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Mon, Jul 15, 2024

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Scents of Conditions / Olfactory Art

Scents of Conditions consists of three benches.

Through a series of delicate mechanisms created by the artist, each of these three benches envelopes the unsuspecting visitor that takes a seat with the scent of a particular condition accompanied by smoke.

The smoke is vapor-based and is not toxic nor harmful in any way.



The first bench, made of wood, gives off the scent of unadulterated nature comprised of notes of grass, wood and flowers. This is inspired by De Cupere's nostalgia of a time when one could easily access a far less polluted nature than what those inhabiting urban spaces typically experience nowadays. De Cupere hopes that the smell will inspire garden-goers to linger in its smoky aura evocative of morning dew in a pastoral landscape, and perhaps relive bucolic memories of their own. The work inspires a kind of personal 'reset' by allowing visitors to, in a Proustian fashion, not simply remember but also re-experience pleasurable moments of their life linked with close experiences of nature.

The second bench - made from stone - exhausts fumes of industrial pollution. This bench presents a stark juxtaposition to the delicate setting of a Venetian garden, stirring an immediate and visceral reaction to an urgent matter.

The final bench is white and surrounds the unsuspecting visitor in a cloud of smell commonly associated with human bodies that have only recently lost life. The scent of death is precisely created for its emotional potency and the profound effect it has on those present. Amidst the hyperactivity that characterizes contemporary urban life, the phenomenon of death - that perhaps most radically and essentially defines our condition - is often excluded from matters of quotidian importance.