Reuben Samson’s project centres on his investigations of industrial urban spaces around Peenya that isolate key aesthetic anomalies that are ironic, self-contradicting and in a fragile state of flux. They are represented in visual compositions that use metaphorical imagery, literary and philosophical influences to advocate a deeper sensorial relationship with transition spaces. The images generated are displayed on a series of suspended glass windows that directly emulate the windows of a metro coach, behaving as a photo-series on the suspension of the depleting residues of animism in aesthetic anomalies around Peenya.
With skills ranging from writing to graphic design to illustration, and accompanied by a keen sensibility for installation and exhibition design, Reuben Samson’s work travels across several different forms of visual and literary media. Interested in polymath concepts, underground visual narratives and literature, his work is frequently embedded with literary allusions, pop-cultural references and social commentary, filtered through a personal, introspective lens. His work, often concerned with the irony associated with the beauty and repulsiveness of human behavior, brings depth and dimension to the contexts he chooses to represent, revealing their inherent contradictions.
Reuben’s project at Peenya began as an attempt to represent the subtleties of its industrial landscape through non-linear subconscious narratives. He hoped to create a contained atmosphere within the metro station that could capture the ambivalence of these spaces through layered imagery and visual metaphors. The illustrations printed as a layer over the photograph could appear and disappear depending on one’s position with respect to the piece, based on how they merged with the photograph in the background, producing a subtle animated effect as one walked across the length of the installation.