If It Smells Like Vagina…

De Cupere

If it smells like vagina it must be vagina, right? Either this or a creation of an olfactory (having to do with smells) artist. Such as Peter De Cupere. The artist, among many other smells, likes the smell of a woman. His latest exhibit, The Deflowering, in Antwerp, promotes the idea that, in his own words, “A woman’s vagina smells, in general, great and more men should respect that.”

De Cupere engaged a chemical laboratory to develop a “vagina smell” perfume.

“I wanted to be sure that it’s a mix of different women and that they are from different origins. The scent is not synthetic. It’s the real vaginal scent distilled in special ways. How they do it is the secret of the labs.”

Then he sculpted a statue of Madonna from the frozen “holy water”. The statue has been places atop of a puddle of a “vagina smell” perfume.

“I use the Madonna statue as a symbol because it’s the most known religious symbol of a woman.  …I don’t say that women are always treated wrong in religion, but it still happens too often! …Religion has always been an interesting issue in art. The reason is simple, because it’s conservative, an old and closed idea and art is the opposite, it’s progressive and open — like a vagina.”

In an exhibit that lasted about 2 hours, the statue slowly melted into a perfumed spot and the room took on the odor of love and passion. Or whatever.

The melting of the Madonna metaphorically yields a sense of sexual freedom, while physically oozing a sexually liberated perfume. At its core, De Cupere’s project is simply and wonderfully a celebration of scent — in particular, a natural, feminine scent all too often deemed unsavory or unwelcome.  (Huffington Post article)

Viewers were both permitted and encouraged to dip their fingers into the puddle. Attendees were aware that so doing they’d end up smelling like vagina and the the smell would linger for a long while.

“Passion is smelling and enjoying the scent of your love,” De Cupere says. “It’s too taboo! And what is taboo should set be free.”

Huffington Post has more on the work for those interested, but I will just sit here and scratch my head. I admit I am incredibly curious to see what a lab has determined a vagina smells like. I would also like to know how much trial and error there was, with various people standing around in a room trying to describe what the failed recipes are lacking and how to improve them. (from the short post in Daily of the Day

This is surely one of the stranger feminist artwork’s we’ve seen smelled in our day, but we wholeheartedly support the scentiment. The performance takes place today in Antwerp, but you can get a whiff of the experience in the video below. (Huffington Post)

My comment? I can’t express it in a word or two. It took me a long soliloquy in Russian, riddled with unprintable obscenities, to say I didn’t like it.

Other works of Peter De Cupere  — too bad (or not?) you can’t smell them.

Smile Room: 2010, a smell installation made with 3400 tubes toothpaste, pu-components, creating an intense minty toothpaste smell.

Smile Room: 2010, a smell installation made with 3400 tubes toothpaste, pu-components, creating an intense minty toothpaste smell.

peter de cupere

SWEAT: 2010, Sweat is a performance where the sweat of 5 dancers was caught. They wear specially designed costumes that were made out of plastic and connected by tubes. Before the action, the artist made a separate dish for each dancer. The intention is to catch the sweat from the dancers and to distill it. The sweat will be sprayed on a wall of the dance lab and protected by a glass box. In the glass is a small hole where visitors can smell the sweat. The performance is shown by video in the glass tank. More info will follow soon. The performance is shown for a selective audience (200 people). Other artists who are invited to realize an art integration are: Luc Tuymans, Michael Borremans, Koen Van den Broek, Berlinde De Bruykere, Joep van Lieshout, ...

SWEAT: 2010, Sweat is a performance where the sweat of 5 dancers was caught. They wear specially designed costumes that were made out of plastic and connected by tubes. Before the action, the artist made a separate dish for each dancer. The intention is to catch the sweat from the dancers and to distill it. The sweat will be sprayed on a wall of the dance lab and protected by a glass box. In the glass is a small hole where visitors can smell the sweat. The performance is shown by video in the glass tank. More info will follow soon. The performance is shown for a selective audience (200 people). Other artists who are invited to realize an art integration are: Luc Tuymans, Michael Borremans, Koen Van den Broek, Berlinde De Bruykere, Joep van Lieshout, …

 

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