Smell Me (2012), presented at a solo exhibition at envoy enterprises, consisted of a scent chamber and art object installation that derived from my year long investigation capturing my biological essence.
Working with a research team of Hunter College Chemistry students under the guidance of Professor Donna McGregor, I underwent multiple experiments to collect aromatic elements from my body. I was subject to rigorous sessions to extract the concentrated essence of my sweat, tears, and hair, in order to create an purely olfactory self-portrait that engages visitors in a visceral form of communication, without visuality as primary form.
In order to fully immerse the installation space with the scent of my bodily aromas, I collaborated with the re-known professional perfumer Yann Vasnier of Givaudan and scent director Dawn Goldworm of 12.29 on synthetically reconstituting the organic essences for diffusion. These aromas were released inside a specially designed scent chamber into which visitors could enter and partake in a solitary experience.
A selection of ten original organic essences were displayed in tear shaped chemistry vials, which rested in hand-blown glass stands. Three candles, made of paraffin that was scraped off my body and melted into 250 ml chemistry beakers, were also exhibited. As bottled performances of my biological functions, these art objects challenged the devaluation of the body and the cultural denial of complex, corporal communication.