Pick Up Sticks

Raewyn Turner

The work utilises the positive, albeit manipulative tool, perfume, which is a constructed form of informational content, to explore the conflicted nature of our being and the infinite human appetite for love. Developed in conjunction with entertainment, military strategy games and celebrity perfumes both engage with mesmerising technologies which assist the transfer of information as well as altering our sensory experiences and anticipations.

The proposed work is a simultaneous performance of the real and the interpreted domains of both military technology and the globalised commercial interests of the fragrance and flavour industry. The actuality of sharing a fragrance, which triggers an olfactory experience also begins an interpretation by a technologically changing agent that acts upon it., ascribing meaning and form to the sharing. The real flowing into the virtual through movement which is then perceived as a different structure or set of exchanges, implies that what is done in the real world is simultaneously carried out elsewhere, in a parallel domain.
Perfumes created during times of national and international trauma and stress may, due to their intentional design, be considered a tool to create a disruption or interruption to sensory precepts. The selection of contemporary fragrances, focused on the category of Celebrity Fragrances, were, and continue to be created during the years from 8 October 2001 when the invasion of Afghanistan and the 'War on Terror' including 9/11, began with an air bombardment of Afghanistan by US and UK forces. The perfumes stand in relief against the background of trauma that we are currently engaged in, that is, the so-called 'War on Terror'.

Although the fragrance / flavour creations are rigorously commercial, the happiness factor is the force driving all of fragrance/ flavour creations. They are for pleasure and love. Like paintings and music, fragrant compositions can be seen in 3-dimensional relief against a temporal background of fear and tension engendered by security, accountability and compliance to rules which demand monitoring and normalising behaviour in public.

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