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The scent, an artistic medium

Contemporary Art | German artist Helga Griffiths presents Crossing, an exhibition that gathers a retrospective set of works at the frontier between art and science, exploring our perception of olfactory experiences.

Helga Griffiths, Migratory Sense, 2017 - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken © Photo : Anton Minayev
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Helga Griffiths, Migratory Sense, 2017 - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
© Photo : Anton Minayev

Griffith’s pioneering artworks explore the human perception’s limits and repercussions. At the Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken, the artist has conceived environments filled with sounds, images and scents that awaken the sensory memory. Migratory sense (2016-2017) is an olfactory work built around the migrants’ memories of their places of origin. In collaboration with perfumer Karl-Heinz Bork, Griffith reconstructed a palette of thematic scents : the memory of a home, a disappeared landscape…

Visually, Griffith’s immersive installation introduces the visitor into a dark space divided by luminous beams where the scents emanate and intertwine. Each space creates an atmosphere, an environment perceived as humid or dry, a journey between the land and the sea. In Out-SIGHT-In (2001-2002), the artist explores the perceptual boundaries of the senses, their interaction and their self-reliance. The exhibition displays photographs taken by blind people in order to capture visual perceptions of olfactory experiences. In this way, the images are visualizations of mental representations evoked by the scents of wood, silk, soot or rain…
Finally, Olfactorium (2000) is a journey to the heart of the sense of smell in our brain, which is composed by short circuits that have an influence on our mental map and our projections of the world.

Jeanette Zwingenberger
Publié le 05/01/2018
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Version française

Helga Griffiths, Migratory Sense, 2017 - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken © Photo : Anton Minayev Helga Griffiths, Out-SIGHT-In Extracts - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken 2017 © Photo : Anton Minayev Helga Griffiths, Out-SIght-In Extracts (black and white) 2002 - Palais de Tokyo, Paris 2002 © Photo: Christophe Schneider Helga Griffiths, Turbulent Souvenirs/Memories, 2017 - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken © Photo: Anton Minayev Helga Griffiths, Space Souvenirs 2017, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken 
Perfumer: Karl-Heinz Bork © Photo: Anton Minayev Helga Griffiths, Dark Gravity 2017, Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken / Kunsthalle Darmstad © Photo: Gregor Schuster

Helga Griffiths, Migratory Sense, 2017 - Stadtgalerie Saarbrücken
© Photo : Anton Minayev

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