Curated by: Irene Calderoni, Amanda Sroka
Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, from 5 November to 30 January, presents a new installation by Martine Syms, assignee of the second edition of the Future Fields Commission in Time-Based Media, awarded to the artist jointly by the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Entitled Neural Swamp, Syms' work will be on display at the Foundation, and will subsequently be presented at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where it will open in spring 2022.
Martine Syms works with film, performance, installation and editorial productions; her works explore the representations of the female black body in digital space and the sense of fragmentation and performativity that characterize culture at the time of the internet and social media. Through the continuous oscillation between still and moving images, cinematic and everyday, monologue and ensemble, her works reveal the ways in which identity is today constructed, exhibited, packaged and consumed. The new work on display is based on Syms' interest in the proliferation, circulation and use of images, as well as on his constant research around technological systems that cancel or make invisible bodies, voices and black narratives.
Neural Swamp is an immersive installation that features three entities: Athena, Dee and the narrator. Each appears on a monitor or on a screen, their images are projected on the exhibition surface, invade the space together with their voices, engaged in reading a script that is generated in real time by an AI writing software. The voices of the protagonists are also produced by an artificial intelligence, which the artist has developed and trained on the basis of her own voice and those of two famous actresses. The text generation model produces the words and script in progress that the actresses interpret through these artificial voices. Characters interact, but their voices define more distance than relationship.