size of the installation 180 x 173 cm.
plywood, color spray, jars, plastic pipes, natural products, different materials
Olfactory installation TURBO (smells of fried onions, meat and onion stew and roast peppers; birds droppings and horse dung; marc for brandy; sweet odour of violets, lilac and vanilla – the favourite fragrance of Bulgarian women from the recent past; urine and disinfectant – the characteristic smell of toilets in Bulgaria, felt from a distance in public places; decomposing rubbish – everyday stink of market place and waste bins; the smell of sea – sometimes creating pleasant associations of sea water and horizons, sometimes of rotting fish and garbage thrown out at ports).
“Culture-Subculture” annual exhibition of the Soros Center for the Arts,
Art Gallery, Varna, Sept. 1999
Smells are everywhere around us, fragrances and pungent stanches, fascinating, typical, memorizable or nondescript. They are incredibly mobile and communicate free, attracting, joining together or repulsing one other. They can not stand one another or make a perfect harmony. Compared to images and sounds they don't subordinate and it's hard to catch them. But like the sounds they possess the ability to effect together or independently, bent in noble combinations or shocking discordance, to form a group according to their own rules or to overpower one another. They are so flexible they can cross any barriers, squeezing through keyholes and cracks, getting slicked to us, chasing, attending and possessing our senses.
Every century and age are dominated by one kind of perception, art or genre. Fragrances ruled over 18th century, the time of spoilt Rococo. Our time, on the threshold of Third millenium, the age of Internet-revolution is possessed by the images, the vision - real or virtual. Less and less things around allow us to get felt, caught, touched, sensed, smelled, caressed, irritating or tempting and attracting.
We still can not throw off the bad habit to remain indifferent, not to react in a normal way to what happens around us, to what we see or feel. Otherwise what would be the explanation about the notorious Balkan toilets, the stained and many times reversed tablecloths in cheep restaurants, the vulgar "chalga" (new-folk music), known in the neighbour countries as "Turbo-folk", about the mud and dirt in the streets, the stinky garbage cans and containers.
Indeed I'm very squeamish.