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Anosmia (detail), 2012 Multisensory Installations, Plexiglas, Glass, Fans, Olfactory Capsules, Cables, Sensor 400 X 140 X 25cm © Courtesy of the artist & Natasha Akhmerova’s Barbarian Art Gallery

Promenadengasse 19
8001 Zurich
January 25th, 2013 - February 23rd, 2013
Opening: January 25th, 2013 6:30 PM - 9:30 PM

+41 44 280 45 45
Wed-Thu 12-5 or by appointment


Natasha Akhmerova and the Barbarian Art Gallery are pleased to present for the first time in Switzerland, the work by the young Italian artist Tamara Repetto. Under the title ANOSMIA the artist exhibits the eponymous multi sensory installation already presented last year in Venice at Ca Zenobio as well as in Rome during the final show of the Talent Prize. Together with Anosmia, Repetto will showcase for the first time ever the FRATTALI, her latest series of drawings, through which the artist aims to illustrate the beauty of nature.

"A state of transparency, reporting rarefied mixed smells that permeate the observer's nostrils as well as a jingle which begins only when the viewer activates through its passage the sensors. The perception of the sinuous work by Tamara Repetto begins with these almost synesthetic and total signals. Anosmia is an installation of plexiglass tubes, each containing a cascade of glass rods that are driven by a motorised thrust, shaking the olfactory capsules. The vibrant fans are like "informers of the soul", impulses that drive the regions of the mind beyond the tautology of “what you see is what you get”, thereby beyond reality itself." With these words, art critic and curator Martina Cavallarin describes Repetto's installation, shown among Cavallarin’s group exhibition Undici Allunaggi Possibili at Ca Zenobio in Venice.

For years Repetto has been creating synesthetic works, which directly stimulate the senses and the perception of the public. As the artist explains, "before being thinking substance, we humans are sensitive beings." In the case of Anosmia, Tamara Repetto focuses her attention towards the sense which is less developed by humans: the sense of smell. Through her creative act the artist has the ambition of raising the awareness of the observer in relation to this sense, which is - according to her - the privileged sensory pathway for well-being.

Smell of cut grass, moss and flowers - emanating these kind of fragrances Anosmia reveals itself as a true homage to Nature through technology. The same feeling for Nature is depicted by Repetto in the Frattali, drawings that evoke abstract structures, apparently irregular, yet charming, elegant, harmonious and sensual. The Fractal is a geometric figure, which repeats its identical motif in several directions and on different scales, through equations, functions and recursive algorithms. Most of the forms found in Nature, such as trees, clouds, ferns, cauliflowers, lightning flashes, mountains, rocks and shorelines, cannot be described by the conventional geometry. Following these considerations Mandelbrot developed “The Fractal Geometry of Nature” (1982) coining the term fractal in allusion to the Latin word fractus, which means fragmented, irregular. 

"I have approached the fractal theory with the purpose of interpreting and filtering it, according to my sensibility, in order to create visions in which a poetic, evocative and rarefied geometry suggests, narrates and describes the mystery of nature. Nature has always been a fundamental category of the western thought and, today, it achieves a urgent topicality in the contemporary reflection. Natural calamities, relation nature/culture, the future of environment, the limits of bio-ethic legislation… there is no way of considering nature less than the main protagonist of contemporary culture. Therefore I need to narrate it in its most hidden and deep expressions."

Hence, through Anosmia and the Frattali, the artist not only alludes to the enchantment of Nature. Re-proposing smells and shapes associated to Nature, she indirectly encourages the audience to meditate on universal issues related with the contemporary world.

Tamara Repetto (*1973 Genoa, lives and works in Voltaggio, Italy) has studied at the Art Institute Jona Ottolenghi in Acqui Terme as well at the Art School Castello Sforzesco in Milan. Worth mentioning are her most recent exhibitions in 2012: the Talent Prize at Macro Pelanda Rome, Undici Allunaggi Possibili in Ca Zenobio Venice and Volta NY in New York. Tamara Repetto works with different media, with multi sensorial installation (light, sound, and smell) as well as with sculpture, drawing and performance. Her works find space in prestigious private and public collections, as at the Castello di Rivara (Turin), the Museum of Alessandria  and the Museum of Lights in Casale Monferrato.    
Alessandra Ruggieri De Micheli