The scented booklet Sightless Seeing #5: Jan Hessels 1989 was developed in a time when physical touch has become problematic. Scent, however, is still embracing and invading bodies unhindered. During her research in the archive of the Theatre Institute at the Allard Pierson Collections, Sarah van Lamsweerde found a modest amount of information about her former dance teacher, Jan Hessels, who died in 1993 of AIDS. The booklet is an attempt to recapture his scent and to give Jan Hessels a distinct and multi-sensorial place in the archive.

In her effort to guide perfumer Liza Witte, Sarah tries to express Jan’s scent in words. In letters, she describes his smell and Liza sends odors and smell-instructions in return. The conversation is transported to the scented tear-off strips in the small booklet. When these strips are burned after reading, the scent is released into the air. “Burn after reading to remember, not to forget.”

Edition: 50
24 Pages, 55x81 mm
Printed by Drukkerij Raddraaier
SSP, Amsterdam
Published by Suns and Stars
Amsterdam, 2020

Concept and text: Sarah van Lamsweerde
Scent research, fragrance design, and text: Liza Witte
Graphic design and editing: Anastasija Pandilovska
Sightless Seeing #5: Jan Hessels 1989 is commisioned by Suns and Stars in the frame of the project Collective Domain of Cultural Memory. In cooperation with Allard Pierson Collections.

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