Olfactory Analysis
Helga Griffiths 2012

Exhibition Text from Dr. Dörte Zbikowski, Kunsthalle Kiel

Despite the abstract nature of the installation and its apparent remoteness from the sensation of smell, this is nevertheless a very personal statement. Here Helga Griffiths' own body odour has been translated into a visual code. She had her body odour analyzed with the help of a gas chromatograph, constructed the six most important molecules in a stongly magnified version and created a cloud-like hanging installation. The free movement of the almost weightless molecules, which react to every air current, breathes life into the abstract structure. Griffiths allows us to experience smell through chemical analysis, as a scientific research field, but also as an identity-forming factor. She transforms smell which is usually perceived subjectively, with varying intensity and influenced by personal emotions, into a visual formula which suggests objectivity. The ephemeral and invisible is made comprehensible in conjunction with genetic information, and intimacy is de-personified.