and Soul


Paricipants and supporting institutions:

Geir Harald Samuelsen (Norway), creator and leader of the project. Visual Artist Ph.D., Associate Professor and Researcher at The Art Academy, Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University in Bergen.

Åsil Bøthun (Norway), Visual Artist and Professor of Sculpture and Installation at The Art Academy, Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University in Bergen. 

Eamon O'Kane (Irland), Visual Artist and Professor of Visual Art, The Art Academy, Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University in Bergen. 

Maarten Vanden Eynde (Belgium), Visual Artist and Ph.D. candidate in the MGS-project at The Art Academy, Department of Contemporary Art, Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design, University in Bergen. 

Dragos Gheorghiu (Romania), Ph.D. Professor of cultural anthropology, Doctoral School, National University of Arts in Bucharest and Instituto Terra e Memória - Mação, Centro de Geociências da Universidade de Coimbra

Elin Tanding Sørensen (Norway),Visual Artist and Landscape Architect Ph.D. from The School of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Landscape and Society, Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). 

Boris Valentin (France), Ph.D. Professeur en archéologie préhistorique (20e section), à l’Université Paris 1—Panthéon-Sorbonne (UFR 03). France

SapienCE (International Research Center). Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE). A new Centre of Excellence (CoE) located at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen (UiB)

    • Francesco d’Errico (Italy), Ph.D. and a member and Professor II of the RCN funded Centre for Early Sapiens Behaviour (SapienCE) at the University of Bergen, and Directeur de resercher de classe exeptioneller at the University of Bordeaux. 
    • Petro Cecilia Keene (South Africa), Archaeologist. Independent Researcher and Exhibition design consultant. 
    • Torill Christine Lindstrøm (Norway), professor of psychology and archaeologist, Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, and SapienCE, CoE, Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural studies, and Religion, Faculty of Humanities, University of Bergen.


An Artistic Research Project 

at The Art Academy,

Department of Contemporary Art,

Faculty of Fine Art, Music and Design

University of Bergen








A cross disciplinary artistic research project, (October 2019), that departs from, and investigates several encounters and alignments between Contemporary Art and Archaeology. The goal is to create autonomous and collaborative artistic, poetic and scientific expressions and responses to prehistoric Art and its contemporary images. It seeks to stimulate a deeper understanding of contemporary and prehistoric artistic expression and the contemporary and prehistoric human condition. The participating artists and archaeologists will create autonomous projects, but also interact with each other in workshops, seminars and collaborative artistic projects.

The secondary goal of Matter, Gesture and Soul is to establish an international cross disciplinary research network at the University of Bergen and strengthen the expertise in cross disciplinary artistic and scientific work with art as the driving force. The project is kindly supported by DIKU, UiB and Global Challenges (UiB).



Project timeline:

Seminars, fieldwork, publications and exhibitions


1)         2019. 27th of March: Start-up seminar. KMD. “The way of the shovel – Contemporary Arts alignment with archaeology”. Keynote speaker: Professor and curator Dieter Roelstraete, Chicago. With Geir Harald Samuelsen, Ingrid Book, Carina Heden and Marius Engh.


2)         2019. Spring semester:  Artistic Practices and Archaeological Research: book edited by Dragos Gheorghiu. Contributions by Gheorghiu and Samuelsen


3)         2019. Spring semester: Research trip to Fontainebleau. Samuelsen together with Boris Valentin and his group from Sorbonne and GERSAR.


4)         2019. 1st of October: New semester. Three-year project start-up.


5)         2019. Autumn semester: Paper presentation at EAA seminar in Bern, Switzerland by Gheorghiu and Samuelsen


6)         2019. Autumn semester: Individual artistic and academic studio work; Developing research webpage and Research Catalogue. Regular meetings within the core group. Expanding the surrounding group.


7)         December 2019: Field trip to Fontainebleau. Samuelsen, O`Kane, Sørensen and Bøthun


8)         2020. February: Corona pandemic lockdown


8,5)    2020. September: Participation in the EAA (European Archaeological Association) annual meeting with the virtual exhibition: Body, Memory and Repetition.

9)         2020. October: HK-dir (previously DIKU) seminar project presentation


10)   2020.  Spring semester: Guided field trip to Fontainebleau. Cancelled.


11)   2020. Autumn semester: Individual artistic and academic studio work and writing. Consolidatingthe groups and planning progress and continuous developing new ways of sharing knowledge between the fields. KMD.


12)   2020. Autumn semester: First interaction workshop between archaeologists and artists.

In the field. Common artistic project (Dialogue in matter). Cancelled.

13)   2020. Autumn semester: Early project process exhibition and presentation of project at Gallery Rom 61; KMD. Core group, project participants. Cancelled

14)   2020. October: PHD candidate Maarten Vanden Eynde starting his research project at KMD in Bergen.

15)   2021: Spring seminar 2. Cancelled.


16)   2021. Spring semester: KMD. BA, MA project workshop led by Eamon O´Kane, Åsil Bøthun and Geir Harald Samuelsen and possible representatives from archeological field. Cancelled.

17)   2021. Spring: Guided field trip to Fontainebleau. Cancelled.


18)   2021. 27th of September: Dig it up and put it in a Bag. Exhibition opening at Bergen University Museum with speech by Rector Margareth Hagen.


19)   2021. 25th of September: Open seminar at The University Aula hosted by UiB Innsikt. Participants: Geir Harald Samuelsen, Elin Tanding Sørensen, Torill Christine Lindstrøm and Elin Sørensen. Moderator: Frans Jacobi.


20)   2021. 27th of September: Open one day seminar in Tårnsalen with Samuelsen, Lindstrøm, Sørensen, O`Kane and Larissa Mendoza from SapienCE.


21)   2021. 27th of September: Phase two of the exhibition presenting new installation by Sørensen and screening of the Video Perlemoen in Deep Water room at the museum.


22)   2021. 27th of September: Book launch: The Palimpsest. An extended exhibition platform with 11 contributions from artists and archaeologists from the project and especially invited writers and scientists. Design: Sørensen and Magnus Nyquist. Responsible editor: Samuelsen.

23)   2021. Autumn semester: Individual artistic and academic studio work. Writing and dissemination of papers. Research blog. Developing research webpage. Regular meeting within the core leader group. Dragos Gheorghiu publishing paper about the MGS project in book released by Springer Publishing (US)

24)   2021. December: Expanding the group with new participants from South Africa and France.

25)   From November 2021 ongoing into 2022. Distributing the book. Individual research and artistic work. External collaboration with Abalone researchers from Normandie. Continuing to develop side-project: “PyroLab”.


26)   March 2022. Field work in Fontainebleau. Two days excursions to different sites in the forest. Organized by Professor Boris Valentin and Professor Medard Thiry

2022. Autumn: The Ochre Workshop. A scientific workshop led by SapienCE and the MGS project aiming to create scientific and artistic results outlined in the article: The Ochre workshop, by Elizabeth Velliky and Francesco d`Errico in the book The Palimpsest. Place: The University Museum laboratory in Bergen.

27)   2022. October: HK-dir (tidligere DIKU) seminar. Presentation.


28)   2023: Possible exhibition and presentation of project at Rom 61; KMD, or other external galleries or venues.

29)   2023: Possible final seminar. Arranged in the context of the exhibition.

30)   2023.1. October: End of NARP financed part of the project. (New end-date because of Corona).