L’Art Olfactif Contemporain

A major new publication in French on contemporary olfactory art is out now from Classiques Garnier. The book gathers the input of experts from different disciplinary fields (philosophers, art historians, neurobiologists, artists, and perfumers) who examine the conditions behind the emergence of olfactory art and explore contemporary artistic practices founded on odor and perfume.

Here are the abstracts of some of the essays in the book:

Chantal Jaquet, « Introduction. Des objets à flairer à l’œuvre parfumée »
If the composition of perfume is not considered part of the beaux-arts, is it none- theless possible to conceive of an olfactory artistic creation which is appreciated by the public but independent of the use of fragrance for hygiene or seduction? The objective here is to analyse the emergence of the contemporary olfactory arts and the transition from Marcel Duchamps’ scent objects to the perfumed work of the monosensorial or polysensorial type.

Yoko Iwasaki, « La possibilité de la nouvelle reconnaissance de l’espace et l’art olfactif japonais »
The frequent recourse to smell in installations has prompted an examination of this type of contemporary art and an identification of its specificity. This article shows that installation is doubtless the form of expression most suited to an art based solely on perfume, and demonstrates the decisive role played by smell in the recognition of the space which lies at the heart of Japanese art.

Jim Drobnick, « Smell: the Hybrid Art »
Starting with the idea that olfactory art is necessarily hybrid, this articles focuses on contemporary plastic arts in the medium and explores its different facets, analysing the work of Oswaldo Macià, Leslie Hill, and Helen Paris in particular, as well as that of Brian Goeltzenleuchter

Boris Raux, « Mes chroniques olfactives »
Combining theoretical reflections with a presentation of his work, Boris Raux evokes his olfactory chronicles and the evolution of his work over the course of the past few years. He describes his artistic practices which play with the subversive, plastic powers of smell through performances and installations.

You can find a PDF of the table of contents on the Classiques Garnier site, and abstracts of the essays, as well as the full essay by Boris Raux, on his site (all in French).

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