The Mobile Telephone Booth

Benedetto Bufalino has done it again. The French artist has proved that the polar opposite adjectives plain and wacky can both go in the same sentence. Who doesn’t want to drive around in a phone booth?

Bufalino has a habit of turning ordinary objects into something out of the ordinary. We wrote about Bufalino’s cement-mixer truck turned giant disco ball light installation late last year. This time, he has fitted a telephone booth with wheels, an engine and a steering wheel. There are two reactions to this: 1) Why? 2) Cool! The first reaction warrants an answer, the second accepts it as what it is. It is an endeavor by a man who wants to drive a telephone booth around. It is a yearning to take something literally. It is mirror of a society so attached to mobile phones that they seem as crucial to us as the air that we breathe. It is a statement laden with the ironies of contemporary society. It is an art project. It is a man who has a sense of humor.

Think about the work a bit longer and maybe it will occur to you that, in times past, we could never be “mobile” whilst talking on a phone, whilst nowadays we cannot be anywhere without one. Maybe we are more restricted now than ever before. This is the great thing about Bufalino’s works, they are both super obvious and riddled with subliminal messages.

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