Suspensio: An Interruption in Time
September 2nd to October 2nd, 2021
Olfactory Art Keller
25 Henry Street, New York, NY
Olfactory Art Keller is honored to present Suspensio: An Interruption in Time, an olfactory and sculptural installation by Josely Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro and New York City based multisensory artist. Suspensio is the next installment in her series Diary of Smells, which presents olfaction alongside the visual art that has prevailed in her body of work. Reflecting on the origins of Suspensio, the artist writes:
“We are living in a moment of political, environmental, health, and social crisis. The pandemic interrupted the rhythms of daily life, placing us all in a state of suspension. The risk of an invisible virus, political unrest, environmental disasters, and racial injustice in both of my countries, the United States and Brazil, led me to find refuge in my garden. I watched wild birds come to eat from the bushes and fly in the open air. I focused on the contours of the tree branches, smelled fresh green after the rain, and sniffed the fermented scent of lantana flowers near my window”.
Suspensio: An Interruption in Time was conceived of and created during this period of suspension. Upon entering the gallery, one is enveloped in a deep blue light, encountering four smells encapsulated in crystal beads and inserted into blown glass branches, claws, and nests. Some scented sculptures float in the air while others rest on a platform, grounded among dried vines and branches from Carvalho’s garden.
The smells, Burrow, Incense II, Emptiness, and Suspension, were created by the artist in collaboration with Leandro Petit of Givaudan do Brasil. Burrow is an animalic scent, composed of dark notes that transport us inside the protective nest of the earth. Incense II calls to mind the freshness of forests and tree resin. Emptiness interprets the discomfort of feeling displaced in space and time. Suspension is the duality of being cocooned while facing danger and risk. In the world of Suspensio, meditative tranquility presents itself amidst uncertainty and fear.
The installation will be on view from September 2nd to October 2nd, 2021 at Olfactory Art Keller. Throughout the exhibit there will be multiple events open to the public, including several site-specific “Smell Walks” with the artist where the public is invited to link odor to memory and place by using their nose as a guide to the gallery’s surrounding neighborhood of Chinatown. Visitors to the gallery will also be able to participate in Carvalho’s ongoing Smell Flasks installation. Having started in 2012, today the installation is an archive of over 2,500 flasks, each perfume bottle containing a visual representation of a smell.
The virtual catalog for the exhibit will be available to view on September 1, 2021 at https://www.joselycarvalho.com/suspensiocatalog