Smell You Later
Grace Gamage & Olivia O’Donnell and Bill Noonan, curated by Katie Lenanton
1st May 2014 – 11th May 2014 · West Space ·
Smell You Later is a series of interactive scent-based encounters conceived by early career artists to be subtly embedded within an array of festival venues. Secreted into corridors, stairwells, lobbies and entryways are Melbourne artist Bill Noonan’s hacked aroma diffusers. Meanwhile in select venue bathrooms, perfumes and balms created by Perth collaborators Grace Gamage and Olivia O’Donnell enable patrons to become scent ambassadors for the Next Wave Festival’s signature fragrance.
Seeking to expand the context in which a public artwork can be presented, received and individualised, Smell You Later also tests the idea that noses, more so than eyes, can actuate memories of both the artwork and the site of experience. As a wraithlike medium, scent can oscillate between interior and exterior spaces, from private to public, defining invisible but very present spatial boundaries.
The exhibition capitalises on olfaction’s enigmatic relationship to memory, seeking to create environments in which the narratives of festival experiences can be implanted and revisited through their subconscious connection to smell. While scents may be consistent at a molecular level, the variations between each patron’s environmental conditions and stimuli result in the potential for Smell You Later to deliver unique and unparalleled artwork experiences.
Through crude materials, ‘hack’ methodologies and impulsive branding, Bill Noonan’s practice explores the nuances of gastronomic culture and its wider position in a competitive culture economy. Working through the imposed ranking systems and performance indicators in gastronomic circuits, Noonan questions the ‘trophies’ of excellence and expertise—from Michelin Stars to the The World’s 50 Best. Looking at the trends of top ranking high-end restaurants, specifically the use of aspects of low culture and childhood memory, Noonan deconstructs their specialised equipment, techniques and culinary philosophies. In doing so, Noonan elaborates on the ubiquitous presence of the ‘refined low brow’ and its growing frequency in high end gastronomic settings.
Perth-based artist duo Olivia O’Donnell and Grace Gamage have been working collaboratively since 2010. Performance, costume, alchemy, humour, video, homemade FX and theatrical sets are used in public and private situations of celebration, critique and play. Through these actions, they investigate cultural mechanisms of understanding identity, the great mystery, the quest for happiness, organised systems of behaviour and rituals of the everyday.
This project is in partnership with the Next Wave Festival.