Smells Like Modern Art: Six Scents Series Two
What cognitive psychology has to do with experimental film and the smell of roses.
By Maria Popova
At their most compelling, the creative arts go deeper than the aesthetic brilliance of a beautiful painting or the auditory indulgence of a superb sonata. They explore the boundaries of our perception and the intersection of our senses, our emotions and our intellect. And we don’t normally think of fragrance or the olfactory world as a typical playground of such ambitious art. But experimental project Six Scents is working hard to challenge this assumption.
Six Scents explores the relationship between artist and nature through a collection of fragrances, stories, films, art and photography.
Every year, Six Scents invites six prominent artists to create a series of fragrances for six of the world’s greatest parfumers, with the goal of raising awareness for a chosen charity.
Series Two, this year’s edition, includes three experimental short films, each capturing the stories behind all six fragrances on multiple and very different levels.
Flashback by Marco Brambilla explores the notion of memory through a conceptual collage, creating a kinetic video canvas out of iconographic images in a play on human emotion and cognitive psychology.
Subliminal by Justin Edward John Smith and Alessandro Tinelli captures the emotion and character each fragrance embodies, and how these characters interact with their unique environments.
Contact by Azuma Makoto reflects on the creation of scents and the beauty of the moment through a slow, surreal journey into the materials — roses, dirt, leather, wood, soil, bone — used in making each fragrance.
This year, the effort benefits Pro Natura — an international nonprofit aiming to conserve biodiversity and mitigate climate change by combating poverty, an underlying social and economic trigger for these issues.
Explore Six Scents and immerse yourself in this eerie world of sensory cross-pollination and postmodern creativity.
Published October 19, 2009