Shot on location in Chicago, Los Angeles, and Clarksdale, Mississippi, Incense, Sweaters, and Ice follows three protagonists—Mrs. Queen Esther Bernetta White, Girl, and WB (“whiteboy”)—as they navigate dramas of surveillance, moving between watching, being watched, and remaining unseen. Accompanying the film is a suite of photographs sized to standard American movie posters and a metal mesh structure inspired by the geographies of the Great Migration.
Using video and performance, Syms examines representations of blackness and its relationship to narrative, vernacular, feminist thought, and radical traditions. On the occasion of the exhibition, Syms will also premiere a new lecture-performance as part of MoMA’s educational programming.
Organized by Jocelyn Miller, Curatorial Associate, MoMA PS1.