Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living

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Jacolby Satterwhite: Room for Living

September 13, 2019 - January 19, 2020

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Opening reception: Friday, September 13, 6-8 pm

In Jacolby Satterwhite’s animated videos, human avatars interact with 3D models in an amorphous, liberated realm; neither time, space, scale, nor societal normativity limit the expression of his characters or architecture. Collaborating with FWM as an Artist-in-Residence, Satterwhite has reimagined elements from his acclaimed digital animation work spanning nearly a decade in Room for Living, his first solo museum show. From the initial phase of his two-year residency, Satterwhite has worked with the FWM Studio team to integrate digital fabrication tools into his expanding practice, bringing animations to life in physical form. Building upon the scenes and motifs featured in two groundbreaking series—Reifying Desire (2011-2014) and Birds in Paradise (2017-2019)—the exhibition will feature multi-media installations, new video works, and a virtual reality experience.

Over the past decade, his videos have also referenced the works of his late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia when her son was in middle school and prolific in the creation of inventive drawings intended to solve problems both mysterious and mundane. Reifying Desire, an opus-scale series of six videos combining the artist’s interest in the histories of art, dance, queer theory, and American material culture, often featured his mother’s drawings as three-dimensional digital objects. More recently, Birds in Paradise incorporated audio tracks made from a cappella recordings written and sung by Ms. Satterwhite. In Room for Living, the artist continues this collaboration with his mother, pays homage to a lifetime of ingenuity by realizing her designs as physical objects.

Iconic scenes from the Reifying Desire series will take three-dimensional form as physical objects constructed by the FWM Studio. Employing cutting-edge techniques in digital fabrication—such as 3D printing and CNC machining—these objects will be integrated into five multi-media installations featuring elements from Satterwhite’s videos at various scales, from three-inch miniatures to figures standing over seven feet tall. His allusions to Modern and Renaissance painting will also be present, as seen in the seven-foot tall figures composed in one installation to reference The Incredulity of Saint Thomas by Caravaggio (1601-2). In another, the artist has positioned five female figures to resemble the protagonists in Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907). The exhibition will also feature a new video by Satterwhite marking the continuation of ideas introduced in Reifying Desire and Birds in Paradise, accompanied by a virtual reality component. Providing an opportunity to digitally enter the artist’s world and explore it in 360 degrees, visitors will be guided by a soundtrack poignantly interwoven with the transformed voice of the artist’s mother.


This exhibition ends with three events:

Making Space: Conversation with Jacolby Satterwhite – January 16, 7-8 pm

Endgame: Black Artists on an Urgent Black Future – January 17, 6-8 pm

Endgame: Conversation – Extended Gallery Hours and Artist Talk – January 18, 12 pm



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