Place: Muhka, Antwerpen Leuvenstraat 32, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium | City: Antwerp, Belgium
In the exhibition 'THE SMELL OF WAR - PRELUDE' Peter de Cupere shows a series of drawings about war mask concepts. It is a reflection on the first gas attacks in Belgium about one hundred years ago. This exhibition is a Prelude for a bigger one. In April 2015 Peter de Cupere curates the exhibition 'The Smell of War' in Poperinge. It will be an exhibition with olfactory artists from all over the world. Artists who live in countries which have taken part in the first World War.
In The Olfactory people need to wear a simple white mask. The exhibition room will smell intensive!
Germany's first attempt with chemical weapons in mass occurred in 1915 at the second battle of Ypres in Belgium. Different types of gas were used during the war. When you first encounter mustard gas, you may not even know anything about the effect on you. The best way to detect mustard gas is through smell. Soldiers exposed to mustard gas only noticed a funny smell and had a hard time to recognise this as a gas attack. Even under heavy doses, however, their noses adapted to the smell quickly, giving them the impression that the gas had dissipated. Have you ever noticed you can't smell something, be it good or bad, after you've been sniffing it for a few minutes? The same principle applies during a mustard gas attack.Mustard gas, in particular, has a rather nice aroma. Gas victims from World War I recalled a sweet and spicy scent that reminded them of lilacs, garlic, horseradish, onions, or—you guessed it—mustard. In general, "blister agents" such as mustard gas smell pretty good. Another blister agent developed around the time of the First World War, lewisite, smells intensely of geraniums. A blister agent called phosgene oxime has an unpleasant, irritating smell—but with hints of freshly mown hay. The related diphosgene smells like anise.
So in the exhibition 'The Smell of War - Prelude' you have to deal with an intensive odour. This odour can be a reference to a gas attack, but can also be the smell of sweat from people in danger! At the entrance you get a fresh white mask to wear. You don't have to wear it, but it will probably make your visit more pleasant!
Some drawings of Odor Mask Concepts