Memory dented below the human world
Sulphurous smells were once considered to have entered into our world from another. Once emanated from the body, they entailed separation of sinners and moral deviants among the general population. Over time, a production of mental imageries tied a distinct sensory link between imagined Hell and belief-systems that casted certain acts or behaviours as sinful, hence the brimstone smell would only omit itself in the presence of sinners. In ‘Technologies of the Self’ (1982) the yellow mineral is referred as the first ‘device’ that enforced societal control in the medieval Europe. At the earliest stages of mapping natural deposits for its extraction, the sensory association of decay and sulphur pointed towards new technologically informed behaviours with emergence of corresponding social norms. Careful invocation of narratives about the world of abject tied the underworldly mineral to a responding demand in production of new subjectivity, bodies and expressions all together. By altering sensory notions about the world, the self through our relationship with the unfamiliar - we sense residues of an alienated subjectivity.
Sulphur-coated insect hotels, Arduino components, animatronic butterflies, MBTI-test quotes. sulphur crystals, 100 x 15 x 60 cm
Kindly supported by the Mondriaan Fonds.