Text by Boris Magrini, 2013

The four prints comprising Samoa Rémy’s work Resilience invite viewers to play an active interpretative role, offering them fragments of possible narratives and hinting at a wealth of interconnections and associations between the images that make up the composition. The artist’s work is the fruit of a long search for suitable illustrations, taken from treatises on natural science, preferably ancient volumes with old-style engraved plates. Resilience (2013) consists of three images found in books on botany and physiology dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to which the artist has added her own drawing, produced freehand with an eraser and pencil. The images were then digitized and finally printed on paper, to give them formal unity and consistency. Last but not least, they are displayed on the wall in such a way as to create rhythmic, musical relationships between the different elements and encourage the viewer to interpret the composition as a single entity. The associations created by the artist take the form of analogies, recurring aspects of form or content and, not uncommonly, synesthetic effects. Often an image appears to be the enlargement of a detail from an earlier image. As the title suggests, Resilience is based on the interplay of action and reaction, between human beings and the natural world, a relationship complicated by scientific and technological progress. The first image, depicting laboratory analyses of plants, symbolizes the human drive to dominate nature, which responds – the artist seems to suggest – with rebellion and rebirth, represented by an explosion of protoplasm and a fir tree growing out of its uprooted self, respectively. Finally, the freehand drawing evokes at one and the same time the mysterious world of particle physics, the immensity of the heavenly bodies in movement and abstract representations of the concept of Vitalism, which considers it impossible to reduce vital phenomena to purely mechanical and material models. As well as a profound interest in ecology, Samoa Rémy’s compositions express a contemplative sensitivity, the fruit of a career that began at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence and has continued with her living and working in Norway. Her fascination with constant social change, as well as the sublime immensity of nature and its basic tendency to mirror human activity, are reflected in a work that invites a whole range of interpretations.