December 29, 2014

Experiencing celebrities’ dying moments with smells

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 1:02 pm

Famous deaths

Late November’s opening of the temporary exhibition ‘Sense of Smell’ of the Avans Hogeschool in Breda, a research project entitled ‘Famous Deaths’ featured a metal morgue-like box with the smells depicting the last five minutes of four famous people: Whitney Houston, Princess Diana, Muammar Gaddafi and John F. Kennedy.

“Those wanting to experience Houston’s final moments are transported to a bathtub at the upmarket Beverly Hills hotel where the diva died in February 2012. To the sounds of splashing water and Houston’s voice, a visitor first gets a whiff of generic cleaner, used in hotels around the world, followed by the olive oil the singer used in her tub. Then a strong chemical odour, similar to that of cocaine fills the box, grabbing its occupant by the throat, followed by the sound of rushing water and then silence.”

The metal boxes were completely dark inside and rigged with pipes leading to bottles containing pressurised smells. A soundtrack is played and on queue different scents are released into the box to recreate a specific final moment.

Avans mentioned that other institutions showed interest in the installation, so who knows what dead person we may have the chance to smell in 2015.


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April 3, 2009

Traditional herring feast endangered

Filed under: Food & Drink,General by Branko Collin @ 12:20 pm

Lack of sponsors may cause the Vlaggetjesdag (Flag Day) festivities of Scheveningen to be cancelled this year, or to be shortened to an actual day, reports Algemeen Dagblad (Dutch). On Vlaggetjesdag the coming home of the herring fleet is celebrated in Scheveningen. Organiser Arie Kleijn is uncertain whether he can raise the half million euro the 62nd edition of the event would cost. Pledges usually come in at the start of the year, but this year he’s got nothing.

The commenters at Algemeen Dagblad seem to be happy with the disappearance of Vlaggetjesdag. They question its scale (small), the quality of its entertainment (second rate celebrities) and its cost (half a million for a few stalls?). They also reminisce about the old Vlaggetjesdag, when rather than receiving the fleet, the day was meant to celebrate the departure of hundreds of luggers adorned with many flags. Despite the critical attitude of the vocal readers of Algemeen Dagblad, Vlaggetjesdag rose from 62nd to 29th most popular national event last year, and brought 250,000 visitors to the village wedged in between The Hague and the North Sea.

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