Incense, Sweaters, and Ice (2017, 69 minutes) is Martine Syms’ first feature-length film. It follows two characters, Girl and WB (“whiteboy”) whose mundane experiences—documented by the camera like a third character—suggest the influence of surveillance and media on perception and identity. Syms shot the film in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Clarksdale Mississippi, three critical cities in the history of the Great Migration. It is interspersed with monologues by Queen White, the figure in Syms’ multimedia installation, An Evening with Queen White, on exhibition at MOCA this season.
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