Satellite Art Show
SVA Alumni Bring It Home
October 19, 2019
by Quinn Dukes
Satellite Art Show, an immersive art fair, premiered its NYC edition in Brooklyn’s historic Pfizer Building. The electric Brooklyn iteration featured 33 exhibitor installations, 18 live performers, 23 video artists, 2 transformative after parties, 1 panel discussion emphasizing the queer form by queer artists, and live music. (How’s that for a full schedule?)
The Satellite team comprised Creative Director Brian Andrew Whiteley, Creative Producer AnnaLiisa Ariosa-Benston, and yours truly, Quinn Dukes, Performance Curator. We lived and breathed Satellite for 14+ hours a day, 6 days in a row. We do this as artists, for artists. As noted by Hyperallergic, Satellite presents “the kind of creative energy we don’t often associate with art fairs.”
Satellite Art Show was born in a defunct North Miami Beach hotel, in conjunction with Miami Art Week 2015. The fair’s mantra continues to emphasize accessibility for artist-run spaces, non-profits, and emerging artists. Immersive and interactive art experiences are prominent within each iteration of Satellite, which we have presented during Miami (Art Basel), Austin (SXSW) and NYC.
The days following the production of a 4-day art fair are always a bit disorienting. As I reflect, I am re-energized by the collaborative spirit of our thoughtful exhibitors. Several projects presented sociopolitical commentary, a common thread amongst our exhibitors from the fair’s inception.
Notably, SoMad’s exhibitor booth featured a 3-screen projection installation by Carla Maldonado, (MFA Photography, Video, and Related Media). Maldonado’s videos emphasized the haunting impact of deforestation and governmental corruption within the Amazon.
The continued interplay of traditional fine arts media and technology is also a prominent theme within Satellite’s curation. This fusion was nearly irresistible to the touch in Dream’s Logic’s exhibition featuring Lauren Carly Shaw. Shaw’s work, I, Me, Mine, investigates vanity and ignorance contained within a surrealist environment composed of ceramic sculptures in bubblegum colors. The installation is both the backdrop and center stage to an augmented reality experience in which the central reclining figure comes to life and engages with the multiplicity of their own image.
As the performance and video curator for the fair, I offer non-stop access to performance and performance for video. Thus, my overall experience of Satellite is largely devoted to the Performance Is Alive space. For “Alive at Satellite NYC”, I presented the largest selection of artists to date working in performance art, performance for video and video art. The selected artists came from all over the world and ranged in experience from current undergraduate students to historical leaders in their field.
Alive at Satellite began with a durational piece by Florida-based artist Amanda Kleinhans. For three hours, Kleinhans struggled to fit her body through an “average-sized” silhouette cut-out. Simultaneous to Kleinhans’s performance, Alison Pirie roamed the fair dragging an oversized uterus. The performance, Prisoners of the Strange Organ That Dwells Within Them, is a call to action for higher standards within the reproductive health industry. A performance by Brooklyn-based artist and curator Amanda Hunt challenged viewers to “resist the attention economy” through a series of physically challenging actions.
Kathie Halfin (MFA Fine Arts) presented a challenging and personal performance entitled Labor of Love. Over the course of an hour, Halfin retold personal stories of her immigrant history while attempting to complete routine tasks amidst behemoth mounds of clay.
“Alive at Satellite” also included a robust screening program that featured the video work of 21 artists. A few notable video works included that of Rodrigo Amarante Guerreiro Gomes’ Ultraviolet Garden, which revealed audio footage of a U.S. airstrike in New Baghdad where two Reuters journalists were killed after their camera lenses were mistaken as RPG guns. Sylvain Souklaye’s performance documentation, Migrant Market, tells the stories of immigrant children who are forced to integrate new sociological and religious concepts with the deletion of their roots and cultures.
Video and live performance art are rarely given adequate representation within art fairs. I have a responsibility to highlight honest and meaningful work that resides beyond the scope of art fair commercialism. With this curatorial code of ethics in mind, Satellite gives preference to artists who are daring and who rebel against the “commission” system of the gallery world. New York City is an artist-rich city with limited financial support for the creative community. Satellite’s presence within New York City is aimed towards reclaiming space for emerging voices.
Satellite’s next iteration will be presented in Miami during Miami Art Basel. The open call application is free and available here.
Quinn Dukes is a multimedia performance artist, activist, and curator based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work addresses social injustice and ritual. Dukes holds an MFA in Art Practice from the School of Visual Arts and a BFA in Fine Art from Watkins College of Art & Design. In 2014, following a heated discussion about the death of performance art, Dukes founded Performance Is Alive.
Dukes has performed in galleries and festivals across the globe including Fountain Art Fair (Miami and NYC), Lumen International Video & Performance Festival, Wassaic Festival, Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), Local Project (Queens, NY), Gallery Sensei (NYC), FIAP Festival (Martinique). Dukes has received reviews in Flash Art, NY Arts Magazine and WhiteWall Magazine and written for blogs: Art in New York City and Art in Brooklyn.
She is a tireless advocate for performance art and higher education via appointments at Satellite Art Show (NYC, Miami, TX), Grace Exhibition Space (New York, NY) and the School of Visual Arts (New York, NY).