Marie Dumont and Pamela Roberts, L’Artisan Parfumeur
Tate Gallery, London
Olivia Giacobetti, one of the most important scent artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, created “Dzing!” in 1999, and the work is an excellent example of the Minimalist style in the medium of scent.
Many people think of Minimalism as a rejection of decoration, an embrace of simplicity. This is wrong. Minimalism sought to show off the materials themselves—the wood, stone, musical tones in their purest state. It means minimal interference with the materials in the work. The lack of ornament was simply a side-effect.
Every art medium—sculpture, music, scent—can do things others can’t, but each also has limits others don’t. Carl Andre’s minimalist sculpture “Equivalent VIII” (1966) exists in the medium of stone, and it forces the viewer to experience both the feel and look of the stone. Giacobetti’s “Dzing!”, in the medium of scent, is slightly more complex than Andre’s. It takes a deep, rich scent concept and lays it in front of us, utterly free of decoration or design or adornment. In the pure beauty of the experience of the concept, Giacobetti focuses us on a pure idea that floats invisible yet palpable as any stone.