Canadian Art is pleased to partner with Images Festival to co-present the 2017 closing night screening, Martine Syms: Incense, Sweaters, and Ice. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Martine Syms in conversation with Images Festival artistic director Amy Fung and Canadian Art staff writer Merray Gerges.
Thursday, April 27 at 7:00pm (Closing Night)
Innis Town Hall
University of Toronto, 2 Sussex Ave
$15 General Admission
$10 Students, Seniors, Underemployed
“You’re just a mass of images you’ve gotten to know / from years and years of tv shows. / the hurting thing; the hidden pain / was written and bitten into your veins / I don’t and I won’t relate / and I think for some it’s too late!”–Ulysses Jenkins
￼￼Incense, Sweaters, and Ice is a new feature film inspired by the idea that anything one does while being watched is a performance. The film follows three protagonists—Mrs. Queen Esther Bernetta White, girl, and WB (“whiteboy”)—as they navigate the dramas of surveillance, moving between looking, being looked at, and remaining unseen. How does the ever-present potential image affect the way we act and the way we see ourselves? By examining how cinema now happens in real time, Syms works between the documented and the live to find the lie.
Set in the afterimage of the great Migration, each of the characters responds to visibility differently. Mrs. Queen White sees it as liberating, girl is ambivalent about her own image but loves to lurk, and WB wants to direct. Using the idea of inheritance as a departure point, the film simulates the private-public unconscious of television shows, advertisements, police cams, vines, and original and found photography alongside images taken by family members to create a collage about familial, cultural, and historical legacies.