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Martine Syms





Tuesday, May 12, 2015, 7 pm

PNCA Mediatheque

511 NW Broadway

Portland, OR 97209

Martine Syms, A Pilot for a Show About Nowhere (still), 2015, digital video.

A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere is a two-channel video that examines the politics of television viewership, incorporating footage from a number of sources to create a plurivocal narrative. It is a sitcom pilot, but does not resemble a conventional episode. Black sitcoms are central in their potential to undermine television conventions and spark unpredictable and radical impulses, but also in their role in the erasure of the struggles and realities of poor Black populations. Filmed reenactments of the artist’s life ground A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere in her experience, and a “She Mad” title card suggests a complete narrative.




Martine Syms is an artist and conceptual entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. From 2007–11, she directed Golden Age, a project space focused on exhibitions, performances, and printed matter that she founded. At Golden Age, she organized over fifty innovative cultural projects ranging from film screenings to interactive online exhibitions. She also initiated a publishing program, which included a catalogue of ten titles by international, emerging artists. She has lectured at SXSW, Project Row Houses, the Houston Museum of African American Art, California Institute of the Arts, University of Chicago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Johns Hopkins University, Maryland Institute College of Art, and MoMA P.S.1, among other venues. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened extensively, including presentations at the New Museum, MCA Chicago, Green Gallery (Milwaukee), Gene Siskel Film Center (Chicago), Capricious Space (Brooklyn), Wassaic Project (NY), and White Flag Projects (St. Louis). Her work is currently on view, through May 24, at the New Museum’s 2015 Triennial: Surround Audience.




After losing our headquarters in 2014, RECESS began to explore the effects of rising rental and real estate costs on arts workers in major cities along the West Coast of US and Canada, as well as how the resulting nomadic lifestyles and dispersed communities shape artistic production.


With Moving Out, we intend to foster a new sense of regional identity by showcasing artists and projects that respond to these conditions both directly and indirectly. We also hope to build a model for what a curatorial program might look like in times of growing economic precarity and a lack of fixed resources.



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info [at] recessart [dot] com

Thank you... Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti