Katherine Chan – Lee Miller – Lisa Kirk

KASSEL, 5 July — Trilby Minotaur has taken us up in some of dOCUMENTA (13)’s helicpoters and Milena Berman has taken us stomping through its muddy fields. Today perfumista Katherine Chan gives us the smell of dOCUMENTA (13) in her essay on perfume.

In 1945 fashion and war photographer Lee Miller had the opportunity to visit Hitler’s Berlin apartment where she famously took a bath in his tub. While there Miller also stole a bottle of perfume from the late Eva Braun. At dOCUMENTA (13) an exhibit shows Miller’s photographs, the perfume bottle, and Braun’s powder compact that Miller also took. In Byzantine artworld fashion, 2012 museum security guards would not allow Chan to take a photograph of the perfume bottle that Miller stole from Braun in 1945. Perhaps it’s for the best as it gives Chan the opportunity to let her mind roam across ideas of perfume and war and bring us to New York artist Lisa Kirk’s 2009 perfume project “Revolution.”

Mad Perfumista

The combination of art with politics is a subject that has always interested me. A few weeks ago, I traveled to Kassel, Germany to see the once-every-five year exhibition called dOCUMENTA 13. The artist and curator Arnold Bode created Documenta in 1955 as a means of addressing the recent trauma experienced in Europe, and looked towards the dialog between art objects as a form of healing and reconciliation. It’s no wonder then that in one of the first rooms I walked into at the exhibition, I saw a display of Lee Miller‘s photographs of Hitler’s Berlin apartment after the fall of Germany. The photos showed the Fuhrer had bad taste in interior design, but most famously Miller is photographed taking a bath in Hitler’s tub. In addition to the photograph, Miller took away with her a powder compact and a perfume bottle that belonged to Eva Braun, the mistress…

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Categories: dOCUMENTA

Author:Obveeus Lee

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