Martine Syms: Present Goo

14 Sep-4 Nov 2023
PV 14 Sep 2023, 6-8pm

Sadie Coles HQ, Davies Street
London W1K 3DB


Artist and filmmaker Martine Syms presents a group of new works – spanning film, installation, drawing and photography. Syms’ new works encompass three distinct groupings, that each represent new avenues in her ongoing critical examination of narrative production. Distinguished by a versatile and research-based approach to her art, Syms’ multifarious practice draws on both personal and historical references that speak to the nature of contemporary life and human experience.

In three new video works, Syms looks to surveillance footage, as well as clips drawn from myriad sources to create nuanced filmic collages. Syms consciously mediates the way in which technology – for example, the editing of the moving image, sound and its physical modes of viewing – may be deployed to evoke or alter the impression of perspective and character.

Shown in dialogue with these are several enlarged photographic wallpapers and drawings. By contrast to the intricacies of technological process and its temporal outcomes, these are created with relative immediacy, offering a series of fixed vignettes that might equally communicate personal or social expression.

Within these works, Syms addresses the means of representation and its effects upon performed or imposed identities, as well as the covert yet pervasive systems of power, revealing how the subtleties of technique may bear upon its subject.

Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles (CA)) obtained an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson (NY) (2017) and a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (IL) (2007). Syms has exhibited internationally with current and recent solo exhibitions including: SHE MAD S1:E4, MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2022); Grio College, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson (2022); She Mad: Season One, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen (2021); Neural Swamp, Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin (2021, touring to Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia in 2022); Aphrodite’s Beasts, Fridericianum, Kassel (2021); SOFT, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2021); SHE MAD: S1:E4, part of Glasgow International, Tramway, Glasgow (2021, touring to MCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2022); Ugly Plymouths, at Sadie Coles HQ Offsite, London, and at 5239 Melrose Avenue, presented by Bridget Donahue and Sadie Coles HQ, Los Angeles (2020); Boon, Secession, Vienna (2019); Shame Space, Institute of Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond (2019); Incense Sweaters & Ice, Graham Foundation, Chicago (2018); SHE MAD: Laughing Gas, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago (2018); Grand Calme, Sadie Coles HQ, London (2018); Contemporary Projects: Martine Syms, Serralves Foundation, Porto (2018); Projects 106: Martine Syms, Museum of Modern Art, New York (2017); VNXXCAS: Martine Syms, Camden Arts Centre, London (2017); The Easy Demands, CONDO: Bridget Donahue hosted by Sadie Coles HQ, London (2017); and Fact & Trouble, Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2016). In 2022, Syms released her widely acclaimed feature-film The African Desperate. Syms has been recognised with awards from United States Artists Fellowship (2020); Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media (2020); and Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago (2018).



Martine Syms: Present Goo press release