August 14 - October 2, 2021
“Scratch and Sniff is an ongoing series of interactive print works by Katherine Rhodes Fields.
Scratch and Sniff follow a direction Fields started with her series Finger-Lickin’ Good, in which she used chicken fat as a print medium. The chicken fat resulted in transparency in the paper allowing the viewer to see the images (1970’s nude centerfold) printed on the other side. The chicken fat, once recognized, resulted in many viewers’ approach to the work with not just their eyes but their nose as well. From these observations, Fields generated the ideas for Scratch and Sniff, which would intensify the moment of synesthesia, the stimulation of one sense that leads to a reflexive experience with or stimulation of a second sense, for the viewers.
With Scratch & Sniff, I attempt a new postmodern approach to parody through pastiche reflecting an engendered narrative. I incorporate nude female images from late 20th-century “men’s” magazines merged within backgrounds (photographs taken by the artist) loaded with satiric innuendo and a corresponding scent that provides a synthetic experience for the spectator since the images and smells are not “real.” On both a physical and conceptual level, my capitalization of sight and smell entices the viewers’ notion that they, too, are now an object of exploitation. Art that smells goods and allows viewers to smell them and touch them pushes the boundaries of established protocols with Art.
The symbols (so to speak) used in the pastiche extend to more self-reflexive, self-conscious metaphors. That as the maker of this Art, I am a woman, charged with intellect and the vernacular, who finds herself perceived as an object, and coping with this fact, with a keen sense of humor, lays bare the “unspeakable.” I point the finger at a collective sexual history (baggage) and the power of perception within cultural iconography while parodically positioning both in such a way as to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert their apparent significance.
On View: August 14, 2021 | 1–5 pm
6700 Harrisburg Blvd.
Houston, 77001 TXGet directions