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

  • The Smell of Angels

    Actions

    19.11 Fri 21:50

    The Smell of Angels

    Rock AngelZ

  • Thicket

    Exhibitions

    14–15.10

    Thicket

    Agnieszka Brzeżańska

  • Tear-jerker

    Exhibitions

    17–18.09

    Tear-jerker

Other cycles

Calendar

December 09

Sold out

Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
Theater

December 10

Sold out

Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
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December 11

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Małgorzata Wdowik
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December 12

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Shame

Małgorzata Wdowik
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December 17

Jezebel

Cherish Menzo
Dance

December 18

Sold out

Jesus

Jędrzej Piaskowski
Theater

Jezebel

Cherish Menzo
Dance

December 19

Sold out

Jesus

Jędrzej Piaskowski
Theater
Sold out

Jesus

Jędrzej Piaskowski
Theater

December 20

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
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Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

December 21

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

December 22

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

December 23

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

December 27

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

December 28

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

PREMIERE 1.8 M

Theater

December 29

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

1.8 M

Theater

December 30

Solarium Nowego Teatru: Milan Y

Exhibitions
Free entry

1.8 M

Theater

January 07

The Apocalypse

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+

January 08

The Apocalypse

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+
English subtitles

January 09

The Apocalypse

Michał Borczuch
Theater / Age 16+

January 13

Henrietta Lacks

Anna Smolar
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January 14

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Anna Smolar
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Henrietta Lacks

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