Presentation: Frank Bloem, Lydia Schouten, Olga Middendorp, Nelke Mast, PISSWIFE


Odorama 46 with Pisswife, Olga Middendorp, Nelke Mast, Lydia Schouten and Frank Bloem

18 Nov 2021

Let's dive into the relationship between smell and female empowerment. BEFtival curator Olga Middendorp and multi-disciplinary artist Nelke Mast wonder why vagina smell is still a taboo. Performance artist Lydia Schouten talks about the wave of the 70's and what role smell played (or not) at that time. And queer feminist art collective Pisswife takes us on a scented journey through a history of remarkable female artists. Come smell and talk along!

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Sex Object - Performance by Lydia Schouten "Lydia Schouten’s performance piece Sexobject 1979 explores the connotations of being a sex object. The performance starts off with lot’s of willpower from Lydia  to whip the phrase “how does it feel to be a sex object” with balloons filled with paint above. The aim is to whip the balloons and the phrase until the phrase cannot be seen. During the performance Lydia seems to be overcome with exhaustion from resisting against the webbed contraption she’s stuck in and let’s out cries of exhaustion.

The idea for this theme began with a blast of acetone from the room of Odorama curator Frank's 11-year-old daughter. This chemical seems to have dragged her out of her candy-coloured childhood with totems like Megamindy and Elsa. Is this a thing: women empowerment through nail polish? It sounds strange, but there may be more to it. For this evening Frank invited several artists to discuss and explore smells in relation to feminism:  

Olga Middendorp and Nelke Mast

Olga Middendorp and Nelke Mast (Nelly Dansen) talk to Frank about BEFtival, a festival about celebrating female sexuality, pleasure and empowerment and breaking taboos surrounding these issues. Nelke's social experiment/art project "Smell me" that took place during BEFtival meant to shine a light on the normalization of vaginal discharge, which is often only either seen as something gross or as something to be fetishized. Vaginal smell, too, turns out to be a subject that is still too often kept quiet. But why? Can we break with the idea that smell is dirty once and for all? And how can art projects such as BEFtival help to push us in the right direction?

Lydia Schouten

Lydia Schouten (born 1948, NL) is an internationally known Dutch performance and video artist. Early in her career she criticized traditional female roles and the image of women as sex objects. More recently, her work addresses themes of loneliness, sex and violence. Her work has been exhibited internationally and she has held artist in residencies in several countries. 

Frank will talk to Lydia about Feminism from the 70s. Did scent actually play a role back then? What are the differences with contemporary feminism, and why is it still important after so many years to continue the fight? 


Collective of artists, queers & feminists in Amsterdam. On the basis of several remarkable female artists, including a penis-drawing medieval Jeanne de Montbaston, we are been taken through time while smelling. We end with the Piss Wife collective itself. They tell us about the zine they publish, and the extrovert 'in your face' feminism in which they fight against male supremacy, but also try to make the feminist movement more diverse and inclusive.  


Odorama 46: Feminism
November 18 from 20:00 till 22:30
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam

We are taking corona safety into account at our events. 

If this event gets cancelled because of government measurements, we will refund all purchased tickets.  

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