This week on Art Uncovered, artist and curator Rachael Morrison. Rachael works as a librarian at the Museum of Modern Art, and right now she’s got two ongoing projects that draw from the Museum’s collection. The first is an exhibition called Millennium Magazines that looks at the ways artists and designers are using the form of magazines, newspapers and zines to make innovative work in print. The show features publications from all over the world covering topics from food to architecture and includes New York based publications like Cabinet, Esopus and Showpaper.
Rachael’s second MoMA-related project combines her work at the museum library with her fascination with the sense of smell. Her project Smelling the Books is an ongoing performance where Rachael smells every book in the MoMA library collection. She began with the first book in the Library of Congress Classification system, and has smelled about 300 books so far. She’s been cataloging each book’s smell in notebooks and pie charts. So far dust, glue and smoke are among the most common odors. Rachael is interested in the subjectivity of smell and how we attempt to describe different scents. When she learned that scientists cannot agree on an official system to classify smells she got started on another scent-based project, this one is called The Sound of Smell. It’s an interactive installation that asks users to correlate sounds with a rage of different scents.
If all this weren’t enough, Rachael is also in the beginning stages of a documentary film about a famous telephone hacker, and has a piece up in the show Knickerbocker Mini Maw, on view now at Storefront Bushwick.
I sat down with Rachael at her apartment in Brooklyn to talk about smells, phone hacking and ice harvesting, which, according to Rachael’s findings, was apparently a big deal in Bushwick in the late 19th century.
[vimeo] http://vimeo.com/38333333 [/vimeo]
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