’O – por o corpo a pensar
Making the body think –Scent Philosophy
CASA DA CERCA
Contemporary Arts Center - Lisbon
18th of February – 14th of May 2017
The exhibition “Pôr o Corpo a Pensar” (Making The Body Think) at Casa da Cerca Contemporary Arts Center in Almada, Portugal curated by Miguel Matos is a tribute to the work of Maria João Ceitil specifically referring to the book Pôr o Corpo a Pensar (Making the body think) an interesting psychology essay merging olfaction, the physicality of the body and the brain.
The sense of smell represents our deepest subjective ancestral dimension where preconceptions mix themselves with social conventions and reappear transformed through the instinct and the pleasure
“The invisible line of a smell that is maddening” is the motto for an interpretation of this installation.
That pleasure shiver contrasts repugnance, the smile turns into a sneer, the ambivalence of feelings are a perfect picture of our social, cultural or simply personal taboos. The act of smelling is the pretext for a wider way of thinking about our body and our identity. What are the boundaries? How does our body work to understand the unknown? What is the right space between me and something potentially unpleasant?
To rule the game the curator asked six perfumers: Anatole Lebreton, Antoine Lie, Antonio Alessandria, Antonio Gardoni, Lucas Gracia, Sven Pritzkoleit, to contribute with a fragrance or better an odor to this ambiguous play.
“The installation within the context of Casa da Cerca’s cistern is the evocation of the primitive and animalistic inside the symbolic descent that the visitor is forced to take into the subterranean space.
The idea of the project “Pôr o Corpo a Pensar” is to establish an exhibition that intersects the realms of art, philosophy and smell. The works created by these perfumers can even be impossible to use in one of those, but they are able to evoke it. They are not perfumes, they are olfactory artworks in the sense proposed by Chandler Burr. They are smells of the body, smells of love, smells of eroticism, smells of the instinct.”
Antonio Gardoni: ‘O
Tuberose is the most sexual of all flowers. Impudent, she is the harlot of flora. In ancient times, it is said that virgin young women were enclosed inside their bedrooms when these flowers were blooming at night, so they wouldn't get crazy and lose their virginity.
Tuberose is an intense, narcotic, intensely sensual flower. As a counterpoint of the exuberant and beautiful carnality of tuberose, Antonio Gardoni coupled this extract with another one that is completely innovative in perfumery and one that adds a grotesque dimension to it, referring to the most obscene body smells, namely bad breath. For that, Gardoni has added a garlic essence that causes repulsion but doesn't overshadow the flower's sexual character. The result is a fight between desire and repulsion.