Publication: Olfactory Art and the Political: Now in Paperback!


We are happy to announce that Olfactory Art and the Political in an Age of Resistance is available in paperback. This book claims a political value for olfactory artworks by situating them squarely in the contemporary moment of various forms of political resistance. Each chapter presents the current research and art practices of an international group of artists and writers from the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The book brings together new thinking on the potential for olfactory art to critique and produce modes of engagement that challenge the still-powerful hegemonic realities of the twenty-first century, particularly the dominance of vision as opposed to other sensory modalities.

Viveka Kjellmers chapter in this book brings out new dimensions of perfume and scented communication in art as well as in everyday life:

Scented Bodies: Perfuming as Resistance and a Subversive Identity Statement

As an act of civil and social disobedience, perfuming—the active and deliberate wearing of scents as a statement of self-invention—can make powerful claims about alternative identities and bodily presence. This chapter argues that perfume can be subversive and political, and that scented bodies have agency. Olfactory meaning-making has an impact on social interaction. Taking examples from the art world and the fragrance industry, this study proposes that scents can be worn as non-verbal resistance and shows how the subversive qualities of scent can be used to transgress the normativity of beauty and gender ideals.

Olfactory Art and the Political in an Age of Resistance, Eds. Debra Riley Parr & Gwenn-Aël Lynn, Routledge 2023. ISBN 9780367552749. More info here