A Labyrinth of Saffron and Cloves

Earlier this month, we raised an eyebrow at the multi-sensory marketing campaign that placed aromatic fiberglass baked potato sculptures in several UK bus shelters. As horrified as we were by the notion of having to further simplify the baked potato with a microwavable substitute, we were undeniably intrigued by the advertiser’s use of scent to craft a particular spatial interaction. Meanwhile, the Faena Arts Center, Buenos Aires’ massive industrial-wheat-mill-turned-gallery, has recently been transformed with its very own ‘smellscape,’ an installation called ‘Crazy Hyperculture in the Vertigo of the World’ by Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto. Neto has filled the space with a colorful, netted labyrinth embedded with spices such as saffron and cloves. More after the jump.

The abstract, knotted structure of fabric and polythene foam hangs like an organic membrane from the high ceilings of Faena’s Cathedral Room, appearing to float weightlessly or droop with the full force of gravity depending on one’s view. Spectators are invited to touch, smell, climb and enter the space and experience—through multiple senses—what the gallery calls “a representation of an internal landscape.” With its complex interweaving of material, smell, shape, and color, the massive form presents itself as simultaneously delicate and robust, fragile and sensual.

[Images and video courtesy Faena Arts Center]

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