Reifying Desire 3:
The Immaculate Conception of Doubting Thomas
by Jacolby Satterwhite
exh Feb 11th – April 23rd
ArtForum Critics Choice: https://www.artforum.com/picks/id=67461
Flash Art International no. 315 June–July–August 2017 - review of Reifying Desire 3 by William Kherbek
exhibition press release:
Jacolby Satterwhite’s Reifying Desire series represents a collaboration between the artist and his mother as he incorporates traces of her drawings of designs for home shopping network products, into a computer-generated landscape. The repurposed drawings become immersive architectures in which Satterwhite performs via green screen, combining voguing and martial arts moves with virtual objects, in a 3-dimensional moving collage. Documentary footage of Satterwhite performing on city streets and idyllic, but out of season landscapes, combine with animated drawings that further blur the thresholds between gaming and ‘reality’. His mother’s texts provide language prompts for performances through which further visual narratives develop, drawing on personal memories, whilst blurring distinctions between insider/outsider art practices, pop culture, and art history.
Satterwhite explores the working process of finding limits within the infinite range of visual possibilities in contemporary animation techniques. In conversation with Kei Kreutler (Rhizome artists’ profile, 2014) he describes how:
"The visual restraint lies within my body of archives ranging from collected movements by myself and other performers, my mother’s drawings, and my stock photos collected from the internet. Merging them together into a dense crystal of information results in the reification of process, a concrete time-based visual system bleeding formal, philosophical, and political ideas."
Satterwhite’s influences range from Walt Disney, Picasso, his mother’s drawings, Janet Jackson, Deee Lite, Bjork, Michael Jackson, and Madonna, Lyle Ashton Harris, David Wojnarowicz, Mapplethorpe, Wolfgang Tillmans, Isaac Julien, and Michael Clark, to the aesthetics and sensory immersion of gaming. He describes negotiating exactly the same problems in animation as he did in painting, yet the computer allows him to resolve palettes, compositions, textures, planes and frames in a much more dynamic way.
Artist biog: Jacolby Satterwhite has exhibited extensively, internationally, including: New Revolutions: 50th Anniversary Show, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa 2015, The 9th Berlin Bienalle 2016, Human Interest, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2016, Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, London 2016, Disguise, Brooklyn Art Museum 2016, Imitation of Life: Race and Melodrama in the 21st Century, Home Gallery, Manchester 2016, To Be Young, Gifted, and Black, Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2015, Disguise, UCLA Art Gallery, Los Angeles California 2015, Screen Play: LIfe in an Animated World - Albright-Knox Art Gallery New York, New York 2015, Mirror Stage: Visualizing the Self After the Internet, Dallas Museum of Art , Dallas, Texas 2015, America is Hard To See, Whitney Museum of American Art, 2015, Radical Presence, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Francisco, California, 2015, Jacolby Satterwhite: Video Room , Fri Art Centre D'art De Fribourg Kunsthalle Freiburg, Switzerland, 2014, Whitney Biennial 2014, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 2014. He has works in the public collections of: Studio Museum in Harlem, Seattle Art Museum, and Whitney Museum of American Art.