Samoa Rémy

Layers of darkness and light

Oslo Natinal Academy of the Arts, Art and Craft

In the project Layers of darkness and light, I’m among other pairing research done on subatomic particles and the beginnings of the Universe, with another area of interest: the fact that in most of the archaic cosmogonies, sound was perceived to be the basic matter.


The relation between the human being and the unknown, oscillating movements between antipodes, elements of contrasting nature, and the presence of stratification and depth, are of paramount importance in this research project.


In my work I’m focusing on liminal spaces, and on the interesting tension between a scientific / mathematical reconstruction of the unknown, and a symbolic narrative in f. ex. myths of creation. I am interested in the interrelation between these boundaries, and how they affect each other. I see a bridge between these separate visions / readings of the world, and believe it is to be found in the human body. I’m especially interested in the imprint our nervous system (and all the matter we are made of) retains from the past: from what is physically and temporary “very far away”. And also in our dream-activity with its “visions” occurring each night, during our approximately eight hours of sleep.


The nervous system is for me a “mediator”, a presence which is in the middle between the real and the possible, precisely because of its main task, which is related to the perception of reality, and the transmitting of the possible.


This project explores the aspects of limits and possibilities that lie within human perception, especially human vision, as this actually is not at all restricted to the limited parts of reality which we can see with our eyes, but also fully open to what we can perceive with our inner eye. Because it is possible to perceive “layers” of reality which aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Human vision is related to the visible spectrum, but human vision is also restricted by the lack of sensitivity our eyes have towards the other wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum.

The relations between what is “visible” and in a certain sense “very close”, and what is “invisible” and in a certain sense “very far”, is a guidance in my research. Science and technology allow us to “see” what is not physically visible to our own eyes. Symbols, imagination, spirituality, art allow us to see the layers of reality invisible to science.

I’m concerned about the fact that there will always be an aspect of

incompleteness in the intentional search for the unknown, or re-search on the unknown. Because the unknown expands progressively the closer you get to it, or the more you try to get close to it. So the closer you get, the farther it goes away from you. As the logician and mathematician Kurt Gödel’s incompleteness theorems say: “You cannot get an ultimate answer, since every answer automatically creates a new question.”

Samoa Rémy is a visual artist and is currently conducting a PhD-project in Artistic practice at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHiO). Her art and research are characterised by a constant search for the interval that re-establishes a certain equilibrium between opposing forces, and her projects recurrently draw inspiration from the scientific field. She is interested in finding the human dimension in a research which has to do with time, the universe and the unknown.

In weaving together several artistic media like installation, drawing, prints, sculpture and video, she aims to create “contemplative moments” that express her holistic approache to life, wherein seemingly disparate elements and entities all interrelate and form a part of an energetic whole.

She is occupied by Giorgio Agamben’s reflections, found in his essay “What is the contemporary?”, and she is concerned about the fact that the alternation between a gaze directed outwards and inwards, the time dedicated to this process, and the selection of what we decide to put our focus on, partly decides our relation with the contemporary.



Artistic Research Autumn Forum 2023

Ametriton. Installation made of beech wood, beeswax with ultramarin pigment, 4 bronze sculptures, 3 wooden “negative” sculptures. Size: H 75 x W 150 x D 150 cm (photographic credit: Jan Inge Janbu).

During the lecture, I will present some of the artistic results from my PhD-project, I will describe the different projects, and will interweave these with the reflections and concepts that originated from my practice during the research period.

The tension between the subject matters I have chosen, and the need to find a mediator between these different approaches to reality, has been a challenge during the development of my project. Another challenge has been to transform the knowledge I have acquired into artworks. In my work as an artist and researcher, I realize that when dedicating myself intensely to the collection of fragmentary knowledge, which spans different disciplines and includes components of opposite or contrasting nature, it sees me immersing into and emerging from continuous reflections that at times, in a certain sense, annihilates each other, a bit like in the encounter between matter and antimatter.