Comme des Garçons have announced a new fragrance, Comme des Garçons, set to launch mid November. Constructed linearly, the fragrance opens with the man made organic composites of aldehydes and safraleine, opening up with hawthorns and derivations of lilac, before exploding in a riot of flower oxides, then finally succumbing to notes of industrial glue and brown scotch tape with hints of musk and stryax. Purposefully taking a bottle that has been disqualified from existence and purposefully giving it its right to exist.

To mark the release, the Trading Museum presents Katerina Jebb‘s most recent artwork in collaboration with Comme des Garcons, which is expertly analysed and unveiled in text by Ariella Wolens & Spencer Noble:

“We Can Find Beautiful Things Without Consciousness materializes from
Jebb’s recent video series, Simulacrum and Hyperbole. In this work,
Jebb sees the boundaries between actuality and satire confused and
disrupted. In creating an imaginary TV channel Lucid TV, the viewer is
offered parody endorsements such as Tilda Swinton’s Hot Dollar, where
actresses sell themselves with feeble sincerity. In Mind and Soul
Control we are reassured, “It’s not you that’s the problem, it’s your
life.” The artist grasps the medium of television advertising and
feeds it back in to itself within the context of reality.

This is heightened in the case of We Can Find Beautiful Things Without
Consciousness, for what is displayed is an actual perfume created by
Comme des Garcons. The result is an indicative exploitation of the
crisis of identity, awareness, and authenticity that surrounds the
complex layer cake of psychological interplay underpinning commercial
advertising.

The path the artist takes us down is a precarious one. It is scattered
with truths that may turn out to be innuendos, literal crudeness
disguised as innocence. For instance, a sprightly terrier bounces down
a Paris street, as we enjoy his buoyancy the camera cuts to a frame
that shows the dog has only 3 legs, with the assertion, “We go out on
a limb”. Often in Jebb’s work, the realisation of numerous
incongruities creates a tension within the line of humour. The work is
a declaration of lavish juxtapositions: silver with black, ominous
serenity with thrashing brutality, high polish aesthetic beauty with
shallow motives. This tension is enhanced by the inappropriateness of
the subject and our instinct for self restraint, creating an impulse
to laugh, in accordance with Freudian theory.
Jebb’s idiomatic vision of the perfume bottle, a translucent globular
form, is permeated by the white light of the scanner. The sequential
process of the scanner’s flow is harmonious with the tripartitions of
the advert. Just as the light emanates to meet the wall of the perfume
bottle with fluctuating intensity, the hyperbole of Jebb’s mantras
oscillate, further blurring the distinction between farce and
sincerity.

Further on we see Jebb’s work displayed within a vitrine reminiscent of a woman’s
toilette table. Here, the real Comme des Garcons perfume stands as a
valid soldier amongst satires, such as Talk of the Town, Tender
Stalking and Art and Fashion. Once again the viewer is invited to
enjoy the absurdity of bombastic statements being used to describe the
nature of a scent.

With the work, the viewer may be forced to question the way they are
personally affected by such endorsements. The location of the work
within a boutique makes this matter even more uncomfortable, for the
artwork is surrounded by desirable objects. The troubling matter may
not be that we continue to fulfill the desire to attain but that the
culture of fashion increasingly exacerbates the way people identify
their worth. Within this realm of beauty and confusion, Jebb with the
patronage of Comme des Garcons looks to disrupt the protocol and offer
us something more thought provoking and abnormal, so we may engage
with that which we consume.”

Ariella Wolens & Spencer Noble, 2011

Photo: HighSnobiety