Samantha Simpson Strategies

March 21, 2003 – April 26, 2003

Artist Statement

“I am interested in the poses and strategies that arise around power imbalances and the role that decoration and visual excess plays in these dramas. I have a very ambiguous relationship to the trappings of femininity- I both love and hate pink ruffles, bows and flower patterns. I use a visual language that has been associated with anti-intellectualism, weakness, childishness and sensuality to frame narratives that show characters negotiating the fraught terrain of power.

Many of the pieces in this exhibition show different reactions to a point of crisis. Wounded Union shows bears sewing up and coddling the severed snake that dominates their landscape; I wanted to talk about a symbiotic relationship between the powerful and powerless. In Trip Trap some of the bears are setting up a snare for the snake, while others hide and swoon and sulk. The gender references are undercut by the context in which they are used: these are dramas about cartoon gender, and the cartoon aspect speaks to the simplifying, in fantalizing aspects of limited gender roles.”