The Scent of the material

Exhibiton view "Schnupperschau 1", 2016, photo: Christian Helmle

Exhibition view "Schnupperschau 1", 2016, photo: Christian Helmle

Exhibition view "Schnupperschau 1", 2016, photo: Ian G.C. White

13. February – 24. April 2016

Projektraum Enter

Many things in our environment have a smell: the bouquet of flowers on the table, the co-passenger on the train, grandparents' flat, the dog of a neighbour, or the first snow of the year. Fragrances are volatile and you cannot escape them. As sensual messengers they arouse emotions and memories; they can provoke, attract or repel, influence moods, seduce or beguile. But what does smell got to do with art? Nothing, at first glance. In art, the sensuous is mostly limited to seeing and hearing, smell is usually only secondary. However, for a long time scents have been part of art – from the material to the subject, whether physically present, in memory or imagination.

The first exhibition of the four-part series of exhibitions is dedicated to the smells of materials in art: paints, canvas, wood, metal, glue, and so on. However, smells also characterise the processing of certain materials and thus the production of art. But the smell of the material of the artwork fades increasingly with time. In the compilation of artworks and scents, the presence of the material is intended to be in focus once again. In cooperation with the Scent Culture Institute (with co-curator Ashraf Osman), project room enter acts as a place for olfactory experiments which work in different ways with the sense of smell and creative works from the collection of the Kunstmuseum Thun.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of:
Parfümerie Spitzenhaus, Zürich and The Library of Fragrances and Demeter Fragrance Library