Martine Syms uses video and performance to examine representations of blackness and its relationship to American situation comedy, black vernacular, feminist movements and radical traditions.
Solo exhibitions of Syms’ work include Projects 106, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); The Easy Demands, CONDO: Bridget Donahue hosted by Sadie Coles, London (2017); Borrowed Lady, Simon Fraser University Galleries, Vancouver (2016); Fact and Trouble, ICA, London (2016); COM PORT MENT, Karma International, Los Angeles (2016); The Unreliable Narrator, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago (2015) and Vertical Elevated Oblique, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York (2015). Among her group exhibitions are 2017 Commercial Break, Public Art Fund, New York (2017); Analog Currency, The Mistake Room, Los Angeles (2017) and Speaking of People, Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2014). Her work can be found in the collections of the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Studio Museum, Harlem, New York.
She currently runs Dominica Publishing, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness as a topic, reference, marker and audience in visual culture, and previously served as co-director of the artist-run project space Golden Age, Chicago (2007–2011). She is the author of Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film (Future Plan and Program, 2011). She has lectured at Yale University, South by Southwest (SXSW), California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, Johns Hopkins University and MoMA PS1, among other venues, and is currently a faculty member in the Art Department at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, US.
Syms earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007) and a Master of Fine Arts from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, US (2017).
Syms was born in 1988 in Los Angeles, where she currently lives and works.