Bettina Samson develops a practice that is complex like a mosaic whose forms are often sourced from a non-linear
For Shine 2011, she enlarges and shapes tiny samples of iridium made in glazed ceramic. Covered in a platinum sheen, these sculptures reveal a seductive appearance that counterbalances the violence that iridium generates in the natural world. If this extremely tough metal is effectively all but absent from the earth’s surface, it can still be found, notably on meteorites. Iridium is the main indicator that allowed for the determination that the extinction of dinosoars was perhaps due to a meteoritical impact : traces of this mineral were found in the Cretateous- Tertiary Boundary, similtaneous with the massive and sudden extinction of animal and plant species.
The forms proposed by Bettina Samson, inspired by real fragments, are part of the artist’s recent research into Toungouska, an expolosion of great magnitude that took place in a remote area of Central Siberia. On the 30th June, 1908, the entry of a meteorite into the atmosphere provoked a shockwave without precedent, destroying the Siberian taiga over a radius of twenty kilometres and causing damage over almost one hundred kilometres. By reason of the vagaries of the tormented history of Russia at the beginning of the 20th century, the first scientific expedition did not take place in the area until 1927, retrieving testimonies of the Tungusic peoples, probably including the shaman Fedor Poligus, who attributed this explosion to spirits.
It is not surprising that such an event would arouse Bettina Samson’s interest - her work constantly confronts different