All the Things We can Do With Our Bodies

I am what you call an extended frame video installation performance diva“, states Jacolby Satterwhite, as he accurately summarizes the theme of this short documentary. Satterwhite produces startling visuals based on his childhood memories, saved on VHS videos featuring footage of his family frolicking and dancing, as well as his mother’s drawings. He transcribes these different sources of material into a third medium; a video installation, which he ornaments with multiple possibilities of representations of himself. These representations have a transforming power over his mother’s drawings into movable objects – and not accidentally, the representations are vogueing these objects into movements.

Still from 'Jacolby Satterwhite Dances with His Self'
Still from ‘Jacolby Satterwhite Dances with His Self’

Satterwhite rightfully treats his own body as a main agent of change in the alternate world he created, while he quite innovatively, manages to synthesize a new form of connection between the mediums and his own personal experience. It is almost as if the artist has written fan fiction by using personal artifacts, re-creating them and inserting them into sort of a fantasy setting, whilst forming a connection between memory anchors that once were connected to the past and a set of eyes who experienced them.

Courtesy of Jacolby Satterwhite
Courtesy of Jacolby Satterwhite

Neon aesthetics are a playful wink at the cult of dance and performance and voguing is a language on its own, used in Satterwhite’s art to denote a more political characterization of the desire he aims to depict. Satterwhite identifies a paradigm shift occurring in the world as we know it today, and calls it the age of the remix – ‘There’s no such thing as originality anymore – now it’s just about how you use information around you to generate individuality.’

New York Close Up is a series of documentaries, which centers around young professional artists and their personal stories during the first decade of their professional career.


Jacolby Satterwhite Dances with His Self

|”New York Close Up” | Art21


“New York Close Up” Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich

Producer & Editor: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland

Cinematography: Rafael Salazar & Ava Wiland

Sound: Ava Wiland. Associate Producer

Ian Forster. Design & Graphics: Open. Artwork: Jacolby Satterwhite. Additional Photography: Jacolby Satterwhite. Thanks: Alejandro Guzmán, Recess, Monya Rowe Gallery & Patricia Satterwhite. An Art21 Workshop Production.

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