General Entry - Emerging Talent Awards
Project info

The project 'New Fragrance' began a few years ago when I developed a curiosity about the perfume adverts that seemed to pop up from every magazine, regardless of language or origin. With a sizable archive in place, the project started to take shape when I realized the potential of the image itself, as opposed to the construct of advertising in general.

The written inserts from the back of the magazine adverts are meant to further reveal the authenticity of the photography as object. What we are seeing is a page from a magazine, one that carries a message which could be interpreted in a variety of ways. The project is underlined by a constant opposition of terms, an improbable dada-like association of images and words, turning the page on advertising in a very literal way.

In questioning what is the element of desire in perfume advertising (the life-style, the subtle implications of appealing fragrance or even the bottle itself) the project is addressing the measure in which such appeal is our own and how much an artificially induced marketing scheme. If one can consider purchasing the idea of betterment suggested by a perfume bottle, how wild and unlikely would it be to replace that object of desire with a toy-tractor? These toys are to be understood as the stereotype masthead of a boyish childhood, a concept amongst the furthest removed from the idea of sex-appeal and desire typically associated with the perfume industry. Who is setting the rules and why shouldn’t these settings be challenged?

'New Fragrance' is raising serious issues in a sometimes funny and provocative way, not unlike advertising itself. The toys are photographed covered in a dew-like spray to increase product-appeal. They have been purchased over a period of more than three years in charity shops in the United Kingdom (equivalent of thrift stores in the United States) and later donated for re-sale to further incriminate the egocentrical hunt for 'need' advertising is based on.