We hesitate to make any comment about appropriate names, but we couldn’t help noting the happy coincidence that an intriguing new exhibition in Zurich about scent has been put together by the Swiss video and installation artist Elodie Pong.
In this solo show at the Helmaus Zurich, Pong, who trained as a sociologist and anthropologist, charts new perceptual territory with art that you can smell. As she points out, scents establish nonverbal connections between people, objects and places, and while you can close your eyes, you can’t turn off your nose.
In Paradise Paradoxe, as the show is called, Pong probes the invisible olfactory architecture that surrounds us, with the help of plants created by a 3D printer and a robot that hurls the names of perfumes at a wall, not to mention a fragrance that has never been smelled before. In the accompanying video works, she juxtaposes ideas from current olfactory theory with the dancing human body, as a literal source of many and varied odours
In another room a mobile projector, mounted on a robot, displays the names of real perfumes on the walls, names that enable the hugely profitable perfume industry to build linguistic ‘boxes’ round something that – by its nature – transcends words. In addition, Pong has enlisted the help of scent scientist Roman Kaiser, one of the pioneers of headspace technology, to create a new perfume for the exhibition, which will also include concerts, talks and music workshops, not to mention a performance of pop songs on a theremin.
Paradise Paradoxe is at the Helmhaus Zurich until 8 May. For more information, visit the website
Photography: courtesy of the artist
Receive our daily digest of inspiration, escapism and design stories from around the world direct to your inbox
Chanel drafts Peter Saville to design record sleeve for its blockbuster Manchester show
Chanel’s Métiers d’art show invitation came encased in a record sleeve by Peter Saville, heralding a blockbuster show that paid ode to his home city of Manchester’s cultural might
By Jack Moss Published
Wallpaper* gift guide: shopping with beauty & grooming editor Hannah Tindle
From a denim-toned eyeshadow palette to the perfect pair of jeans, and a heavenly blue bathrobe, these cool tones and stylish finds make for a super-luxe gift guide
By Hannah Tindle Published
House P’s linear, leafy composition aims for a ‘sensory architecture’
House P by Vandenborre Architecten is a family home conceived as a leafy sanctuary of minimalist elegance in suburban Belgium
By Ellie Stathaki Published