Perfume :: videoperfume

VideoPerfume and Perfume are related works, created separately, sometimes shown together. Each addresses the power of scent as a conduit to memory and the limitations of the more analytical sense of sight and reason.

JOey MOrgan, Perfume
Joey Morgan VideoPerfume

projected image, Perfume

announcemnent image for VideoPerfume

: The piece consists of a standing illuminated display case with 30 small glass works, a large background projection, and a small projection near the floor. Six of the glass pieces are inscribed with recipes for different Guerlain perfumes; each of the others seals a single ingredient (magnolia blossoms, pools of amber, vanilla stains) with various wax and varnish smears. A projection behind the case shows a double image, combining two views of pale winter gardens.

was first installed on the 31st floor of an office tower. The building's tenants filled most of the spaces, but the 31st floor was still unoccupied, without intermediary walls. The scale was disorienting with oversized windows offering a view of the busy downtown core and the harbour and mountains beyond.

Watching a video of a freight elevator the visitor heard the intimacy of the narrator's voice through headphones. I remember sitting at my mother's dressing table when I was a young girl..




(1985) independent site specific installation, 31st floor, Park Place office tower, Vancouver BC Canada,

(1986) Songs of Experience, National Gallery , Ottawa Canada,
curated by DIana Nemiroff and Jessica Bradley.

(1990) L'art d'Installation, Musee d'art Contemporain, Montréal QC Canada,
curated by Manon Blanchette (work acquired for permanent collection).

(2001) Great River Arts Institute, New Hampshire, director Cynthia Reeves

(2009) Heartland, Toronto International Art Fair, curated by Jeffrey Spalding


(2001) Great River Arts Institute, New Hampshire, director Cynthia Reeves

(2009) Wright House, Keene NH


I remember sitting at my mother's dressing table when I was a young girl. She had all the ususal paraphenalia - it seemed so exotic to me at the time. I'd spend hours pinning my hair back, clumsy with the heavy silver-handled hairbrush, anxiously trying on red lipsticks and cake mascara, rifling through her stockings and silk scarves.

And always lining the far side of the dressing table would be rows and rows of perfume bottles - she only actually used two or three - I remember the Lemon Verbana by Shelly Marks...

Cate Rimmer
, Capilano Review: (describing the installation at Park Place Tower Vancouver"...Instead of immaculate, tastefully decorated executive quarters, there were bare concerte floors and bare white walls. At one end of the island of elevators stood a video machine surrounded by chairs. Each chair was equipped with a set of headphones... In Morgan's recollections the perfume bottle becomes a symbol of three women's relationship. Entangled with memories of it were expressions of love, estrangement, disillusionment and loss... The air of intimate confession which encompasses the piece enabled Morgan to forge a bond between herself and the viewers...

...I looked then through the large blinded and unlinded windows that encircled the floor of Park Place. The entire city -- the copmmercial core, the North Shore, English Bay -- was visible. The cars and people below were so small as to be abstract, The isolation from the world one experienced while considering the scenes through the windows was an important element of the experience and the reason Morgan had chosen the site for her installation ..."