‘Conceptual Entrepreneur’ Martine Syms Will Bring Augmented Reality Storytelling to MoMA

This marks the first solo museum show in the US for the LA artist.

Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.
Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.

Conceptual artist Martine Syms is set to showcase her latest work, the featured-length film Incense, Sweaters, and Ice (2017), at the Museum of Modern Art this spring. On its own that would be ambitious enough, but the show promises to be an immersive installation of video, photography, and an artist-designed augmented reality app that allows viewers to interact with the work as well.

Incense, Sweaters, and Ice tells the story of three characters—Girl, her great-aunt Mrs. Queen Esther Bernetta White, and her new friend WB (“whiteboy”)—as they journey to Los Angeles from Mississippi.

Projects 106: Martine Syms,” the show’s title, is part of The Elaine Dannheiser Project Series—a program dedicated to exhibiting new and experimental art since 1971. Recent Projects Series artists include Neïl Beloufa, Thea Djordjadze, Nástio Mosquito, and Cinthia Marcelle.

Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.

Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.

The Los-Angeles-based Syms, who coined the term “conceptual entrepreneur” for her own practice, makes work that explores notions of blackness, feminism, queer theory, and language— looking at various forms of popular media through the lens of American culture. Working in publishing, performance, and video, Syms’s work challenges narratives about race and identity in ways that are equally playful and politically engrossing.

 

Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.

Martine Syms. Film still from Incense, Sweaters, and Ice, 2017. Courtesy the artist and Bridget Donahue, New York.

Syms has exhibited her work at the Hammer Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Green Gallery, and Artspace, as well as both the 2015 New Museum’s Triennial and the 2016 Berlin Biennale. She runs Dominica Publishing and is the author of Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film (Future Plan and Program, 2011).

Projects 106: Martine Syms” is at the Museum of Modern Art, May 27 through July 16, 2017.


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