Martine Syms: She Mad (Paperback)

Martine Syms: She Mad By Martine Syms Cover Image

Martine Syms: She Mad (Paperback)


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A source book documenting five episodes of Martine Syms's seminal fragmented television series, She Mad.

Works by Martine Syms explore how mass media shapes and frames identities and cultures. Drawing from early cinema, television, the internet, social media, and ambient footage produced by phones and surveillance, Syms addresses the ways in which representations of black identity and gender appear in the public imagination. She Mad gathers materials and documentation on Martine Syms’s seminal episodic project of the same name. Each episode of this series takes a different format, using various narrative formats, from sitcoms to TikTok videos, and includes filmed footage as well as research materials. Each episode revolves around a protagonist, also named Martine—an overachieving, stoner graphic designer who lives in Hollywood and wishes she were an important artist. 

The first episode Pilot for a Show about Nowhere (2015) merges a semi-autobiographical account of Syms’s own life as a young black woman with a video essay-like narrative on the history of commercial television and its assumed target audiences. The episode Laughing Gas (2016) draws on early cinema, specifically the 1907 silent film of the same name by Edwin Porter, one of the earliest examples of a black female actress, Bertha Regustus, performing an independent role on-screen. Intro to Threat Modeling (2017) is told through email exchanges, screengrabs, and an avatar, outlining the effects of surveillance on subjectivity. The episode Bitch Zone (2020) takes us to an empowerment programme for teenage girls founded by supermodel and business mogul Tyra Banks

The book is published on the occasion of the exhibition of She Mad—Season One at Bergen Kunsthall, Norway and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, USA.

Jadine Collingwood, William Pym, Axel Wieder

Copublished with Bergen Kunsthall
Martine Syms, born 1988 in Los Angeles, has emerged in recent years as one of the defining artists of her generation. Her work combines in-depth research on the history of mass media with humour and social commentary, using film, photography, installation, performance and writing. Syms work has been featured in Signals: How Video Transformed the World (2023) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and in solo exhibitions at the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, and many others. She has also realized commissioned work for brands such as Prada, Nike and Celine. She recently finished her first feature film, The African Desperate (2022), and received a 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Product Details ISBN: 9781915609335
ISBN-10: 191560933X
Publisher: Sternberg Press
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 160
Language: English