Smell is a quality not to be separated from matter. – IVAN VAN BLOCH
“Every human nose instantly smells the subtle scent of independence, the habit of command, the habit of always choosing the best of everything for oneself, the whiff of misanthropy, and the unwavering sense of responsibility that goes with power, that rises up, in short, from a large and secure income. Everyone can see at a glance that such a person is nourished and daily renewed by quintessential cosmic forces. Money circulates visibly just under his skin like the sap in a blossom. Here there is no such thing as conferred traits, acquired habits; nothing indirect or secondhand! Destroy his bank account and his credit, and the rich man has not merely lost his money but has become, on the very day he realizes what has happened, a withered flower. With the same immediacy with which his riches were once seen as one of his personal qualities, the indescribable quality of his nothingness is now perceived, smelling like a smoldering cloud of uncertainty, irresponsibility, incapacity, and poverty. Riches are simply a personal, primary quality that cannot be analyzed without being destroyed.” – ROBERT MUSIL
“If olfaction were his most important sense, man’s linguistic incapacity to describe olfactory sensations would turn him into a creature tied to his environment. Because they are ephemeral, olfactory sensations can never provide a persistent stimulus of thought. Thus the development of the sense of smell seems to be inversely related to the development of intelligence.” – ALAIN CORBIN
“In social organizations smell is a rich unconscious background to everything else.” – OLIVER SACKS
Brian Eno altered the course of both pop and experimental music. He is now 70 years old. After leaving […]
“There are strong perfumes for which all matter is porous. One would say they go through glass…” — CHARLES BAUDELAIRE
In today’s art world the sensorium is focused on the visual. A closer look however reveals that the sense of smell should no longer be neglected. Here is an ethnographic story from hanging out with art collectors at a recent edition of Art Basel that might be more telling and revealing than any systematic survey.
“We live in an age of ephemerality: The point for me is to expect everything else to become like perfume” – BRIAN ENO
“We can smell only what is in the process of wasting away…” — G.W.F. HEGEL,
“Smell is a potent wizard that transports you across thousands of miles and all the years you have lived.” – HELEN KELLER
“Constructing Meaning: Using Visual and Material Data” was the title of a Professional Development Workshop at the recent 76th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management in Anaheim.
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.
“Smell is a quality not to be separated from matter.” – IVAN VAN BLOCH