lundi 27 octobre 2014

A Fragrant Nirvana in Lausanne

 Tuesday I am heading for Lausanne, Switzerland, for the opening of Nirvana – Strange Forms of Pleasure, an exhibition curated by Marco Costantini and Susanne Hilpert Stuber at the MUDAC, the Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts. This is an excerpt from the press release:

Nirvana – Strange Forms of Pleasure is Switzerland’s first international-level exhibition to be devoted to forms of pleasure in contemporary creation, exploring design as well as fashion and contemporary art, and the first compre­hensive study of the influence of erotica on design, contemporary art and fashion. By turns bold, luxurious and mysterious, the exhibi­tion presents works by around eighty artists and designers, and over 200 objects and installations. (…) The exhibition invites us to examine our own ideas and perceptions of pleasure. It forces us to observe how its forms of expression can cross the line from the private to the public sphere when they are the subject of fashion, design or art.

I am happy to say fragrance is featured in Nirvana, both in the exhibits and in the catalogue, which features my essay “The Specter of the Saxe Glove” focusing on fragrance as fetish, and more specifically on the scent of leather.

A “fragrance cabinet” will present 14 perfumes linked to fetish, sex, skin, leather and transgression… Sadly, a prominent couture house producing a mythical leather fragrance did not wish to be associated with the theme of the exhibition. But several niche brands, including a few I suggested, responded enthusiastically.

Here’s the list:

Cuir Ottoman, Parfum d'Empire
Aziyadé, Parfum d'Empire
Cuir fétiche, Maître Parfumeur et Gantier
Narcotic Venus, Nasomatto
Rien, État Libre d'Orange
Vierges et Toreros, État Libre d'Orange
Sécrétions Magnifiques, État Libre d'Orange
Dans tes bras, Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle
Cardinal, Heeley
Onda, Vero Profumo
Relique d'amour, Oriza L. Legrand

Louanges Profanes, Parfumerie Générale

MUDAC – Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains
29 October 2014 – 26 April 2015
Open Tuesday to Sunday 11H - 18H
July-August, open Monday 11H - 18h
Cathédrale 6
CH-1005 Lausanne
T+41 21 315 25 30 F+41 21 315 25 39

Illustration: Betony Vernon, Soul-Less Shoes, 2005, silver
Dimensions: 25 x 9 x 16 cm
Image © Michael James O’Brien

4 commentaires:

  1. Mark Woods's "Pierced, Heart of broken Nails" looks like a perfume bottle - it's something about the top. WHAT an enticing exhibit - hope you'll report back on it! nozknoz

    1. It kind of does, doesn't it? Mark Woods presented his weirdly enticing little fetish-objects in a installation that was a sort of funhouse you could only gaze at through a peephole. Not sure I'll have much time to report on it -- I have so much work the list of things I want to review is just stretching hopelessly. But I'll give it a try. It was a great exhibition, and the artists were a fascinating lot -- which isn't surprising given the theme of the show!

  2. I looked him up online and saw an example of the peep hole presentation - so appropriate for these alluring objects!

    Don't want to distract you from reviews, but if there are interesting discussions of or reactions to the perfume part of the exhibit, that would be good to hear about. It's a great list of perfumes and with your essay the olfactory component of the exhibit should be very stimulating!

    Speaking of art, I'm belatedly testing samples of several Olfactory Studio perfumes this week that I got as a result of your reviews and finding them fascinating so far, an apt match for the photos(Chambre Noire, Lumiere Blanche and Flashback). I'm pleasantly surprised by how well that collaboration worked out.


    1. I am thinking of writing a little thing on that... Quite general since I can't say I took notes (hard to do with a glass of wine in one's hand). As for Olfactive studio, it's a brand I really like -- to me, it's kind of "entry-level" niche, not too weird but quirky and interesting. Lumière Blanche in particular has a lot of character.