Formafantasma worked in close collaboration with Sissel Tolaas to develop the exhibition design for RE________. Composed of site-specific works that address the sense of smell rather than sight and hearing, Tolaas activates a different type of engagement and perception with the visitors. Through rethinking, reconstructing, revisiting, repeating, redesigning and reacting, current topics of climate change, food industry and diversity are presented in smell scapes that the visitor can encounter in various rooms and installations.
For Sissel Tolaas, smell is a vital yet often overlooked tool for communication. Over nearly three decades, she has devoted her research-based artistic practice to the olfactory, rather than the visual or the auditory, with investigations ranging from in-depth research and analysis to the archiving and synthetic (re)production of smell molecules and structures. Throughout her practice, Tolaas has built an archive of ‘smell recordings’, consisting of around ten thousand smell molecules.
In the Self_Life_Portrait, ocean water is pumped into the museum via the main entrance and recirculated to provide water for the installation. The soap replicates the smell of Sissel Tolaas.
In AL_earth_22, the 44 lab glasses contain 44 molecules and represent an ongoing research on the topic of earth’s chemistry and chemical ecology.
Sensors on the coastline of Norway record the breeze and smell of the ocean, and the AirREborn installation reports and translates this information into the space – the ocean smell is embedded in the ventilator, and the strength of wind comes visible through the movement of the textiles.
Salmo_NO_Way is an installation where the 30 neon light tubes represent 30 chemicals from salmon farm nutrition and reflect on the topics of contemporary salmon industry – the pink gold, ocean biodiversity, marine biology, nature and artificiality, pollution.
Notes, References and External Links
1. Astrup Fearnley Museet is one of Scandinavia´s most notable museums for contemporary art. It was founded and opened to the public in 1993. The museum presents changing exhibitions that both draw on the collection and new commissions by artists from all over the world.
2. Sissel Tolaas is a Norwegian artist and researcher known for her work with smells. Over several decades, She has developed a unique artistic practice that challenges the idea of the artwork as a physical object. Tolaas lives and works in Berlin. Her projects have been shown internationally at biennales, museums and institutions including MoMA in New York, the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia, Dia Art Foundation in New York, California College of the Arts, and Tate Modern in London.
CONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin.
EXHIBITION CURATED BY Solveig Øvstebø
CATALOGUE Studio Joost Grootens
PHOTO CREDITS Christian Øen