This olfactory installation physically and poetically entangles us with the smell of soil near sites of gold extraction. Created in collaboration with Montreal-based perfumer and scent artist Dana El Masri, Spoil blends deep earth notes, terracotta, Puna herbs, gun powder, apricot pits and unripe peaches with the sharp smells of garlic blossoms and bitter almonds, resembling two of the most harmful by-products of gold mining operations: arsenic and cyanide.
Designed as luxury items, the ceramic scent bottles are built using clay from territories severely affected by Bajo la Alumbrera gold mine, in Catamarca, Argentina. Inspired by the rich and intricate forms of life that refuse capitalist socio-environmental degradation near the mine, this fragrant work foregrounds the colonial processes still at work in exploiting land and transforming it into commodities.
Graphic design: Mina Lee
This project was developed with the generous support of Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.