Smelly Art and the Hierarchy of Senses

  • Borbala Elias
Keywords: olfactory art, senses, visual bias, value


A student essay for the Special Student Issue of the Journal of Extreme Anthropology accompanying the art exhibition 'Artist's Waste, Wasted Artists', which opened in Vienna on the 19th of September 2017 and was curated by the students of social anthropology at the University of Vienna. This essay deals with the visual bias and the historical privileging of visuality in the Western culture and the ways in which it translates into the valorization of different forms of art, in particular olfactory art, which is still not being taken seriously and remains undervalued, akin more to a form of entertainment. The essay uses the case of the Viennese artist Bernhard Weber.