Odor Limits



 
Curated by DisplayCult
The Esther M. Klein Art Gallery
3600 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
May 9 – June 28, 2008
www.kleinartgallery.org



Artists: Oswaldo Maciá, Jenny Marketou, Chrysanne Stathacos, Clara Ursitti.
  Odor Limits was an exhibition that explored the potential of smell in aesthetic experience. While the sense of smell often serves as the negative example that justifies the conventional dominance of the visual, an increasing number of artists have been drawn to the distinctive qualities of scent – its evocativeness, variability and directness. The works in Odor Limits employ scent to innovatively rethink the traditional artistic genres of portraiture, landscape, reverie and abstraction. The visceral nature of scent also provides a sensorially immediate way to address pressing issues that are faced by today’s society. Because of the sense of smell’s inherent subjectivity and intimacy, these olfactory artworks generate thought-provoking insights into cultural difference, spirituality, and the philosophy of the body. The four artists included in this exhibition have each demonstrated a long-term commitment to investigating the nature of scent and have pioneered its use in installation, performance, video and relational artworks.

For a fuller description, see Jim Drobnick and Jennifer Fisher's “Odor Limits,” The Senses & Society 3:3, 2008, pp. 349-58.
 
Oswaldo Maciá

Smellscape, 2006.
Plexiglas, scents, monitor, video.

1 Woodchurch Road, London NW6 3PL, 1994-95.
Scents, trash cans.
 
Oswaldo Maciá’s first work imagines the scents that would have been encountered by the character Phileas Fogg during his circumnavigation of the globe in Jules Verne’s classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days. His second installation engages viewers to lift the tops of a series of garbage cans to inhale and guess the distinctive odors of the residents in an apartment complex in northwest London.
 
  Oswaldo Maciá, Smellscape, 2006.
Plexiglas, scents, monitor, video.
 
  Oswaldo Maciá, 1 Woodchurch Road, London NW6 3PL, 1994-95.
Scents, trash cans.

Jenny Marketou

Smell It: A Do-It-Yourself Smell Map, 2008.
Site-specific, interactive wall installation, SAV (wallpaper) on Sintra Mount, 72" x 120”.


SMELLYOU>SMELLME, 2003.
Single-channel video with sound (30:00).
Co-produced with the Banff Centre for the Arts and originally broadcast live with the support of the Public Television Station in Banff, Canada.
   
Jenny Marketou offers a site-specific, interactive wall installation which invites visitors to walk around the neighborhood to record their olfactory experiences on a giant smell map. Back in the gallery, viewers can watch her video of speakers confiding their most intimate and vivid thoughts about smell’s relationship to memory, identity, death and eroticism.
 
  Jenny Marketou, Smell It: A Do-It-Yourself Smell Map, 2008.
Site-specific, interactive wall installation, SAV (wallpaper) on Sintra Mount, 72" x 120”.
  Jenny Marketou, SMELLYOU>SMELLME , 2003.
Single-channel video with sound (30:00).
Chrysanne Stathacos, Wish Machine, 1997-2008.
Digital photograph, customized vending machine, scent multiples.
   
Chrysanne Stathacos’ Wish Machine presents gallerygoers with an artist’s multiple that stimulates the sense of smell, inspires reflection on basic human desires such as love and health, and seemingly offers the possibility of transformation.
 
 
  Chrysanne Stathacos, Wish Machine, 1997-2008.
Digital photograph, customized vending machine, scent multiples.
Clara Ursitti

Untitled, 1995.
Single-channel video documentation of performance with the Strathclyde Police Department (3:30).

Untitled, 1995.
Single-channel video with Dr. George Dodd (11:00).
   
Clara Ursitti portrays an inter-species performance in which the artist has herself tracked down by a specially-trained police bloodhound. Another video is based on her idea of olfactory portraits. Here Dr. George Dodd, a renowned scientist, sniffs her body and details the unexpected connections between human odors and those found in animals, plants, perfumes and gourmet foods.
  Clara Ursitti, Untitled, 1995.
Single-channel video documentation of performance with the Strathclyde Police Department (3:30).
  Clara Ursitti, Untitled, 1995.
Single-channel video with Dr. George Dodd (11:00).
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