Black Eye: Jacolby Satterwhite

Inside the Brooklyn Artist’s World of IRL Performances and CGI Surrealism

Jacolby Satterwhite creates hyper-charged video work that sees virtual realms and visceral live-action art collide. Renowned for his gruelling five-hour performances on the subway and provocative use of CGI, the New York native talks to director Danilo Parra about his creative inspirations in today's short. “Modern dance and voguing are animistic practices, which borrow postures from Renaissance painting and Egyptian hieroglyphs,” says Satterwhite, whose series Reifying Desire is currently part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial. “However, I'm not interested in political ideas. For me it’s more about how angles and compositions assist me in making a beautiful image.” The film was made for Black Eye, a new group show curated by former Deitch Projects and Pace Gallery Director Nicola Vassell that explores black identity in the 21st Century; 26 artists including Jayson Musson, Kehinde Wiley and Wangechi Mutu also feature. “As a millennial artist, I firmly believe in collapsing symbols and spaces,” says Satterwhite,.“I raise my iconoclast flag proud. That is my role in Black Eye: I am the voice of IDGF.”

Black Eye runs through May 24 at 57 Walker Street, New York.

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Conversations (1)

  • siobhanlouise
    so very well expressed, both visually and verbally.
    • Posted By siobhanlouise
    • May 17, 2014 at 4:25PM
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    Marco Brambilla: Creation (Megaplex)

    A Swirling Galaxy of Pop Matter from the Multimedia Artist

    “It’s all consuming, unstoppable now,” says Marco Brambilla of our shared media saturation, which provides the primary inspiration for his work. “I’m not sure whether that’s a negative or positive.” The New York-based artist utilizes this never-ending pop spectacle in “Creation (Megaplex),” the third and final part of his 3D video collage trilogy, excerpted here and currently on show at Michael Fuchs Galerie in Berlin. Disembodied depictions from well-known movies and even the Hollywood sign itself are sucked into a vortex; loops from 350-400 films and about 2000 objects revolve balletically to Prokofiev’s “Cinderella Waltz”. “Most people have seen the films from which my pieces are derived, so it taps into their collective consciousness,” says Brambilla. “The waltz structure felt appropriate since everything is in constant motion, orbiting and circling—and Prokofiev has a wonderful sense of madness.” The video artist is renowned for shaping 21st-century ephemera into baroque shapes: his 2010 video for Kanye West’s “Power,” for example, saw Yeezy re-approriated as a godlike icon in a neoclassical painting. “The subject of creation lends itself to having no beginning or end,” he says of his latest example of visual alchemy. “From destruction there is rebirth.”

    What was the personal impetus for the Megaplex trilogy?
    Marco Brambilla:
    Using mainstream cinema as the subject, the pieces explore the concept of spectacle versus content in that medium. Having made a Hollywood film—Demolition Man—this work links to my own background and feelings toward that form of filmmaking, and media saturation in general.

    How do you absorb and catalogue the volume of information out there?
    When I’m producing the collages, I watch three to four films per day and clips from many more. The process is like a stream of consciousness, so it’s important for me to hold it together by immersing myself in the subject for a substantial period of time.

    Do you remember your first cinematic experience?
    My father took me to see Fellini’s in Italy when I was quite young. The abstract sense of narrative left an impression on me, although I couldn’t understand why I found it so moving at the time.

    What’s next?
    I’m shooting a project with NASA entitled Conquest, which deals with manned space exploration. It is a multichannel video installation that will be shown in Times Square.

    Creation (Megaplex) runs at Michael Fuchs Galerie through May 31.

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    Miley Cyrus: Tongue Tied

    Sarah Nicole Prickett Unties the Pop Phenomenon's Kinky Collaboration with Quentin Jones

    In the USA, any fresh ‘n’ hot star with blonde ambitions is bound to be a sex symbol. Miley Cyrus wears that bondage lightly. And literally. She stretches the definition of kink, making it pop. On stage, riding a giant hot dog, she grins like the girl who yells loudest in the “penis!” game. She could stop, actually, if she wanted to… but she won’t. She wears her latex like she’s dressing up as herself for Halloween: “I’m a Sexy Miley Cyrus! What are you?”

    As part of Cyrus’ current Bangerz tour is a two-minute video directed by mixed-media artist and filmmaker Quentin Jones, whose signature soignée graphics and splashes of paint transform a pornoriffic-almost-parody into artsploitation. Stripping the color from our heroine’s cartoonish persona, Jones goes in on popular symbols of sex: the fishnets; the beauty mark made darker like Marilyn’s; the black collar fit for a 'Bunny. To Miley, as to a little kid, even the most dangerous object is a toy. And like a kid’s, her near-nudity is hardly erotic. She’s just happier naked. Her poses are jokes, even that infamous tongue—stuck out—remains firmly in cheek. She holds up the cardboard cut-out and winks. Get it? She’s playing with herself.

    It should be clear as ink that Miley Cyrus is no former Disney kid. She’s a forever Disney kid. Sixty years after Walt himself collaborated with Salvador Dali, his phantasmagorical dreams of goofy innocence and erotically charged surrealism have been reanimated.

    Sarah Nicole Prickett is the founding editor of Adult magazine. 

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