polish artist martynka wawrzyniak
smell me is 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.
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.
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. by dd