The exhibition ‘The Smell Of War’ will take place from 1.5 – 31.8.2015 and is basically divided into two parts. The main part is the exhibition with works by international olfactory artists, who use smell as medium of the artwork. A second part consists of the use of gas masks as the subject of the artwork.
Peter De Cupere is the curator of “The Smell of War”. He challenges an international cast of artists to immerse castle De Lovie, a castle in Poperinge, Belgium, in a palette of smells. The context of the exhibition is the first gas offensive in 1915 and the impact of that chemical warfare.
“You automatically think of the smell of gas, but also fear, sweat, disease and death, hygiene situations, gunpowder, the musty and damp smell of the bunkers, the smell of danger, … but to me also smell as memory. Smell affects olfactory memories strongly. With smells you can invoke conscious or unconscious specific reactions in the visitors. It is the perfect way to summon intuitive memories of the First World War too.” (Peter De Cupere).
Why this location? The castle domain was used as headquarters for the French and British army units during the First World War. Today, it serves as a centre for adolescents and adults with a mental handicap.
In 2014 Peter realised ‘The Olfactory’, a non-profit travelling exhibition concept . With The Olfactory he realized 33 (one-day) exhibitions in 7 weeks in a container to research and promote olfactory art. The Smell of War will be his first bigger exhibition with ‘The Olfactory’.
Participating artists: Peter De Cupere (Belgium), Oswaldo Macia (Great Britain), Clara Ursitti (Canada), Maki Ueda (Japan), Sissel Tolaas (Norway), Christophe Laudamiel (France), Gayil Nalls (US), Hilda Kozari, Alex Schweder, Hagen Betzwieser (Germany).