2022 – HORTUS CONCLUSUS: I sing to you about flowers and colors and smells (CWB|P, Paris)

An olfactory installation at the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles | Paris.
From 10 to 19 June 2022.

‘I sing to you about flowers and colors and smells’ is an immersive multimedia installation by Brussels-based artist Anne Marie Maes. The installation is part of the long term research project ‘Bee Agency’. The soundscape is composed with field recordings made in the beehives of the artist and is mixed with electronics. The installation is working on all senses with a focus on smell.
‘The Smell of the Hive’ is a fragrance developed in collaboration with Guerlain Paris. Imagine the sensual smell of a beehive in summer, the unique scent of the superorganism: bubbling with activity, the warmth of many bodies crawling over each other. Delicate aromas of flowers, wax, propolis and honey.


‘I sing to you about flowers and colors and smells’
Perfume ‘The Smell of the Hive’

‘Since 2009, I am observing the behaviour of honey bees with non-intrusive technology and bio-technology. I see the bees as cyborgs, beings with both organic and biomechatronic body parts. Their bodies have a very strong relationship to technology, and at the same time a very strong relationship to the Earth. They also represent metamorphosis. They bring together the human and the non-human, the organic and the technological, freedom and structure, history and myth, nature and culture in unexpected ways.
Honey bees introduced me to complex new relationships with nature, suggesting new ways to coexist with other species and with the environment. They made me realise we should go beyond anthropocentrism. We should celebrate a new communion with the non-human and with the Earth. Cultivate a sense of kinship between species, between the organic and the inorganic, between the animate and the inanimate. They thaught me to reconnect our devided relation with nature and with our own bodies.’
This approach made emerge affinities between different artistic methods and practices, that in turn were creating new layers of meaning and generating new narratives that are built around forms of symbiosis, solidarity and sisterhood.’

‘I sing to you about flowers and colors and smells’ at the Centre Wallonie Bruxelles in Paris. June 2022.
réalisation: 2013-2022. Fieldrecordings of honey bees, electronic sounds, 8-channel customised audio material, lavender buds, bees wax, drawings on fabrics.
dimensions: container 2,27 x 2,10 x 2,05