Akeroyd Collection


Martine Syms, S1:E4, 2020

S1:E4 is a single episode of Martine Syms’ project SHE MAD (2015-ongoing), in which the artist emulates the sitcom format to explore depictions of blackness in the public imagination. The SHE MAD series follows the character of Martine, a stoner and graphic designer who lives in Hollywood and wishes she were an important visual artist. This particular episode begins with a conversation with a colleague that triggers a flashback to a summertime in her past. She zones out and remembers being a camper at T-Zone, a week-long empowerment programme for teenage girls founded by a supermodel and business mogul. The scene takes a disturbing turn when she recalls the leader instigating a workshop that encouraged everyone to vocalize problematic racial stereotypes. Under the guise of openness and with the intention to cast prejudice out, the opposite happens and the workshop descends into offensive rhetoric and confrontation. The misguided efforts of the privileged simply makes space for continued violence. Before long, Martine returns from her flashback and apologises to her co-worker for not listening to them.

Duration10 minutes 50 seconds
Editionof 5 +1 AP