Foul, Fragrant and Filthy

Odorama 25 - with Cris Neill, Lotte Geeven, Yeb Wiersma, Marjolijn Boterenbrood, Frank Bloem, Sanne Groeneveld

24 mei 2018

It is clear that sweet, soft and pleasant fragrances are more attractive than foul and pungent odours. But how come we detest smelly feet and love stinky cheese? During Odorama we'll explore everything that reaches the nose, including terribly bad smells. Inhale your supressed fears and longings, meet the skunk living in the Amsterdam Zoo through your nose, taste the most fantastic stinky cheeses and learn why farts are so much more than clouds of smelly gas. Is stench in the nose of the beholder or shall we just make a run for it? We dare you to come and join us.

Odorama is a collaboration between Mediamatic and Caro Verbeek. This edition is curated by Caro Verbeek and co-curated by Sanne Groeneveld and Frank Bloem.

Frank Bloem will moderate this evening. 

Tickets / Facebook


People during Odorama: Foul, Fragrant and Filthy - Giulia Menicucci

The nose of the Beholder

The world has witnessed a renaissance of olfactory culture, studied and nurtured by artists, designers and academics. Stench however – as the least favored manifestation of everything smellable – is still mostly ignored. Yet it has inspired renowned writers such as James Joyce and Marquis de Sade. ‘The Perfume’ by Patrick Süskind is even based on the social dichotomy of the foul and fragrant. During this edition, different artists, academics and other experts dive into the smelly business of scent-culture. To what extent is the experience of stench a natural disposition, or is disgust mainly culturally constructed?

Marjolijn Boterenbrood

In her work, artist and researcher Marjolijn Boterenbrood often uses touch and smell as a primary means to discover a landscape. During this Odorama, she presents a collection of stories on a certain space.

Cris Neill

Of all literary modernists, James Joyce is most conspicuously associated with malodour. Many commentaries point towards Joyce's Paraphilia, in explaining his excessive attention to smells. During his talk, Cris Neill comments on the fact that Joyce's visual impairment was involved as well. Particular emphasis will be given to Joyce’s infamous scatological correspondence of 1909.

Yeb Wiersma and Lotte Geeven

Visual artists Yeb Wiersma and Lotte Geeven invited 100 people living in a specific neighbourhood in Ghent to take part in the making of an essence. This resulted in the creation of ‘Diffusion, Essence de Rabot’. 

The Skunk of the Amsterdam Zoo

Of all creatures, the Skunk is most infamous for his foul odor. For this edition of Odorama, Frank Bloem and Sanne Groeneveld visited the Skunks of Artis. Experience their report with all your senses during this edition of Odorama. 


Odorama: Foul, Fragrant and Filthy
Thursday 24 May
Program starts at 20:30
Mediamatic Biotoop, Dijksgracht 6, Amsterdam
Tickets: €7,50 pre-sale | €5 students (excl. Administration fee) | €10 at the door.