part of the group exhibition
EFA Project Space, 323 W. 39th St, 2nd floor
FEBRUARY 26 – MARCH 28, 2015
Cabinet of Smells, 2015, site specific installation with tables, distillation equipment, laboratory glass, lab tools, collection of household objects, old books, toys, food scraps, debris, old door mat, perfume and cleaning bottles solutions on glass shelves
The installation Cabinet of Smells (2015), explores the idea “What is the smell of a home?” , engaging the continual interest in concepts present in defining domesticity while focusing on the realm of smells and activity of cleaning. It engages our relationship to smells inherent to our daily surroundings that encompass our bodies, homes and living environments. While our dwellings have different smell profiles reflecting the way of life the project examines the boundaries between aroma and odor, and the cultural norms that define the pleasant, odd and acceptable. It presents the modern tools that produce a constructed landscape of artificial smells such as perfumes, cleaners and air fresheners, and their function to blur distinction between natural and artificial. While the perfume industry attempts to construct fictional scent identity that usually covers the actual context the Cabinet of Smells engages to revisit the idea seeking what actually the real smell of a home is. The project includes a laboratory station, which is used to distill scents of various household objects such as old books, socks or debris, etc. to produce a perfume that will represent inclusively its origin and identity of a place.
Saturday, March 28, 2015, 2:00pm -3:30pm
at EFA Project Space (2nd floor), 323 W 39th St New York, NY, 10018 United States
As part of the installation we organized in collaboration with the EFA Project Space workshop and artist talk about our other projects revolving around the theme of domesticity. Using collected scents from home environments, we walk visitors through their process for distilling “perfumed scents of home.” Visitors are asked to bring items from their household that have a particular scent unique to their home. Examples could be dust, toys, books, food, cleaners, cloth, etc.— bring anything you don’t mind parting with.
The project examines the boundaries between aroma and odor, and the cultural norms that define the pleasant, odd and acceptable. Modern tools produce a constructed landscape of artificial smells such as perfumes, cleaners and air fresheners, and their function to blur distinction between natural and artificial. While the perfume industry attempts to construct fictional scent identity revisititing what the real smell of a home actually is.
EFA SHIFT RESIDENCY: INTERVIEW WITH KRISTYNA AND MAREK MILDE, MARCH 2015
EFA:Natural Cleaners is a video of you cleaning the trees and rivers of rural Pennsylvania using household tools such as a broom and mop. How do you see environmental issues being linked to domesticity?
KMM: We see domesticity as a focus point, where many issues are tight together reflecting not only our personal life, but also the wider context of environment and culture. In our homes personal reflects the general and the individual choices influence the larger surroundings.
The performance Natural Cleaners draws attention to wider issues of how we perceive indoor and outdoor space while it challenges the way we behave in these environments. It examines the common domestic task of cleaning as a primeval cultural statement of claiming, defining and controlling space.
Photos from the Cabinet of Smells installation and the Scent Laboratory workshop: