(2011) Livro de Cheiros / Smell Book
by Josely Carvalho
Book of Smells is the result of my involvement with a community of descendents of runway slaves. After visiting, eating, smelling and spending time with them, I realized that the knowledge of medicinal herbs used by their ancestors and healers was disappearing with the younger generations. The installation Book of Smells consists of an archival changing book/object where medicinal plants were squeezed between its pages. A series of 18 inkjet photographs documented the changes occurred in the herbs during the 3 months residence. Most of the herbs dried but some grew again as a result of the humidity of the area. The book-object, placed inside a cabinet file drawer emanated a combination of changing in time herbal smells. Part of the concept of Book of Smells is to build an herbal garden open for town use in the residence space.