In the context of the on-going re-examination of the collection at Kunstmuseum Thun, the first exhibition curated by Ashraf Osman and Anja Seiler focused on the olfactory aspects of the material and techniques of art making, which are often smelly, yet widely neglected. In this context, Claus Noppeney gave a talk on 16 March titled “From Sniffing to Art: The Sense of Smell in Artistic Production”.

This new exhibition series is as a re-examination of the collection of the Kunstmuseum Thun, in various ways, through the curatorial lens of scent. In the first part we focus on the material and techniques of art making, which are often smelly, but these scents don’t usually make it into the museum. In the following exhibits, we focus on other aspects of the collection; so stay tuned!

What does scent have to do with art? At first glance, nothing, it seems. But scent has long been a part of art on many levels, and is increasingly so nowadays. From the materials and processes used to produce art to the subject matters of the work itself, scent—whether present physically or only in memory or the imagination—is part of the reality of art. In cooperation with the Scent Culture Institute, Kunstmuseum Thun is presenting a year-long series of four exhibitions at Projektraum Enter examining the sense of smell through the museum’s collection. Through the series, Projektraum Enter will act as an experimental place for olfactory exploration, from the what and how art is made, and how we perceive it, to the artistic evocations of smell, be they in still lives, city scenes, landscapes, abstractions, or the real world.