For art lovers looking to take a break from the stress of Miami Art Week while still seeing art, the answer was Satellite Art Show, which unveiled its second edition at the Parisian Hotel in Miami Beach on December 1.
The lobby effectively set the scene with Jen Catron and Paul Outlaw‘s F+++ OFF, a swimming pool filled with larger-than-life cereal pieces, a giant carton of milk pouring a constant stream of liquid into it from above.
The duo, who also have work at Untitled, have never shown in Miami before this week, despite multiple invitations over the years to host one of their engaging performance installations. Those were at the behest of more commercial outlets and weren’t the right fit, Catron told artnet News. “Satellite is more fun!”
“We don’t have to worry about satisfying the milk industry,” Outlaw added jokingly, while acknowledging that the cereal pieces, carved from foam, bore quite a resemblance to Cap’n Crunch.
The performance was taking place next to the Museum of Digital Art, a project presented by Brooklyn’s TRANSFER Gallery that can only be entered through a virtual reality headset. Curated by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and featuring “rooms” created by four artists, the piece explores just a few of the possibilities of the art world’s digital frontier.
Inside, the fair was installation-based, with the seedy motel rooms of the Parisian transformed beyond recognition. There was Signe Pierce’s post-apocalyptic ode to zika from New York’s Castor Gallery, titled Entropical Getaway; Jim Ovelmen and Mehran Ayati’s paper-based recreation of the supply hut that Ernest Shackleton used during his expeditions to the South Pole, from Los Angeles’s AWOL gallery; and the Holistic Art Therapy Center’s Soothing Center, curated by Jesse Firestone, which offered couple’s therapy and a video meditation on clickbait, which you watched while sitting on the toilet.
That’s not to mention a tattoo parlor, a strip club, fashion shows, live music, and a room dedicated entirely to performance art from Performance Is Alive. When we stopped by, it was Vanessa Dion Fletcher offering a cringe-worthy sales pitch for Menstrual Accessory, paint specially designed to camouflage dreaded period stains.
“It’s trendy, fashionable, and desirable, unlike your actual period, which is dirty, ugly, and uncomfortable,” Fletcher told the audience, shortly before demonstrating how it worked on her own blood-stained white jumpsuit.
“People are really happy—we have a diverse cross-section of things that more accurately reflect the art world,” fair founder Brian Whiteley told artnet News of the mood at opening day. An artist himself, known for creating the infamous Trump tombstone, Whiteley opted not to display his own work because “I can’t wear two hats when I do this.”
Instead, he’s focusing his energies on providing a platform for his fellow artists, whether it be Emma Sulkowicz and Violet Overn, who performed over the weekend, or a young gallery like the Southern of Charleston, which has covered its room in French toile-style wallpaper.
Instead of a traditionally picturesque scene, however, the work, by Colin Quashie, featured chilling representations of slavery. It’s a response to the “whitewashed, romanticized version of plantation life” sometimes presented in the South, Erin Nathanson, who co-owns the gallery with her husband Justin, told artnet News.
Their’s was one of the more polished offerings, but Satellite’s unique blend of independent artists and projects with established galleries was part of the appeal. “Everyone is super into how experimental and fresh it is,” Anni Mackay, owner of Rochester, Vermont’s BigTown Gallery, which was showing hand-painted shoes by Rick Skogsberg, told artnet News. “I’ve met some serious collectors, and they really love it.”
Satellite isn’t completely unique on the art fair circuit—the installation-style presentation in each hotel room was reminiscent of the vibe at New York’s critical darling Spring/Break—but it definitely stood apart in Miami. Where else are you going to have this much fun?
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