Paul Vanouse

Labor
What does labor smell like? Labor is a dynamic, self-regulating art installation that re-creates the scent of people exerting themselves under stressful conditions. There are, however, no people involved in making the smell – it is created by bacteria propagating in the three glass bioreactors. Each bioreactor incubates a unique species of human skin bacteria responsible for the primary scent of sweating bodies: Staphylococcus epidermidis, Corynebacterium xerosis and Propionibacterium avidum. As these bacteria metabolize simple sugars and fats, they create the distinct smells associated with human exertion, stress and anxiety. Their scents combine in the central chamber with which a sweatshop icon, the white t-shirt, is infused as the scents are disseminated. The scent intensifies throughout the exhibition.

TEUN VONK

FILE SAO PAULO 2017
THE PHYSICAL MIND
“The Physical Mind” is Vonk’s attempt to let participants experience the relation between their physical and mental states by applying physical pressure to the body. The installation consists of two inflatable objects in-between which a participant lays down to subsequently get lifted up and be gently squeezed between the curves of the two objects. While the lifting creates an unstable feeling, this stressful sensation is soon thereafter contrasted with the secure feeling of being gently squeezed between two soft objects. Besides this experience for participants, the installation also evokes feelings of empathy amongst bystanders who witness participants undergo the experience.