The School of the Art Institute of Chicago's SAIC Galleries is holding the first ever major survey exhibition of Jacolby Satterwhite's works, which will be on view until December 2, 2023. Satterwhite is a multidisciplinary artist who uses such diverse media as video, animation, sculpture, performance, and virtual reality to create fantastical and futuristic worlds that explore themes such as identity, sexuality, memory, and technology.

The exhibition, titled Jacolby Satterwhite: Spirits Roaming on the Earth, is curated by SAIC alum Elizabeth Chodos. It features more than 40 works spanning over a decade of the artist's career, including his acclaimed series Reifying Desire, En Plein Air, and Blessed Avenue. It also presents two new commissions: a large-scale installation that combines video projections, sound, and sculptures inspired by his mother's drawings; and a virtual reality environment that invites visitors to interact with the artist's digital avatars and landscapes.

Satterwhite's work is influenced by his personal history and cultural background, as well as by various sources of inspiration such as science fiction, video games, queer culture, Afrofuturism, and pop music. He uses digital tools and techniques to transform his own body and voice into multiple characters and narratives that challenge the norms and conventions of reality. He also incorporates elements from his family archive, such as his mother's drawings and recordings, which she made as a way of coping with her mental illness.

By blending the real and the imaginary, the personal and the universal, the past and the future, Satterwhite creates a captivating and complex vision of art that reflects his own identity and experiences as a Black queer artist in the contemporary world. His work invites us to question our own assumptions and expectations about ourselves and others, and to imagine new possibilities of being and belonging.

For a more in-depth approach to Satterwhite's work and artistic process, public programs are being organized in conjunction with the exhibition. These include artist talks, panel discussions, workshops, screenings, and performances that will explore various aspects of Satterwhite's practice and its relation to broader social and cultural issues. More information about these events can be found on the SAIC website.

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