Dessine Moi un Arc-en-ciel – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

Dessine Moi un Arc-en-ciel
by Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos
Presented by The Institute for Art and Olfaction
October 6-21, 2016
Opening: October 8, 6-8pm


More information

esmerelda_250px“Dessine moi un arc-en-ciel” (“Draw me a rainbow”) is an olfactory installation by artist Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos that invites visitors to explore the concept of color beyond its visual dimension.

Much more than a simple visual attribute, colors carry in them a vast universe of symbols and mental associations acquired over time. Culture, religion, language along with personal sensory experiences and memories are all elements that affect our perception of ​them as concepts and allow us to give them meaning. Kosmatopoulos worked with visually impaired participants and perfumers to create ​a scent ​for each of the seven colors of the rainbow. Each participant focused on one color and, guided by the perfumer and the artist, engaged in an internal exploration of the color’s universe: imagining its texture, temperature, taste, smell; sharing key words and personal stories that were then used by the perfume expert to turn the words into odors.

The purpose of the project is not to create a universal smell of colors but to encourage viewers to engage in an internal travel in time and space through the odors that will revive olfactory memories – memories about childhood, travels, readings, dreams and loved ones… attached to their personal history – opening a dialogue freed from any visual limitation. Going through this immersive experience, the question remains: “What colors means to me?”

The piece was originally commissioned by the Museum Louis Braille and created with the support of the foundation Givaudan. Its title refers to the famous phrase repeated over and over by the little Prince in the book of Saint Exupéry, “please…draw me a sheep”. Like the narrator in the Little Prince, “Dessine moi un arc-en-ciel” proposes to put the colors inside “imaginary boxes”.

Please join us to celebrate the opening of the installation.

Opening Date: October 8, 2016
Time: 6-8pm
Location: The Institute for Art and Olfaction
932 Chung King Road, Los Angeles CA 90012

The installation will be on view through October 21




Esmeralda Kosmatopoulos is a multi-disciplinary conceptual artist working around language and identity.

Born in Greece, raised in Paris, she now lives and works in NY. Her work investigates the definition and construction of identities, personal memories, culture and collective histories in the post-Internet age. She places herself as a translator, building connections between past and present, physical and virtual and ultimately between one and another.

Her work was exhibited in galleries, institutions and public spaces in North America, Europe and Latin  America. Kosmatopoulos also worked alongside socially charged entities such as the Organization of American States (United States) and the Museum Louis Braille (France) to create large-scale installations that raise awareness on social issues.