Multidisciplinary artist Jacolby Satterwhite is at his core a creator of worlds. The rejection of reality and the interplay of intersections are just two themes that standout in his provocative, vivid performance work, music, and virtual animation, often spliced and incorporated at once. As a Columbia, South Carolina native, and a queer black man raised in a creative family, Satterwhite is no stranger to the southern black family habit of avoiding tough subjects of race, sexuality, gender and mental illness. Therefore, he is naturally drawn to Escapism and Afrofuturism, but not bound to it, all while incorporating Atlanta’s influence of voguing and music, all parts mechanisms of black plight and operations of black freedom. He repurposes his late mother Patricia’s creations to seek solace from her Schizophrenic mind: from drawings of utilitarian objects and poetry, to acoustic music recorded on a Kmart tape recorder, and gives them a new, otherworldly platform in his performance art.
The now New York-based United States Artist Fellow’s performances are a myriad of sensory exploration: Watch him enter and exit virtual worlds in a deep redefinition of self, lyrically painting narratives in slowed-down vogue inspired movements, and presenting his family home videos as an ode to celebration. Star explosions and paradigm shifts are imagined in these exchanges frequently, and viewers are invited to adapt to his personal cannon, a black queer space holding his reclaimed quasi-utopic world. Hear his ethereal space: a jutting, electronic bit will play in the background of his performances, layering atop music cuts inspired by electronica, dance, and often featuring his mother’s recordings interlaced.
Satterwhite’s past work, Country Ball, recreated a landscape, using a late 80’s home video of him and his family dancing outdoors and drawings from his mother’s collection of utilitarian objects spliced together with a visual of his elongated body movements. The result is a stunning 3D visual, exploring all sides of his personal mythology. His six-part video series Reifying Desire was a part of Whitney Museum’s 2014 Biennial, which responds to pop culture and political history by imagining a non-political space.
His next work is an extension of the nostalgia motif, using his mother’s music as the primary focus.
Jacolby Satterwhite will be joining us in our Saint Heron curated Young Members Party tonight, June 22nd at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art where he will be showing an exclusive experimental film installation alongside jams spun all night by our very own DJ Kindness. Guests will also be immersed in current exhibitions Rei Kawakubo/Commes Des Garcons: Art of the In-Between and Irving Penn: Centennial!
Get your tickets and find out more information here, and if you’re not a member, feel free to get your membership online and join us for a night of experimental exploration and fellowship at The Met. See you there, New York!