Saturday, August 17, 2013

Perfumed Art at Venice Biennale 2013

Visiting the Venice Biennale is always inspiring and what I find fascinating is the presence of perfumed pieces in every edition, which interpret in different ways the power of the olfactory perception. The Latin American Pavilion, the same one where 2 years ago we could find Los olores de la guerra by Reynier Leyva Novo (have a look at the previews post Perfume in Art), is the one that smells the most. Hundreds of ceramic dishes filled with colorful and odorous spices of every kind. By entering the room, you are surrounded by a complete different olfactory environment which takes you far away from Venice, in an exotic overseas market.

Martìn Sastre, U from Uruguay, 2013.


U from Uruguay perfume had been created with the essence of flowers and weeds from the farm of the President of Uruguay. In fact, the President likes living in a modest way in the countryside, growing plants and flowers that sells through local markets and he gives away 90% of his salary for social housing. The U from Uruguay project started in 2012 with a promotional video of the perfume, which had finally taken shape in 2013. (The earns from the perfume will be devoted to the National Contemporary Art Fund). The artist reflects on the concept of wealth and a different meaning of luxury, a virtous example, that helps the country.

Luca Vitone (in collaboration with perfumer Maria Candida Gentile), per l’eternità (for eternity), 2013

Rhubarb essential oil, Water, Alcohol

Per l’eternità, an achromatic, olfactory sculpture in three notes, is inspired by Eternit (asbestos): a toxic material used for constructions, widely used in the past in Italy. Throughout anamnesis, Luca Vitone has created an olfactory image of this material. The perfume, spread in the room we can see in the picture with two dispensing machines, had been created with the master perfumer Maria Candida Gentile: Swiss Rhubarb top note, French rhubarb essence base note. ”perl’eternità, is capable of restoring the image of a landscape, evoking it through its poignant story and that, through this particular method of execution, evokes the way Eternit kills: by inhalation of its dust.

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