Oswaldo Macia

Oswaldo Macia

I worked on the Breakfast of Champions show at the Yinka Shonibare Space earlier this year (2009) and I met Oswaldo there.  His piece was a work called Algae Gardens and I admit that the first time I saw the piece it made me laugh…then it made me think.  One of the best things about being an invigilator is being able to experience works all by yourself with no one else around and to be able to revisit them.  That is a real luxury.  So there I was looking up at a new take on the chandelier shall we say, metal twisted into a spiral twisting around and around and there were also the tampons (brand new) which had been dipped in essential oils spinning around.   It made me laugh. This piece stayed in my mind- I love the fact that it incorporates the use of smell – the floor of that room in the gallery he also used crystals which when you stepped on them released perfume.  (If there are any artists out there interested in collaborating on this show whose  are works incorporate the use of smell please do contact us.)  Oswaldo said that this piece was about expectations  and undermining them, as you approached the piece you could smell the essential oils in the air and then there you were in a room with a spinning sculpture with the tampons twisting around on a slow carousel – and perhaps you thought of other things .  I thought this piece had a lot to say about the depiction of “feminine products” on our screens, you can now buy scented tampons and pads, feminine washes for that special area, it feels as if the subtext is about shame and the continued commodification of  the female.  Sometimes flying tampons are a good thing. Discuss.


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