The video Variation Games is a culmination of the observations carried out between 2017 and 2018 on the community behavior of bees. The images and sound, recorded with an infrared camera and a microphone installed inside the hive, reveal the democratic organization bees adhere to in the building of their nest. As an invitation to a poetic journey, the moving images place viewers on the same scale as the insects, awarding them an advantageous point of observation.
The second video, A Bee is a Bee is a Bee, is an account of the eponymous performance carried out by the artist at the Palais de Tokyo in 2022.
Throughout the video-performance, the smell of beeswax and honey are very present thanks to the samples of Bee perfumes located near the video projection and triggered at certain key moments. The first one, ‘The Smell of the Hive’, is a researched perfume whose ingredients were collected and distilled by Maes herself, while the second, ‘Bee Tokyo 9 et Bee Love 2C’, was created according to the Guerlain brand’s traditional methods.
Left: Bee Tokyo 9 et Bee Love 2C, 2022. Created by Guerlain Paris for the perormance ‘a Bee is a Bee is a Bee’ – Object with perfume: Metal, glass, essential oils
Right: the Smell of the Hive, 2019. Research project by Anne Marie Maes.
Object with perfume – metal, glass, pollen, nectar, wax, propolis, honeybees
In the ‘Bee Space’s black box’ the video ‘Variation Games’ is answered by a video of the eponymous performance ‘a Bee is a Bee is a Bee’ carried out by the artist at the Palais de Tokyo in 2022. Over a background of buzzing recorded in a hive, performers dressed in white reproduce the bees’ social structure.
‘La fragrance sensuelle d’une ruche d’abeilles en été, le parfum unique du superorganisme : bouillonnant d’activité, la chaleur de nombreux corps rampant les uns sur les autres. Notes délicates de cire, de fleurs, de propolis et de miel.’
research at Open BioLab Brussel – 2019
update Perfume Creation in collaboration with Guerlain Paris, for the performance ‘a Bee is a Bee’ at the Palais de Tokyo – 2022