Smell Scape 2022,
Infused wool, metal
Kunsthal Kongegaarden, DK

Supported by Statens Kunstfond and Kulturudviklingspuljen Aarhus

In the center of the room is an archive-like object. Maybe closed, maybe with open drawers, it invites the viewer closer. As a closed object, one senses its possible amounts of content and systems that inhabit the object’s inner body. If one or more drawers are opened, there will be a material that can be read, analyzed and perhaps understood. Thick, colored wool pop up from the first five drawers, unfold the scents of the garden and invite the viewer to touch, feel and smell.

Filtenborg’s archive arose in a reflection on memory as a tool, and how we archive dreams, memories and emotions, in a physical and metaphysical sense. As we wake up from a dream, we are often left with only fragments of what was unfolded for our subconscious, but the feeling lives within our body. It is also said that we smell a new smell for 8 sec. after which only the trace is left in our sensory consciousness.

The title SMELL SCAPE 55.328358, 11.139632 (Smell Landscape, Smell Escape), opens up a matrix of references that all relate to a study of the holistic smell experience of a specific place. SMELL SCAPE contains both episodic (time-limited) and involuntary (background) odors and as the spatial unit the “odor landscape” or “odor escape” appear as, it is both fragile, temporal and partial. In her almost metaphysical relationship to materials, the archive of Filtenborg becomes an important character in this landscape. Unlike the archive, which arranges materials in an almost quasi-archiving logic and places them in an architecture closed to its surroundings, the archived material in the work opens up to much more, outside the archive.The archived material lacks nothing, is not based on oppositions and rather than being solid, its primary property is plasticity; it is open to change, and can take infinite forms. The archive can thus be said to function as a path to other sensory consciousnesses and perhaps as, another way of understanding our surroundings.

As such, SMELL SCAPE 55.328358, 11.139632 is sort of a sculptural critique of the way in which we perceive and work with systems and order – both in an institutional and structural sense. In its critique, the work is the first version of several forthcomings, where the skeleton will remain in all versions, but with each new geographical location and coordinates, contain new sensibilities that encircle and unfold the existing surroundings. In the vibration between minimalistic wandering and system critical sculpture, the work, with its volatile and boundless content, tries to visualize and dismantle the structures and narratives we are placed within and which inevitably form us.

Photos: Martin Fabricius Buchwald