envoy enterprises presents Smell Me, a solo exhibition by Martynka Wawrzyniak. A mixed-media and performance artist known for incorporating unlikely substances into her work, Wawrzyniak will be creating an installation reflecting a year long project where she acted as both investigator and subject exploring and capturing her biological essence. The exhibition runs from today, 20 October - 18 November, 2012, Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 6 p.m. at 87 Rivington St., NYC.
Working with a research team of Hunter College Chemistry students under the guidance of Professor Donna McGregor the artist underwent multiple experiments to collect aromatic elements from her body. She was subject to rigorous sessions to extract the concentrated essence of her sweat, tears, and hair to create an olfactory-based self-portrait that will engage visitors in a visceral form of communication without visuality as primary form.
In order to fully immerse the installation space with the scent of her bodily aromas, Wawrzyniak collaborated with the re-known professional perfumer Yann Vasnier of Givaudan and scent director Dawn Goldworm of 12.29 on synthetically reconstituting the organic essences for diffusion. These aromas will be released inside a specially designed scent chamber into which visitors will enter to partake in a solitary experience.
A limited edition of the original organic essences will be displayed in tear shaped chemistry vials as well as three candles that are made of paraffin that was scraped off Wawrzyniak’s body then melted into 250 ml chemistry beakers.
In today’s society we do everything we can to mask the natural scent of our bodies, thus forgoing an ancient form of animal communication. I wanted to isolate these primal human essences and deliver them in an environment devoid of other sensual distractions. The piece represents the true essence of a woman – free of visual prejudice. - Martynka Wawrzyniak
Martynka Wawrzyniak (b. 1979, Poland) is a mixed-media artist who has worked with photography, video, performance and installations. Her solo exhibitions include Kids and Ketchup (2009) at envoy enterprises, New York. Recent group projects include: Chocolate, 2012 at Jousse Enterprise Gallery, Paris; FG.Ft, 2011 at envoy enterprises, New York; Mob, 2011 at Bullet Space, New York; Commercial Break, 2011 presented by The Garage Center for Contemporary Culture at the 54th Venice Biennale, Italy; 4 Sale, 2011 at Galeria Ego, Poland.
Scent diffusion provided by 12.29.