Bettina Samson

Bettina Samson develops her work out of documentary research into events great and small. Samson sees her practice as a business of scrupulous assemblage, but only because this kind of configuration allows her to explore different aspects of the same content. Recurrence, antithesis and overall orchestration are the key components of an approach which has no qualms about drawing on the avant-gardes, industrial history, technological inventions, scientific discoveries, popular culture and the cinema for the construction of mostly enigmatic installations that leave the viewer wondering whether he has been one of the triggering factors or not.
This is notably the case of Cinder Peak Phone Booth Replica (Bluejacking) (2008) : faced with a familiar landscape embodying contemporary Western mythology – a bullet-riddled phone booth – the viewer begins to receive text messages on his cell phone, without knowing where they come from or if they are really intended for him. The installation borrows from Minimalist sculpture (the framework of the phone booth), American cinema (the crumb of narrative generated by the bullet holes), an aspect of utopian alternative culture (a phone booth in the Mojave Desert pumping out messages from a neo-commune of internauts), and of course today’s technology (the bluejacking that enables infiltration of visitors’ mobiles).

Marc Bembekoff in Bettina Samson, Laps & Strates, ADERA, 2009