Marja Samsom (#MBhave) is a conceptual and performance artist born in the Netherlands, living and working in New York since the 1980s. Samsom is a storyteller, pushing the bounds of performance through the construction of long-term artistic personae. Combining film, photography, poetry, and objects, ignited with humor and sound, she creates identities that are at once female and androgynous, drawing from both biography and fiction. Samsom continues to develop performances and video works centered on artistic personae stemming from the 1970s, including Miss Behave, Miss Kerr, Madame Hulot en vacances, and Marja van Marken, among others.
Recent solo presentations include Miss Behave, a scripted environment and set of performances at Participant Inc; Shrine, a residency, radio program, and exhibition at Clocktower; and a series of interconnected performances at Berlin (25 Ave A, New York). The 2015 publication Diary of a Forgotten Actress 1972-79, produced with Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, presents fragments from the life of Miss Behave and Miss Kerr. #MBhave has long experimented with the printed form. Over time she has created print interventions for General Idea’s FILE magazine, FURORE, Artforum, Flash Art, Art in America, and the Centraal Museum Utrecht, as well as the cover art for Steve Lacy’s 1974 album Lumps and Maarten Altena’s Handicaps (1973).
Samsom began making performances, Super-8 movies, Polaroids, poetry, and installations during the 1970s in Amsterdam. During this time she presented and performed work at venues including De Appel Arts Centre, Centraal Museum Utrecht, Galerie Riekje Swart, Bertha Urdang Gallery, Hal Bromm Gallery, and Franklin Furnace. From the 1980s, over the course of two decades, Samsom took on the long-term identity of undercover artist and Flavor DJ for her salon space and performance piece, The Kitchen Club.