Samantha Burns (Seminole, FL)
June 2018. Video documentation of performance series, Walking Is Still Honest. 8 min 44 secs. Museum collection plates and paper. Dimensions variable.

Burns’s work typically explores the fragility and balance of the mind and body connection, with a special focus on time surrounding sudden traumatic experiences or injuries.

Taking a different approach to the concept of balance, Nine out of Ten is a series of performance-based projects and sculptures that investigate the artist’s usual themes through the expression of “fixing,” defined as the act healing and preparing a plate.

Walking is Still Honest was a 10-day performance where the artist adapted an exercise from a museum collection edition of Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette, by walking while balancing fine china on her head for 10 minutes. A reference to the number of days she lost from anterograde amnesia as an young adult, Burns slowly increased the number of plates on her head to 10 for the final day.

Video documentation and repaired plates from her failed, final performance are interlaced beside the communal kitchen within an installed, wavering stack of handmade, recycled, paper plates that visualize the absurdity in the standards of a “fine, ideal woman” and portrayals of self-control.


Music Composed, Performed, Recorded & Mixed By: Ben Seretan

Documentation Support: Hale Ekinci, Andrea Vail

Project In Response To: The Kitchen Commons, Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner, The Still Lifes of Elsewhere

Above: Burns makes museum collection plate molds and paper replicas. Photo Credit: Amelia Nura, Imani Thomas, Samantha Burns


June 2018. Video documentation of performance series, Proceed with Caution. 4 min 57 sec. Curated meal using collection plates and paper.

Proceed with Caution was a durational a one-night performance where Burns balanced more dishes on her head while giving the 10 plates from Walking is Still one last chance to function as intended. Taking place on the tenth night, Burns fixed her guests’ plates with a decadent meal consisting of a combination of alcohol, sugar, and caffeine; things suggested that those experiencing a TBI (traumatic brain injury) not consume.


Music Composed, Performed, Recorded & Mixed By: Ben Seretan

Documentation Support: Hale Ekinci