September 6–October 8, 2017
With a focus on the intersection of performance and video, Antonia Wright utilizes surprise and discomfort to connect with her viewers. In Under the water was sand, then rocks, miles of rocks, then fire (2016), Wright reconstructs an event from her childhood when she fell through the ice on a frozen lake. Hiding the episode from her family, she dwelled on it for 20 years before reenacting it on Lake Champlain—this time dressed in a suit resembling fire. Making reference to the color palette of William Turner’s The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, the artist, in a simple yet traumatic gesture boldly walks across the lake and suddenly falls through—the flame extinguished. While the background is a vast view of the lake and the day is bright and sunny, there is a dark intimacy created between the artist and the viewer that elicits an empathetic response—something the artist aims for within her work.