SCI is happy to invite you to EPHEMERAL MATERIALITIES: Scent in Swiss Art – 3 Positions, an exhibit of olfactory art curated by Ashraf Osman at the ArtContainer in Zurich.
In the context of the Y Think Tank at Tongji University in Shanghai, this workshop provided the opportunity to experience the ephemeral materiality of scents and smells and to reflect of its cultural and economic relevance.
You may be familiar with exhibitions that have presented perfume as olfactory art. However, olfactory art is a genre of fine art pertaining to smell that traces its roots back to the avant-garde, early in the twentieth century. A new exhibition at Museum Tinguely in Basel, Switzerland, establishes these historical origins of the genre while showcasing a wide range of practices to the present day that could be understood under this rubric.
This fall, the UBS Arts Forum was devoted to contemporary sculpture. In this context, the program featured a lecture by Claus Noppeney on Expanding the Notion of Sculpture: “Mit der Nase in die Skulptur” and three scent sculptures by Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz were exhibited at the Seepark Thun.
On the 19th of September, Claus Noppeney and Ashraf Osman of SCI conducted a class for the Signaletik CAS program (context building), part of the Signaletik MAS (Environmental Information Design) at the Bern University of the Arts, under the supervision of Jimmy Schmid.
Explore the old town of Bern by nose: How does Bern smell today? What stories do the fragrant and the foul smells in the city tell? How does smell permeate life in the city?
The Urban Scent Walk explores the old town of Bern as a smellscape and an olfactory exhibition: informative, discursive, performative. The guided walk opens up unfamiliar facets in spaces of everyday life. The Situationists spoke of “dérive”, meaning the exploration of cities by wandering through varied environments: natural scents, cloying designer fragrances, fresh site-specific interventions, and cosmetic urban smells.
Odors are hardly ever specifically noted, although they interact with each breath: in a direct manner, volatile molecules produce the moods that characterize the atmosphere of the city. “Smells make it possible to identify locations and to identify with places,” says the philosopher Gernot Böhme. In other words, the nose brings experience that the eyes, mouth and ears are shut out of.
The Museum Bellerive, a department of the Museum of Design in Zurich devoted an entire exhibition to perfumery: “Perfume – Bottling Seduction”.
Artistic research is an increasingly popular term to conceptualize research activities in the world of art & design universities. The concept highlights the epistemic aspects of artistic practices. Accordingly, certain artistic practices are driven by questions and aim at generating knowledge. Iconic cases from art & design history (e.g. Bauhaus) show that at least some artistic practices have been related to knowledge practices througout history. Thus, it might even be more a matter of terminology and explicit framing of that is a more recent phenomenon.