October 15, 2012 Repository 20: Memory Marathon, an exploration of sound, site and smell in London Posted In: contemporary art, exhibition of note, perspective

The seventh installment of the marathon series at the Serpentine Gallery finished up this weekend, it’s theme was memory and the participants luminaries. This weekend of ideas was curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, a true breathe of fresh air in the art world and especially curatorial set. Program listed here.

Since the conversation of the art world is so insular it’s fitting he invited people from all different perspectives – all sharing questions in the same silo versus discrete silos. Scientists, musicians, visual artists and mathematicians all gave talks.

While Michael Stipe seems like the most compelling given the rare opportunity to see a generally shy and reserved artist take the stage to read an essay (he did this in front of a video he created, supposing the video helped keep his sanity and less of the attention on him), I think my interest is most piqued with Sissel Tolaas. I would have loved to hear this chemist/artist/linguist talk on the theme of smell and memory! In case you don’t know Ms. Tolaas, she is a brilliant scent artist that creates scents from the most unlikely sources. She has been commissioned by Ikea, Volvo and H&M to create “Swedish” smells, and has a smell archive preserved in 7,630 airtight jars which includes scents of dirty fabric and rotten bananas. A maverick and true explorer in the world of scent. Oh and she’s never produced a single bottle of commercial scent.

I’ll be looking for some footage or transcripts of the talks and events of the weekend in the near future I hope. Shouldn’t the Memory Marathon be memorialized somehow? Send me links if you find them!

Slogans for the Early 21st Century, Douglas Coupland, 2012, courtesy of the Daniel Faria Gallery

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