after I am going to Brazil with the collective Plastico Fantastico. We are a group of artists and thinkers who make art as a response to environmental issues in different parts of the world. My family is Cuban although I have never been to Cuba. This year I was invited to go during the Havana Biennial along with a group of artists as a cultural exchange organized by curator Elizabeth Cerejido. We are presenting our work at Casa de las Americas. Hopefully I’ll see you in Miami, Brazil, or Cuba, if not, www.antoniawright.com.