The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, October 6, 2022

MCA Chicago celebrates the U.S. premiere of solo exhibition by L.A.-based artist Martine Syms
Martine Syms, Laughing Gas (still), 2016. Four-channel video, color, sound, 7:12 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Bridget Donahue, NY.

CHICAGO, IL.- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is presenting Martine Syms: She Mad Season One, a solo exhibition by Los Angeles-based artist Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA; lives in Los Angeles, CA). Syms is widely recognized for a multidisciplinary practice that reflects on contemporary visual culture with humor and biting social commentary.

The exhibition features Syms’s five-part video series She Mad (2015-2021) and marks the U.S. premiere of The Non-Hero, the most recent episode in the series. She Mad is a semi-autobiographical sitcom about a young Black woman trying to make it as an artist in Los Angeles. Drawing from early cinema, television shows, advertisements, and internet memes, Syms explores the ways Black experiences are constructed on television, in film, and online.

“Syms has emerged as one of the defining artists of her generation. Her work has an uncanny ability to show you what has been there all along—the conventions embedded in mass media, those tropes, stereotypes, and clichés that are so commonplace they often go unnoticed, even as they continue to shape the public imagination.” —Jadine Collingwood, Assistant Curator.

The exhibition situates five video works, A Pilot for a Show About Nowhere (2015), Laughing Gas (2016), Intro to Threat Modeling (2017), Bitch Zone (2020), and The Non-Hero (2021), within an immersive sculptural installation featuring newly produced custom seating and exposed aluminum studs painted in the artist’s signature shade of purple—a reference to both the chroma key backdrops frequently used in the post-production of films and television shows and Alice Walker's 1982 novel The Color Purple.

The Non-Hero (2021) takes the form of a series of brief clips modeled after rapper Lil Nas X’s popular “Life Story” videos on the social media platform TikTok. Mirroring its source material, Syms’s video blurs the lines between fact and fiction to examine the versions of ourselves we share on social media. Another highlight of the exhibition, the four-channel video Laughing Gas (2016), is based on a 1907 slapstick comedy of the same name, notable for featuring the Black silent-film actress Bertha Regustus in the lead role. In this modern restaging of the film, Syms stars as the main character who goes to the dentist, receives laughing gas, and then learns that her insurance company has denied coverage for the visit. Combining footage from security cameras, television clips, and animated GIFs, Syms puts her version of the character into dialogue with contemporary representations of Blackness in popular media.

The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Bergen Kunsthall, in Bergen, Norway. The MCA’s presentation is curated by Jadine Collingwood, Assistant Curator, with Jack Schneider, Curatorial Assistant.

Martine Syms (b. 1988, Los Angeles, CA; lives in Los Angeles, CA) is the recipient of the Creative Capital Award, a United States Artists fellowship, the Tiffany Foundation award, and the Future Fields Art Prize. She obtained an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (2017), and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). She has exhibited widely, including presentations at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Art Institute of Chicago; New Museum, New York; the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; and ICA London. From 2007–2011 she was co-director of the Chicago artist-run project space Golden Age, and she currently runs Dominica Publishing, an imprint dedicated to exploring Blackness in visual culture. Additionally, she has done commissioned work for brands such as Prada, Nike, Celine, and Kanye West, among others. She is in a band called Aunt Sister and hosts CartalkLA, a monthly radio show on NTS.

Today's News

July 8, 2022

Groundbreaking exhibition at The Met explores use of color in ancient Greek and Roman sculpture

Cecilia Brunson Projects and Galeria Millan bring Paulo Pasta's work to London and the UK for the first time

Bob Dylan's first new studio recording of "Blowin' In The Wind" since 1962, sells for $1,769,508

Kunsthall Stavanger presents an exhibition of works by Wong Ping

MCA Chicago celebrates the U.S. premiere of solo exhibition by L.A.-based artist Martine Syms

In Newport, artists turn tables on the Gilded Age

Jack Hanley opens an exhibition show featuring works by Peter Böhnisch, Sophie Treppendahl, and Paul Wacker

Lisson Gallery opens an exhibition of works by Antonio Calderara

Christie's presents 'A Place With No Name: Works From the Sina Jina Collection'

Opening Today: Kaylene Whiskey, Vincent Namatjira, Tiger Yaltangki: "Iwantja Rock n Roll" at Fort Gansevoort

M. LeBlanc presents the gallery's second solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Isabel Yellin

19th century sherry from former home of the Duke of Wellington Apsley House heads to auction

'Blast 'Em!': Heritage Auctions offers in July stormtrooper helmet and blaster used in 1977's 'Star Wars'

The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago names Anslem Elumogo-Gardner as MCA's first Chief of Staff

Austin landmark finds a new home

Minister Catherine Martin visits major new exhibition exploring the work of artist collective The Otolith Group

South Arts announces inaugural Southern Cultural Treasures cohort

Radius Books publishes 'Jennifer West: Media Archaeology'

When paying dues doesn't pay the rent, how does the theater survive?

Tobias Kratzer is leading opera's next generation of directors

Korea's leading international art fair brings together 164 galleries from 17 countries for its 21st edition

Scientist Alfred Russel Wallace medals, co-discoverer of evolution, to be auctioned by Morton & Eden

Istanbul Biennial announces list of contributors

Christie's results: Classic Week Evening Sales total $56,732,047

Important Advices for Selecting the Best Appliance Repair Company

Bosnia and Herzegovina: The two Empires can be unified through Art

Weight Loss: How to Set Goals, Achieve Them, and Measure Progress

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful