Várfok Gallery, Budapest: EAU DE COULEURS


László GYŐRFFY, Levente HERMAN, Ádám HOLLÓS, Réka JAHODA, Botond KERESZTESI, Marcell NÉMETH, Benjámin PELCZ, Ágnes PODMANICZKY, István SZÁNTÓ, Márton Emil TÓTH

MAY 31 – AUGUST 3, 2013

Main partner of the exhibition:
Le Parfum Croisette – Zólyomi Zsolt Parfumeries

© text: Várfok Gallery

Until the dawn of the 19th century subsisted the idea that perfumes were of intensively serious effect on vital functions, ergo fluids created out of scents not only served the embellishment of the body. In some of Ovid’s works, perfume becomes equal to an aromatic potion, while some myths and legends endowed primitive perfumes with the similar importance of blood . Accordingly, perfumes made of various elements pierced through the human body to the deepest parts taking along the virtues they carried to the most hidden places.

Due to the revolution of chemistry and synthetic molecules, the universe of perfumes has definitely diverged from the tight ligaments that united it with the animal and human bodies. Still the ‘mystery’ surrounding this world remains quite vivid, especially in point of the spiritual and emotional ‘effect’ of it. Considering the fact that inside the brain the central olfactory receptors are to be found next to the part responsable for long-term memory and that olfaction is one of our firstly developed senses, it is not a miracle if scent has such a forceful power on human – it has numerous facets, from being helpful in the evocation of cherished memories to being an absolutely perfect manipulative instrument.

Várfok Gallery’s next group exhibition undertakes the singular unfolding of the very complex universe of perfumes and scents: the exhibition starting from May 31, 2013 and showing during two months ten young contemporary artists will attempt the artistic and visual deployment of perfume along a definite contexture. Has cooperated with Várfok Gallery in the elaboration of the conception of Eau de Couleurs, preparing and helping the orientation of the artists, perfumer Zsolt Zólyomi, ‘the Hungarian nose’, the internationally acknowledged representative of the profession.

The painters and sculptors asked to cooperate for this exhibition encountered therefore an unusual context, as next to visual factors, olfactive ones played a role in the process, promoting the particular fusion of the two fields.

A fundamental point of the exhibition to underline is that the use of the words perfume and scent is based on their original, traditional meaning, i.e. it is based on their authentic characteristics. Another ‘essential quality’ to also considerate is evanescence, insomuch as one of the quintessences of scent and perfume is passing: their reaction with time is inevitable, which also engenders continuous change. The passing of time is one of the notions which intrigues most the human mind, therefore leads back for centuries to an infinite quantity of antitypes in the field of arts. Perfumery also often juggles with abstract notions – this may be one of several common points where the two fields, perfume and art encounter.

As an illustration of this train of thought, as a sort of allegory of the topic of passing and of evanescence, perfumer Zsolt Zólyomi defined a perfume series, and one in particular in the process of creation of which he took part, hence providing for the artists – completed with verbal guidance – an olfactive ’basic material’. The here mentioned scent, created by the P. Frapin et Cie company, is Frapin 1697, which did indeed enrich the process of creation with an olfactive experience, but served more as a ’palpable allegory’ on the road leading the the intangible and invisible world of perfumery than as a concrete source of inspiration. This perfume unites the passing of time, sweet dissolution, the putrescibility of noble quality, vanity engendered by the illusion of the refined world – vanitas vanitatum…

The artists taking part in the exhibition – László Győrffy (1976), Levente Herman (1976), Ádám Hollós (1984), Réka Jahoda (1985), Botond Keresztesi (1987), Marcell Németh (1982), Benjámin Pelcz (1988), Ágnes Podmaniczky (1983), István Szántó (1978), Márton Emil Tóth (1988) – will expressly formalize deeply subjective impulses for the exhibition, highlighting amongst other thoughts the manipulative power of scents, the tangibility of passing through natural phenomena, the reminiscent capacity of essences, or their complex evanescence. From a material point of view, the use of media varies from traditional oil through wax, diffuse acrylic, water colour invoking fluidity to liquids generating rust or interactive, sometimes hairy surfaces – ten radically different possibilities for interpretation.

’Aboard one of NASA’s spaceships, a small flower button flew into space. As it had burst into flower outside the laws of its native soil it exhaled a different fragrance, the analysis of which allowed a new aromatic creation prooving that perfume can still assume one of its essential functions: dream’.


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