Artist Writes No. 3
Incense Sweaters & Ice

Martine Syms

In this third installment of Artist Writes, we present Martine Syms’s script “Incense Sweaters & Ice: Video Description Script.” Part of X-TRA’s Twentieth Anniversary Programming, Artist Writes is a series of commissioned essays and public programs by four contemporary artists who write: A.L. Steiner, Andrea Fraser, Martine Syms, and Pope.L. X-TRA is publishing their texts serially in Volume 20, and each author will present a corresponding public event in Los Angeles.

Artist Writes is grounded in X-TRA’s mission to provide a platform for artists to define their own terms of engagement and to make meaningful contributions to the fields of criticism and theory. Support for this series has been generously provided by the Michael Asher Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Isambard Kingdom Brunel Society of North America, and Pasadena Art Alliance.

Note: The layout of this text was designed for the printed journal, our website is limited in presentation. For the best reading experience, order a copy here>

Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles) uses video and performance to examine representations of blackness and its relationship to American situation comedy, black vernacular, feminist movements, and radical traditions. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively; recent exhibitions include Projects 106: Martine Syms, at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Easy Demands, CONDO: Bridget Donahue, hosted by Sadie Coles, London; Borrowed Lady, SFU Galleries, Vancouver; Fact and Trouble, ICA London; and Vertical Elevated Oblique, Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York. She is a  faculty member in the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.

Images: Martine SymsIncense Sweaters & Ice, 2017. Production still, The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, Troy, New York. Photo: Mick Bello.

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