Anetta Mona Chișa and Lucia Tkáčová – The Second Sense
Length: 30 minutes
A gentle hint of soap, the heavy veil of frying food, an animal note of greasy hair, a metallic whiff of dirty hands, a puff of sweet perfume, the sharp acridity of stale sweat, the stupefying fetor of tooth decay. Smell is a powerful generator of affect; it can change our mood and influence our behavior. In the olfactory cortex of our brain, various odors are paired with different feelings. These connections promote our emotional, behavioral, and moral responses to a variety of familiar scents. Although phylogenetically the oldest, smell is one of the most neglected human senses, seemingly less valuable than its counterparts. Occulophallogocentric society attaches the greatest importance to what we can observe visually, what can be evaluated from a distance, what our bodies remain separated from. Unlike sight, which needs and creates detachment, smell works in and with bodily proximity. It is the most direct way we perceive the world – particles of the environment literally enter our bodies, establishing a direct interaction with other bodies, animals, minerals, and plants. Besides being the sense of closeness, smell can act as a teleporter – it unlocks memories, plucks us from the here and now, and throws us elsewhere, to another time.
Artists: Anetta Mona Chișa and Lucia Tkáčová