Martine Syms: Some What?

Spring 2018–Ongoing

Martine Syms - Some What?

Western Bridge announces the appearance of Some What?, an artwork by Los Angeles artist Martine Syms, in locations across Seattle beginning Spring 2018.

Syms’s work appropriates an image from a publication and designates it for placement in conventional advertising space. As it changes location, from the storefront of a commercial art gallery, to a billboard in a redeveloping neighborhood, the graphic alludes to what is to be consumed in its surroundings. Its original print enlarged many times over, the image loses resolution and specificity, relating in a physical way to its open-ended literal question: Want some?

Some What? will appear in multiple locations throughout Seattle beginning Spring 2018, including a billboard poster on Capitol Hill and the front window of Gramma Poetry in Pioneer Square. In an iteration for Wa Na Wari, an art and community space based in a Black-owned home in the Central District, it is presented in the format of a public land use notice. 

Martine Syms works across visual and print media, incorporating images from personal and popular culture to explore the ways in which language, gesture and image form conceptions of identity. Her recent feature-length film Incense, Sweaters & Ice follows two Black women navigating routes of the Great Migration. Syms’ work has been exhibited and screened widely, including presentations at MoMA PS1, ICA London, The Studio Museum in Harlem, MCA Chicago, the Hammer Museum, and recent exhibitions at Bridget Donahue Gallery, New York, and Sadie Coles HQ, London. She is the founder of Dominica Publishing, a small imprint dedicated to exploring Blackness as a topic, reference, marker and audience in visual culture.