Featured from THE LIST: Carol Syzmanski at Signs and Symbols
In the years that multi-disciplinary conceptual artist Carol Syzmanski supported her family with a day job as a corporate banker she was (a) obliged to maintain a wardrobe of designer suits by the likes of Valentino, Jill Sander and Alexander McQueen and (b) able to keep a portion of her mind focused on artistic creativity by means of a daily email practice that generated crowd sourced poetic synonyms arranged according to the categories of Roget’s Thesaurus—her “Cockshut Dummy” series. “He Said I Thought” is a dense, intertwined installation at Lower East Side gallery Signs and Symbols consisting of text pieces, 8-channel video, textual wallpaper, sculpture (mesh reworkings of those suits) and live performance of a full-blown dramatic work that shares the exhibition title. The latter folds her suits and found poetry into a set of narratives of a distinctly #MeToo variety, each delivered by a different “suit” with sardonic commentary interjected by a misogynistic boss, a disembodied Wizard of Oz voice from the gallery office, performed, in his NYC acting debut, by yours truly. The cast and crew almost numerically match the cheek by jowl-seated audience in this shoebox venue, echoing perhaps the tense and unsolicited intimacies described in the drama itself. But that is speculation on my part, as behind my wall I can’t see a thing.