Left scroll footage:

Right scroll footage:


1. how old were you when you faced a metamorphosis of self?
scent: hibiscus. task: on the paper rub your age with petals from the dried and soaked hibiscus flowers.

2. how long was your hair when you faced a metamorphosis of self? did you change it after?
scent: turmeric. task: draw a line with the turmeric paste that simulates your hair on the paper.

3. what was the scene like where you faced a metamorphosis of self?
scent: red wine. task: paint an object from your setting anywhere on the paper. add italian seasoning for texture.

4. how many times have you faced a metamorphosis of self?
scent: windex. task: spray anywhere on the paper the amount of times that correspond to the times of change.

5. have you ever felt like your foundation cracked when you were experiencing a metamorphosis?
material: brick dust. task: draw vigorously on the paper so much so that it scratches/rips the surface.

6. what would you tell your past self on how to cope with a drastic change?
task: take an instant “selfie” and write what you would say near it.

7. who was the biggest catalyst for your change?
scent: chamomile. task: draw something that reminds you of her/him in chamomile tea.

8. did music/literature/art play a role in your change? how?
scent: matcha powder. task: drip water on the page and sprinkle matcha in the puddles. amidst this chaos, create order.

9. has a death or a birth catalysed one of your changes?
scent: espresso. task: paint your hand with espresso and make a handprint on the paper. if you haven’t been touched by a life or a death, then make your mark.

10. has religion/spirituality played a role in any metamorphosis?
scent: red chile. task: take chili paste and stamps and make a pattern/tessellation with them.

i pride myself on being able to determine whose article of clothing is whose based on the smell. i pay attention to a person’s specific fragrance that is mixed with detergent and her natural scents. my brother and i discuss the variations in the smells of sneeze. we feel like the only ones who know what it smells like, and equate it to the peeling bark of the eucalyptus trees on our street growing up. the smell of burnt beans mixed with recycled newsprint paper smell like deadline-­free responsibility. a smell where crossword puzzles were the only pressing thing to do. the empty square boxes screamed the occupation of a letter. in one crossword quest i came across a word: olfactory­ adj. of or related to the sense of smell.

intrigued by the power of smell, i seek evocative memories from fragrances and blends in my work. but this new work will address the question: can we smell change? dogs can sense it because their language capabilities are trumped by an acute sense of smell. they can smell when human blood pressure or glucose levels change. or how the barometric pressure in the environment changes. but as humans, we are always aware of when change comes about, but are we able to smell it? we can feel it coming; it sweeps across our hearts like a flutter. but do we know what it smells like? can we activate our sense of change like we activate our memories?

i plan to interact with viewers about their senses of change. what was the biggest evolution of self that they have faced? what sensory perceptions do they remember? can they pinpoint a smell?

there will be a jar with 10 pieces of paper in it. each piece of paper will contain a question, a task, and a corresponding scent from the list below:

windex, paprika, red chile, chamomile, matcha powder, hibiscus, italian seasoning, turmeric, espresso, red wine.

it will also include materials such as:

instant polaroids, brick dust, and miscellaneous markers/drawing tools.

i want the work to evolve and change with each participant. being on a scroll that will be pulled and stretched, it will be united by the questions asked, the scented materials used, and the tasks attributed to each question.

i ultimately want to create my own scent­—the scent of change.


sami giarratani // @samigiarra // @msgsart artist. teacher. creator.