Copyright Clara Ursitti

The Smell of Fear

Solo show at Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland 1996. Four scent dispensers with motion sensors, pink spotlights, video projection.

In a biography on Judy Garland, Anne Edwards describes how as a direct result of her addiction to diet and sleeping pills, Judy Garland suffered from extreme body odour. Her frequent costume changes were a necessity because she would sweat so profusely on stage. To try and mask the odour, she would use copious amounts of Joy perfume, and later in her life, Tweed.

Upper Gallery: The installation paired a synthetic recreation of what we thought ( myself and biochemist Dr. Dodd ) her body odour would smell like through taking the drugs, along with one of the perfumes. As the audience walked past the dispensers, which might be mistaken for speakers, they activated the smell - very much like walking next to a person reeking of perfume or body odour. Faint singing could be heard from the basement.

Basement: A video projection of Judy Garland performing live at the London Palladium just before her death. She is dressed in a tramp costume, and sings the song which she became famous for as a child, Over the Rainbow. She is unrecognisable in the costume, in this cross-gender performance, and cries at the finale, leaving the stage. It is difficult to ascertain if she is acting.