Martine Syms

Shame Space
Softcover 240 pages
Publisher: Primary Information
ISBN: 9781734489743
Dimensions: 148 x 210 mm

Designed to mimic the bible form, with its A5 size, embossed leather-textured cover, and silver edge painting, Shame Space is an artist book that explores the possibilities of narrative and identity. The book collects a selection of journal writings by Syms from 2015-2017 in which she attempts to capture her shadow self, alongside a selection of image stills from her recent video work Ugly Plymouths (2020) first presented in Los Angeles in February 2020 and most recently at Sadie Coles HQ’s offsite residency at 24 Cork Street.


Text entries in Shame Space have formed the voiceover of Mythiccbeing (pronounced 'my thick being'), an interactive video featured in her first solo show, Grande Calme, at Sadie Coles HQ in 2018. Playing with this notion of ‘thickness’ – as well as with the urban slang definition of ‘thicc’ (voluptuous bodies), and traditional conceptions of ‘mythic’ – Syms’s Mythiccbeing presents a traditionally opaque operating system (that of herself – her ‘self’), as a transparent, exposed, and understandable avatar. 

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