27 luglio 2013
A very sad rhubarb
Of Luca Vitone's artwork "Per l'Eternità/For Eternity" composed specially for the Biennale di Venezia art exhibition, I already wrote in a previous post.
Entering the area housing the installation, you are enveloped in a rhubarb-based fragrance (by Maitre Parfumeur Maria Candida Gentile), receiving a synaesthetic impression involving multiple senses (sight + smell), thus allowing a more complete experience of the artwork and a total understanding of the issues expressed by the artist.
A happy coincidence brought me a sample of the fragrance, and I was so impressed that I decided to write about it, knowing full well that it was not meant to be worn, and therefore will never hit stores. But the emotion inside it is so loud that slaps you in the face, and it's very rare to find a scent like this: "Per l'Eternità" is an extremely sad scent.
A sadness which sticks to you and won't let you go. It's a cry of pain by a Nature to which little is left of natural, manipulated, corrupted and cemented as it is, by human greed. Its vitality being morphed into something artificial and chemically colored. The only thing Nature can do now, is cry a silent cry, letting out a scent which "smells artificial" even if the note is natural. Yes, it's real rhubarb, and it should be a beautiful note, but here it's wrapped up in a metallic, oily, dirty patina, which turns it into an "industrial" rhubarb. I can't explain better than this, so I invite you to review that famous scene from "Matrix" where Neo's cry of fear morphs into the artificial sound of a modem (click here).
I talked to Maria Candida who confirmed the intention was just that, Luca is committed to witnessing the decay of Nature, intoxicated by artificial materials such Eternit, which create fine dusts harmful both for flora, fauna and... us.
Maria Candida told me that while composing the work they often felt sad, drained of energy, so much so that more than one tear was shed on several occasions.
As far as I'm concerned, I found this scent a work of genius.
I invite you to read an interview with Luca (in Italian, for those who understand it) in which the artist tells why he decided to introduce the olfactory dimension in his work.