Book Works, London
Price: 13€

Sharon Kivland
Le bonheur des femmes
(The scent of a woman)

A publication accompanying the exhibition of the same name Fragments d'une correspondance litteraire 2001. Limited edition artist's book and print portfolio.

Le bonheur de femmes (the scent of a woman), consists of photographs of women's feet, taken in the perfume departments of Parisian grands magasins. Texts mounted at eye-level -- such as 'envy', 'obsession', 'allure', and so on -- might be identified as the names of scents.

While the work alludes to nineteenth-century Paris, consumerism and the urban experience, it really begins with an encounter between Freud and Marx at the site of the fetish. While Marx borrows the term to demonstrate how social relations take on the illusory form of relationships between things, Freud applies it to sexual behaviour, when excitement depends on the presence of an object. All this is standard stuff, but what if the object disappears, like faint waft of scented air? Or, furthermore, if it disappears into words, transforming a shine on the nose to a glance at the nose perhaps (sniffing all the time), then there is an indication that fetishism is more than a vague analogy in the visual field, it is something subject to linguistic transformation. One might say that the very words are perfumed ...