Suddenly We Jumped, 2014
“Suddenly we jumped, hearing the mighty noise of the huge double-decker trams that rumbled by outside, ablaze with colored lights, like villages on holiday suddenly struck and uprooted by the flooding Po and dragged over falls and through gorges to the sea.”~ Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
Originally performed live at Vizcaya Museum, Miami, Florida, during Art Basel Miami Beach 2013, Suddenly We Jumped is a new performance for videowork by Antonia Wright in which she transforms her body into a mechanized weapon. Inspired by Futurist ideals and aesthetics, Wright's nude body is catapulted into the air where it violently smashes through a sheet of glass. Rendered in slow motion, the video captures her writhing figure as it comes into contact and then explodes through the glass, allowing for a heightened experience of the visual metaphor.
Curator Tami Katz-Freiman views Suddenly We Jumped as revolving around three main preoccupations: gender politics, bodily endurance, and extreme action/emotion in the public sphere. According to Katz-Freiman, "Ms. Wright's recurring interest in using her own body as her principal tool enables her to undermine the boundaries of gender politics, to challenge social conventions via an extreme physical or emotional action, and to test the endurance of her viewers."
Wright’s body is the catalyst by which she examines and negotiates a number of personal, social, and political issues—from gender equality and environmental protection to free speech and human rights. Just as she has done in previous performances, such as Deep Water Horizon (2009) and Be (2013), Wright's decision to once again place her own life in danger in Suddenly We Jumped becomes a powerful metaphor for the fragility of life and a cautionary tale for this new technological age that we live in: it demands an even bigger personal commitment that engages every aspect of our being in order to affect change.