Island of Treasure
Island of Treasure and Reifying Desire 6 were inspired by performances in Lower Manhattan Satterwhite attended during his time in New York City. Personal interests such as pop culture, art history, maternity and family all motivated pieces of this work. Island of Treasure and Reifying Desire 6 combine both 3D animation, film, and performance to create an intense experience for the viewer. In 2013 Jacolby Satterwhite had his second solo show, Island of Treasure, which was put on at Mallorca landing in the center of Palma de Mallorca in Spain. The show entails both presentations of video and c-prints as well as performance aspects. Satterwhite is known as a performance art iconoclast and The New York Times said he has an “uncommonly elastic imagination.”
Island of Treasure and Reifying Desire 6 combine both 3D animation and film to create an intense experience for the viewer. Maternity also plays a large role in this work, and acts as an inspiration for a lot of the content. This work uses 3D animated characters to act out scenes of desire and change without using dialogue. Set to an upbeat electronic tune, this video art piece displays random objects arranged in a spacious universe of constellations floating. These random objects are actually based off of Satterwhite’s mother’s drawings of popular products for sale on home network channels. Satterwhite’s animation of these consumer products, such as cake or meat slicers, an egg scooper, apple pie table, or traveling luggage, come to life in new ways and help create the psychedelic style of this work. The human models in this work battle with these objects and interact with each other in a sexual manner. There are also filmed scenes of Satterwhite that make appearances in the work. The first is a filmed performance of Satterwhite overlaid onto a 3D model of a floating uterus on the beach. The other is when we are thrown out of a 3D modeled environment and into a film scene of Jacolby Satterwhite in full costume taking the subway in New York City. This scene throws us back into our current world and points out how different the newly created imaginative world really is.
The performance aspect of this show is that Satterwhite himself, dresses in complex costumes, carried around electronic devices to act as if they were the live versions of the 3D animated characters in the video. The Stefan Lundgren Gallery/ Mallorca Landings Residency (where the show took place) explains:
“The architecture and banal objects become recreated in 3D animation with greater scale, surrealism and anthropomorphism. Satterwhite continues usage of his mothers drawings as another platform; but pushes it forward by outsourcing movement inspired by the objects in the drawing from the general public. The archive of drawings, outsourced bodies, and recorded live action performances in various sites act as a creative restraint for Satterwhite to generate stream of conscious narratives with a motif.” Stefan Lundgren Gallery (2013), Jacolby Satterwhite Island of Treasure.
Jacolby Satterwhite, the artist himself says:
“Reifying Desire 1 - 6 will use 230 3D modeled versions of my mothers drawings, my body, and animated figures. The intersection of the disparate disciplines including dance performance, drawing, and digital media acts as an exquisite corpes strategy for guiding the storyline. Ordinary utilitarian objects become queered and repurposed in pursuit of defining a new utopian and non political space for me to perform in. The result is an overlap of visual trajectories between my mother and I. Her private domestic documentations/inventions, and my public reactions to pop culture, art history, and political histories. A distorted simulacrum of reality.” Satterwhite, Jacolby (2013), Reifying Desire.
Overall, this piece has a lot of cultural importance in the world of video art because it creates an interesting genre of psychedelic videography that creates a synergy between performance, 3D models, and film. The video as a whole feels like an inner monologue of Satterwhite himself and his relationship with his mother and the world he lives in each day.
Similar to Island of Treasure, The Country Ball is also influenced by Satterwhite’s familial obsession and upbringing. This work is inspired by his home videos from the 1980s that display the classic ideals of “The American Dream.” The primary video work that inspires this is a video of his mother’s day cookout. This work also uses his mother’s drawings to create the video. Similar to Island of Treasure, this work conveys a stream of conscious environment that forces the viewer to understand Satterwhite’s inner dialogues.
Similar to Satterwhite, Jonathan Monaghan, a 3D animation artist, also works in the area of the unknown, psychedelic, and colorful in his work Rainbow Narcosis. They both use bright colors to bring their 3D landscape to life and convey a unique message through their art. Island of Treasure is a stream of conscious work that focuses on themes such as sexuality, maternity, and familial obsession. Similar to Satterwhite, Rainbow Narcosis creates an environment that separates what is real and what is arbitrary. The main difference between the artists is that Monaghan works in a video game like atmosphere and really focuses on the difference between reality and meditated. His content focuses on vague wealth and power, however both works still are similar in their theme of unsettling ambiguity.
Island of Treasure, Solo Show at Mallorca Landings Gallery, 1 November - 20 December 2013
An Evening with Jacolby Satterwhite and Art21, Peter Jay Sharp Building, RAM Rose Cinemas, May 28, 201