The Medicinal Smell of the Sun

A site-specific installation at Maison Pelgrims, Brussels, for the show Norma, curated by Maud Salembier. Images by zooo.

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Over and over Tune

BY IOANNA CARLSEN (via)

 

You could grow into it,  

that sense of living like a dog,  

loyal to being on your own in the fur of your skin,  

able to exist only for the sake of existing.  

Nothing inside your head lasting long enough for you to hold onto,  

you watch your own thoughts leap across your own synapses and disappear— 

small boats in a wind,  

       fliers in all that blue,  
               the swish of an arm backed with feathers,  

a dress talking in a corner,  

               and then poof,  
       your mind clean as a dog’s,  

your body big as the world,  

       important with accident— 

               blood or a limp, fur and paws.  

You swell into survival,  
       you take up the whole day,  
you’re all there is,  
       everything else is  

not you, is every passing glint, is  

       shadows brought to you by wind,  

               passing into a bird’s cheep, replaced by a  
                              rabbit skittering across a yard,  
a void you yourself fall into.  

You could make this beautiful,  
       but you don’t need to,  

living is this fleshy side of the bone,  

       going on is this medicinal smell of the sun— 

               no dog ever tires of seeing his life  

keep showing up at the back door  
even as a rotting bone with a bad smell;  

feet tottering, he dreams of it,  

wakes and licks no matter what.

 
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Minor memories (terminology coined together with my Phd Supervisor, Prof. Kris Pint) are non-narrative memories, the smallest unit of sensorial experience recorded. I use .gif images as a digital stand-in, inspired by phenomena such as ASMR, where a gesture on the screen creates a physical reaction in the viewer.

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Lenticular images create an illusion of movement. Whilst they inspire nostalgia in 80s and 90s kids, the basic principle behind it is much older than that. At the same time, having a flat, plastic moving image on a wall without any screen or battery feels almost “futuristic”. This anachronism was of special interest here. Ultimately, the image only moves when the spectator moves, making her essential to the activation of the work.