Exhibitions

My Scent is a Scent of a Woman

The art programme presented as a part of Festival New Europe. Queer Gaze. Curator: Michał Grzegorzek

It is almost impossible to count all the women and girls suffocated in their sleep by scent of flowers. These would be the victims of sanitation policy that has been shaped over the centuries to clear public spaces from uncomfortable odours and then started to poke its nose into private spaces as well - bedrooms, beds and bodies. Few realize the turbulent history of the sense of smell, to which the COVID-19 pandemic adds another, gruesome chapter. In the framework of the New Europe: Queer Gaze Festival we will ask our audience to activate a different sense than the one commonly associated with visual arts. Four unique scents will be created for us by artists: Ewa Partum, Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Rock AngelZ and Dominika Olszowy.

”The spatiality of bodies shall be defined by their exhalations”, and the obsession of ventilation will also enable a constant presence of gaze, one that will later be aptly described by Foucault as control and surveillance of bodies. Strategies of deodorisation reveal a lot about the approach towards public space, which from the 18th century on has been measured and divided in accordance to smells — through selection, prohibition of mixing between groups and isolation. Fear of foul odour coming from the highest ranks of social pyramid established the social hierarchies permanently. It also introduced the idea of smell (along with all other attributes) as a cultural costume assigned to gender. A woman who smells like a flower has no other scent than the perfume designed for her by a man. This hygienic, synthetic and in fact deeply patriarchal feature of womens physicality became desirable and natural. Though it can also be seen as a tool of discipline and oppression.

My Scent is a Scent of a Woman is a set of four independent presentations by contemporary female artists. The title refers to Ewa Partums artistic actions from the 1970s, one of the first feminist actions in Polish art. My Problem is a Problem of  a Woman and My Touch is a Touch of a Woman, as Partum said (and wrote), revealing her gender and pointing to its literalness and conventionality, as well as the entanglement in social, moral and political structures of patriarchy. The woman in the title of the show is not necessarily consenting to roles, tasks  and gender assigned to her.  The invited artists will work with questions connected to the fight for womens rights such as: violence and selfdefense, new sisterhood or hydro-feminism, an idea that is being developed in the context of global crises and fluid identities.  

 

The sense of smell, which allows us to grasp the transience of being, is a highly underestimated channel of cognition. As no other sense, smell has the power to activate affective memory and it is inextricably linked to air access. Is there any other action that we are more equal to than breathing? Scents that find their way to our nostrils and mouths are proofs of presence — of community and closeness. The way we smell and whether we smell each other shows not only that we did not lose our smell, but also, that we are together.

We invite you to smell, and most of all to inhale the works right into your lungs as deeply as you can. Nothing harms perfume more than oxygen.

References: Alain Corbin, We władzy wstrętu. Społeczna historia poznania przez węch. Od odrazy do snu ekologicznego [; Psychologia węchu i pamięci węchowej” [Psychology of Smell and Olfactory Memory] by Prof. Ewa Czerniawska. 

- Michał Grzegorzek

EVENTS:

17-18 September | Tear-jerker, Ewa Partum

14-15 October|  Agnieszka Brzeżańska

19-21 November | Rock AngelZ

17-19 December | Dominika Olszowy

Past events

  • Haloon

    Exhibitions

    18.12.2021

    Haloon

    Dominika Olszowy

  • The Smell of Angels

    Actions

    19.11.2021

    The Smell of Angels

    Rock AngelZ

  • Thicket

    Exhibitions

    14.10–15.10.2021

    Thicket

    Agnieszka Brzeżańska

  • Tear-jerker

    Exhibitions

    17.09–18.09.2021

    Tear-jerker

Other cycles

Calendar

February 10

Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
Theater

February 11

Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
Theater
English subtitles

February 12

Sold out

Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
Theater

March 07

Cinema of Moral Anxiety

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+

March 08

Cinema of Moral Anxiety

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+
English subtitles

March 09

Cinema of Moral Anxiety

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+

March 18

Kabaret warszawski

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater / Age 16+

March 19

Kabaret warszawski

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater / Age 16+

March 21

Kabaret warszawski

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater / Age 16+

March 22

Kabaret warszawski

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater / Age 16+

March 23

Kabaret warszawski

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater / Age 16+

March 28

375 0908 2334 - The body you are calling is currently not available

Igor Shugaleev
Theater / Actions

March 29

375 0908 2334 - The body you are calling is currently not available

Igor Shugaleev
Theater / Actions

March 30

375 0908 2334 - The body you are calling is currently not available

Igor Shugaleev
Theater / Actions

April 21

Symposium

Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Theater / Age 16+

April 22

Symposium

Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Theater / Age 16+

April 23

Symposium

Krzysztof Garbaczewski
Theater / Age 16+

May 05

The End

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

May 06

The End

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

May 07

The End

Krzysztof Warlikowski
Theater

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