Escape – Route by Luciana Abait is a narrative installation of sculpture, photography and video that positions the viewer as a spectator on a road trip through the American West. An enormous sculptural map calls attention to the physicality and interconnectedness of our world. The marks upon it that define our cities, roads and divisions are a stark reminder of human intervention and the decreasing opportunities to experience nature unblemished. A large photograph taken through a rain-splattered windshield of a driving car is the first in a series of images that drives the audience through ever-changing environments with the final goal to reach water – the symbol of life and renewal. The exhibition concludes with hypnotic video of images that continually morph from one landscape into another.
The images in the exhibition were taken from the road and show indominable landscapes, monumental mountains, snow-dusted vegetation and images of Lake Powell, a water reservoir that in recent times nearly dried up due to climate change and human management of earth’s water allocation. Seen from a distance, the landscapes appear to be idyllic and are reminiscent of 18th Century English landscape paintings. Upon closer viewing one sees that not everything is a utopia; a close examination of the details reveals evidence of the reach of our human imprint and a reminder of the power of human influence.
At the core of Abait’s practice is the hope for humankind to find belonging in a world besieged by global catastrophes, environmental disasters, health crises and the omnipresent evil of racial discrimination. Escape – Route reminds us that an escape into the natural world is paralleled by an internal journey of discovery and reflection where we can marvel, wonder and ultimately strive for the fundamental necessity to preserve our lands and ourselves.
Luciana Abait was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and is currently based in Los Angeles where she is a resident artist of 18 TH Street Arts Center in Santa Monica. Her multimedia works deal with climate change and environmental fragility, and their impacts on immigration in particular.
Abait’s artworks have been shown widely in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia in solo shows in galleries, museums and international art fairs. Selected solo exhibitions include On the Verge at Hilliard Art Museum in Louisiana, Luciana Abait: On the Verge at the Laband Art Gallery, Loyola Marymount University and A Letter to The Future at Los Angeles International Airport in California; Flow, Blue at Rockford College Art Museum and Luciana Abait at Jean Albano Gallery in Illinois; Nest at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania; and ARCO in Spain. She has completed numerous corporate and public art commissions, among them “Vistas”, a 24 feet mural commissioned by Miami-Dade Art in Public Places and “Hong Kong Windows”, commissioned by Swire Properties in Hong Kong.
Some other diverse public art projects include her being part of The Billboard Creative (where her artwork was displayed on a billboard in Hollywood), Projecting Possibilities, a video projection onto the street in Culver City and LUMINEX in Los Angeles, where her 34 foot high immersive video installation “Agua” was projected onto a historic cultural monument: the Petroleum Securities Building in Downtown Los Angeles.
Abait’s works have been featured in The Art Newspaper, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Aesthetica, and Stir World among others.
Abait’s works are held in private, public and corporate collections from the United
States, Europe, Latin America and East Asia. Among these collections are: The Related Group, Florida State University, Permanent Art Collection of Neiman Marcus, Miami-Dade Public Library System and Four Seasons in Florida; King and Spalding in Texas; Lehigh University Museum and West Collection in Pennsylvania; Sprint Corporation in Missouri; Flint Institute of Arts in Michigan; the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington D.C., and Freshfields and Swire Properties in Hong Kong. Abait is the recipient of the 2016 Santa Monica Individual Artist Fellowship Award and the “Art Lives Here” Award by the Geffen Playhouse in 2022.
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