Tuesday, March 18, 2008

i'm trying to avoid a knows/nose pun here.

John Baldessari, "Noses & Ears, Etc. (Part Four): Altered Person (with Blue Nose).", 2007

My favorite aspect of this blogworld is that conversations take place, information gets exchanged, and on a good day, I come away having learned something or at least having commiserated in some way. In response to my previous post, my real-world friend Mary Wheeler (yes, everyone I know uses both names every time, I'm not sure why) asked a question I have no answers for, but I can't help but wonder if some of you do? Mary works for a company that creates museum exhibits. She asks...
"we're at the very beginning stages of a project where we'll be developing media for an exhibit on scents or fragrance (to be determined) -- I've been thinking about how various media address the ineffable, and I was wondering what the field of photography has to add to this -- are there works that deal with senses other than the visual? with synesthesia? how can be? if you had to choose a photograph to represent scents or fragrance, what would it be? (and in answering that last question, you'd just be doing my homework for me, so feel free to pass).

Pass, I will, Mary. Pass it on. From all the great responses I've received to my teaching queries in the past, I bet someone out here has some good ideas. I'll keep thinking on it myself, but nothing immediately comes to mind.


jacinda said...

i can't help but think of the scratch and sniff porn photographs my student just turned in for an assignment on appropriation. on a more serious note, some of susan evans's photograms induce other senses (i.e. "the yellow rose of texas"). one of my favorite pieces to show while working at the center for creative photography was robert heinecken's photo sculpture featuring a print over a tv dinner tray. i can think of a dozen smells to go with Michiko Kon's photographs of sculpted food though that is not her original intent. the smelliest artwork i ever encountered feature william pope l. installations but try as i might, i am stretched to come up with a photographic equivalent.

marywheeler said...

Hey -- thanks for this post, Shawn, and this assortment of great ideas, Jacinda! (how did the Cozy work out, btw??)

I've got some googling to do now ... (I'm a little disappointed that I haven't found scratch and sniff porn for sale yet ... I'll keep looking)

f:lux said...

Fashion photographer Nick Knight has a project on Synaesthesia at www.showstudio.com, called "The Sound of Clothes".

Also, "In partnership with the scent artist Sissel Tolaas, SHOWstudio is launching a groundbreaking initiative to create a fragrance on the Internet."

You have to search in the archives to find them. There might be references to other artists who do cross-sense work in the texts.

cheers, Lucy

marywheeler said...

Thanks, Lucy, for suggestions that led to some really interesting reading!

f:lux said...

But was it useful? I wish I could remember more references for you, as at the time that SHOWstudio's synaesthesia project began I did a whole load of research (spurred by some disbelief, I'll admit) that I've since lost all trace of but which was interesting, if inconclusive.

And, synaesthesia or no, SHOWstudio is a whole other universe, isn't it?

cheers, Lucy