Betty Bui on Caszuidas screen, Amsterdam.

As part of the “VIDEO GUIDE – Marseilles” screening series on CASZUIDAS screen – Moving Images in Public Space – in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Videospread is pleased to present Betty Bui’s solo show “Illusions”. The programme will be launched in April 2009 and screened for one year.


Profession: Artist
Gender: Female

Over one hundred years and the determination of many women were necessary to break the bonds that tied female artists to their social status of being Women: excluded from Fine Arts training, from signing contracts with gallery owners without their husband’s consent… A handful of women lead the way and fought to obtain an identical and equal status as men’s, in a field that had long been a masculinist territory.

The networks and groups of women artists, authors, gallery owners, patrons… that arose in Paris in the pre, in-between and post-war years, were not so much associations or partnerships based on the sharing of professional, sexual, social or cultural values, standards or interests, but rather a community which allowed others to act knowing that they were part of a shared reality.

Marie Laurencin, Tamara de Lempicka, Sonia Delaunay, Iris Clert, Niki de Saint Phalle, Annette Messager and Louise Bourgeois – to state only a few – have in turn asserted themselves in a professional context which was for long, ruled by the only will of men. They have, by their achievements, allowed other women to overstep purely formal issues, to take part in the reflection and construction of the global Art theory.

Betty Bui’s programme – Illusions – is the fourth of a series of seven solo shows dedicated to contemporary women artists who have chosen Art as a field for research, expression and personal development.

Betty Bui

– Text by Guillaume Mansart –

In her work Betty Bui sometimes makes use of change of scale or transformation of objects in order to draw the outline of an imaginary world in which our mind sets the limits of what is realistic: a gigantic book-like bed; water-lilies with springs underneath them, as fairytale trampolines; giant footsteps floating on a river… She draws the contours of a possible deviation of reality by shifting so delicately certain elements or objects of our daily life. Betty Bui’s work places itself in between the change in usage and the appropriation of commonly known signs, for distorting objects and images are for her a way to express the possibilities of the unlikely in all things, aspects or views of our world.
Bui likes to take us from shared references to an improbable and poetic world. She explores the gaps between images and our knowledge of their exactness. Her videos then become a space where the imaginary replaces reality and is a way for her to offer a loss of position, of direction and meaning.
By using simple effects, Bui offers something light and easy to comprehend: a softly breathing water-lily; an undulating landscape showing earth’s gravity gone mad; the shadow of a lemon on a red tablecloth showing an evident acceleration of time. When exploring landscape, Bui most rightly makes the link with painting and the screen’s capacity for its illusionary powers. Paysage sous influence shows rain falling on plush green hills, slowly transforming into a painting. It is most of all the pictorial quality of images which is put forward, as if to show that all representation is above all an artefact.
There is no lesson that should be learned from what should or shouldn’t be our comprehension or our environment, but rather amusement and pleasure in the way to induce doubt, a homeopathic dose of unreality in our certainty and pragmatic way to grasp the nature of our surroundings.