"Cannons are part of the world of weapons
that tell the history of the wars.
The collection of cannons in the Museu Histórico Nacional synthetize the military history of Brazil,
since the colonial period till the First World War.
It defines a mode to interpret the construction
of Brazilian society.
The installation Within the Smells of History
is a creation of the contemporary artist
Josely Carvalho that presents cannons as objects of history through the sense of smell.
For the artist, “the smells keep the memory of lived experience”, establishing a dialogue
between past and present.
She proposes a different mode to discuss
history through the flavor of air.
The exhibit brings the breath as an act of critical thinking facilitated to the public in general.
The artwork of Josey Carvalho is known to bring forth and to discuss the feminine condition.
Her interest to the cannons is exactly her intention to question historic interpretations dominated by the male view. The cannons from the different historic periods are monuments of fine sculptural qualities in bronze and iron that celebrate military moments of warriors but hide the memory of violence towards women and children during wars.
Exploring the sense of smell, the artist transforms the mouth of a cannon in a time tunnel. The art and act of smell takes us to sensitive histories of Brazil."
former director of the Museu Hstórico Nacional,
Rio de Janeiro and Professor of History
at Federal Fluminense University (UFF)
artist: Josely Carvalho
artist assistant: Nina Bruno Malta
production: Tania Sarquis (Estúdio Sauá)
design: Tata Rodrigues
photo credit: Pat Kilgore