International Museum of Perfumery: 9 amazing works to discover this summer

If there is one city in France that should honor a mixture of art and smell, it is Grasse and its International Museum of Perfumery. Historical cradle of perfume-related know-how, registered on the list of intangible heritage of humanity with UNESCO, the museum offers visitors creations by contemporary artists who immerse the visitor in both a surprising visual field but also in works that appeal to several senses. Fruits, leaves, wood, but also lavender and rose are at the heart of the approach of many artists, arousing powerful emotions, buried memories that resurface or sometimes disconcerting new reflections. Laboratory glassware, pipes and stills also feed the imagination of artists. Here are 9 works of the exhibition Breathing Art to discover!

1. MIGRATORY SENSE BY HELGA GRIFFITHS

Migratory Sense offers an immersive and olfactory experience related to the memory of migrants. The latter, forced to leave their environment, have lost the smells that were familiar to them. The artist, in collaboration with the perfumer Karl-Heinz Bork, diffuses odors through a sphere that lights up with different lines and luminous points, creating a perfume that revives memories and allows to reconstruct the environment left behind. by individuals. German contemporary artist, Helga Griffiths creates polysensory installations at the intersection of science and art.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

2. REVIVAL OF PETER DE CUPERE

Lavender, immortelle, wood, textiles… revival consists of a carpet and a yellow chair, made of fine lavender and Helichrysum flowers, called immortelles. The work is not only looked at visually but above all with the nose to become an individual experience that responds to the olfactory memory of the viewer. Breathing allows us to live and feel at the same time: the artist considers smell as a breath of life, the breath of life, fascinating and vulnerable. Author of olfactory manifestos, inventor of the Olfactiano, the first odor piano or of the Olfabet, the first olfactory alphabet, Peter De Cupere is a Flemish artist who places the olfactory at the heart of his work and his thinking.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

3.THE MADONNA WITH FLOWERS BY PIERRE AND GILLES

The Madonna of the Flowers represents the singer Clara Luciani surrounded by flowers, in particular perfume plants such as roses or lilies. The duo Pierre et Gilles, formed in 1976, consists of Pierre Commoy and Gilles Blanchard. Their paintings, created with four hands, depict their loved ones, famous or anonymous, in sophisticated settings. The shooting is followed by the printing of a photographic print on canvas then covered with paint. These image creators, attached to the artisanal dimension of their art, have created a singular iconography. With humor and tolerance, they explore the border between art history and popular culture, cinema and painting. Pierre and Gilles thus question the contradictions of our time, our relationship to the marvelous and the sacred.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

4. THE REAPERS OF FRÉDÉRIC PASQUINI

With the series of photographs “The mowers”, the artist freezes in time the silhouette of the wild lavender mowers on the Calern plateau in Caussols where “light flirts with the supernatural”. He “attempts to fix the image of reality”, the gesture of the scythe which is assimilated to a dance or an ancestral ritual. “Earth and sky merge, there is no longer a border, dreamlikeness invites itself, it is at this moment that I decide to fix these three elements in presence: the earth, the sky and the subject. »

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

5. SMOKE ROOM BY PETER DE CUPERE

Peter De Cupere, again, is one of the most proactive defenders of the use of smells in art, which he employs in his performances, sculptures, paintings, videos or installations. It generates a kind of meta-sensory experience beyond mere sight or smell. Both poetic and socially critical, Smoke Room leaves the spectator in the expectation, between visual attraction and repulsion generated by the smell of the 750,000 cigarette butts that make up the work. It carries within it a collection of thousands of people who have put their lips to these butts and are then gathered together like archives, glued together chaotically to form this space, this conclave of thoughts.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

6. BERENICE’S HAIR BY ISA BARBIER

Bérénice’s hair participates in a “reactivation of space” through the evolutionary process that animates it: deployed in space when suspended, its threads form a hair adorned with dry and fragrant rose petals once l missing work. The title of the work refers to a Greek legend according to which Princess Berenice, to request the return of her lover who had gone to war, sacrificed her hair on the altar of Aphrodite, which was transformed into a constellation. Isa Barbier’s work is both graphic and spatial and her work articulates organic and geometric, lightness of materials and formal power.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

7. GILLES BARBIER’S PETS ORGAN

The fart organ, developed by the artist at the Cirva in Marseille, is a scale model of the original work and echoes the Marseilles actor Joseph Pujol, a famous petomane of the 20th century. The artist jokes about his own work by representing himself in wax, connected to a network of pipes and blown glass stills that come out of his posterior. A hidden motor allows a flow of air to pass through the pipes, vibrating the last part of the installation emitting a noise of flatulence without giving off an odor. Gilles Barbier is an artist with a very varied production, both by the supports and forms of his works and by the diversity of the sources used.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

8.COLOR LAB BY SYLVIE FLEURY

Testifying to his interest in the esoteric dimension, the work Aura-Soma consists of vials filled with water and oil, heterogeneous liquids, scented and colored. Each bottle, whose content is defined by therapists, corresponds to an individual portrait. The presence of a three-dimensional color chart inscribes these two-tone bottles in the tradition of concrete constructive art. A pioneer of feminist art, inspired by the consumer society and the superficiality of contemporary culture, Sylvie Fleury stages the fetishistic cult of luxury objects while questioning their real value.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

9. MARTYNKA WAWRZYNIAK’S ENFLEURAGE

These four photographs illustrate the process put in place to carry out the olfactory self-portrait project Smell me. The odors thus extracted (sweat, tears, hair) were synthetically reconstructed by the Givaudan company to then be released to the public in an olfactory chamber. The artist created a fake ad WATER OF Mimpregnated with perfume, for its biological essence derived from its sweat and developed in Smell me. Distributed in the magazine Harper’s Bazaar, which has thus become a place of exhibition for the general public, this work takes up the codes of the advertisements of major brands and invests the mass market by being assimilated to a consumer product. A Polish conceptual and multimedia artist, Martynka Wawrzyniak’s work explores experimentation with non-traditional materials and engages the audience in a sensory experience. It is exposed internationally.

Museums of Grasse, C. Barbiero.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION:

INTERNATIONAL PERFUMERY MUSEUM

2 Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon,

06130 Grasse – France

Such. : +33(0)4.97.05.58.11

International Museum of Perfumery: 9 amazing works to discover this summer