21 May – 7 June 2014: Liz Henderson – Untitled Responses 2014

GALLERY 3:

Liz Henderson, Untitled Responses, installation detail, 2014

Liz Henderson, Untitled Responses, installation detail, 2014

Untitled Responses is the second part of a body of work in which Liz Henderson examines the linguistic gap between olfaction and language. In Untitled (Blindside, Melbourne, 2013) Henderson asked her audiences to describe a scent through a series of typewritten impressions. Untitled Responses seeks a more analytical rather than sensual approach; Henderson encourages her audience to decipher the relationship between the typed texts and the fragrance.

How the audience determines what the scent smells like from the myriad of responses highlights the futility of fragrance classification. The inability to reduce olfaction down to a universal classification system is evidence of olfaction’s subjective nature. Henderson seeks to determine whether or not the language of scent resides in the individual and supports Ludwig Wittgenstein’s early arguments regarding private language? A language, which makes perfect sense to the individuals within themselves but does not necessarily translate to others.