The "Lemon, Tangerine, Jasmine, Raspberry" video is a documentation of a performance piece which was carried out in various locations in Gamlestan (The Old City), an area in the peripheral parts of the city of Göteborg in Sweden which has a long tradition of being a place where graffiti-artists paint.
The piece was carried out by myself, and consisted of me spraying "graffiti" in various outdoor locations around Gamlestan, using scent-sprays with different odors (lemon, tangerine, jasmine and raspberry) instead of the traditional spray-paints.
Graffiti-pieces usually consist of the name of the artist or crew painted in a very colorful and individual style. One generally wants to grab peoples attention and for the piece to be viewed by as many as possible, and one of the main themes of graffiti-writing is the manifestation of the writers name or ego in a specific environment. This piece, through the use of scent-sprays which disperse into the environment, seems rather to point in the opposite direction, towards a dissolution of the self.
Through this subversion, focus is shifted away from the idea of graffiti as simply marking a spot with one's name and is instead redirected towards the question of how it relates aesthetically to the various environments in which it is found. Just as graffiti-pieces are seen as an attempt to enliven and humanise otherwise drab environments, or as a strategy to regain control over an urban public sphere visually dominated by commercial interests, the scents used create an experience where one of the senses (in this case, the sense of smell) jars with the presumed character of the environment as a whole. In ruptures like these we not only become aware of the environments we inhabit, and the qualities they are supposed to encompass, but also of the possibilties for affecting and changing them as well. Built environments are never neutral, giving concrete form to different ideas about how society and the life of the individual is to be structured, all along the lines of various agendas. By relating to our everyday surroundings in ways that differ from those which originally dictated their construction we open up possibilites for a far more complex dialogue with the society which we are a part of.
The piece is of course very ephemeral, and the scents disperse quickly. This is actually the case with visual graffiti as well, as pieces rarely last long before being removed or painted over. But the redefinition and questioning of the space and it's aesthetic form which has occured usually lasts far longer in the consciousness of those who have partaken of it.
This video was shown at Worldwide Moving Image II which took place at E32 at the Lotus Lounge, Manhattan, NY 17/7 2007.
Variations of this performance piece have later been carried out in the context of various exhibitions, events and performance art festivals including Fredric Gunve's show "Framtidskonsten -the Future" at Galleri 54, Gotheburg, Sweden (2007); the "Peptalk is All You Need" performance art festival which took place in Ronneby and Karlskrona, Sweden, curated by Gallery MASSMA and Sebastian Franzén (2007); the Love Love Lounge at the Gothenburg Dance and Theatre Festival (2008); the group show "Processes of Being", Gallerie Plan D, Düsseldorf, Germany (2009) and the Live Action Plus performance art festival which took place in Vara and Borås, Sweden.
From the show Processes of Being, Gallerie Plan D, Düsseldorf, Germany. Camera: Sara Lännerström
From the show Processes of Being, Gallerie Plan D, Düsseldorf, Germany. Camera: Peter Clouth