Last week a commission I was working on was cancelled due to covid19. Curiously it’s been the first such cancellation, despite the hold coronavirus has had on us over the last 5 months. I feel somewhat behind the curve in harbouring thoughts of dejection and anguish that compliments a covid cancellation, which is tied to both professional and financial prospects. Though saying that I am undeterred. I am aware that, all things considered, I am in a fortuitous financial, professional and medical position compared to others. Additionally, many of my forthcoming projects have be postponed rather than cancelled, so I can still work on them. Do I feel frustrated and disarmed by covid19? Yes. But at least I’m alive.
The commission was to design a scented experience around an exhibition, and as such the cancellation was not altogether unexpected, due to the inherently tactile and interactive nature of scent within a gallery context. Indeed, over the past months I have been thinking of ways to stage exhibition, events and workshops in a safe and appropriate manner without compromising my work, which often relies on direct interaction. Aside from producing videos (which I will, eventually, I promise!) ideas have been thin on the ground. Looking at the history of hygiene within a contemporary art context seems appropriate, with hand sanitiser and soap able to accommodate scent, so perhaps that’s a starting point.
Of course, another option is to do nothing. After all I can always wait until life returns to some kind of normality before re-emerging with a wave of scented experiences ready for interaction. But waiting around doesn’t sit well with me. So perhaps a trip to the studio to do a bit of thinking and tinkering is in order.
In fact lets go and do that now.