Susana Cámara Leret

An Organoleptic Anarchive of NHS
02.2017 — On-going

Dep. of Clinical Neurosciences (DCN) Fellowship — NHS Arts & Therapeutic Design programme, Edinburgh (UK)



Blood flows inside bodies, between bodies, in all that is visible. When brain vessels become tangled, forming arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), embolisation procedures are performed by radiologists to block off blood’s movement, filling vessels with a glue-like substance, containing the rare metal tantalum. If knots hold form in place and, when untied, the threads retain a memory from a previous shape, what memory will remain from the eloquence of blood?

They say that to present that which is unlimited, perhaps a minimum of architecture is needed; an art of lines, walls, borders. Some molecules like DMSO, the carrier substance used in AVM embolisation, do not respect the borders of anatomy. Transcending the apparent impermeability of plastic gloves and human skin, it passes into the human body altering the taste in radiologists’ mouths, as well as their patients’ breath. Breath, like smell molecules, is unseen and has to be described symbolically; what does it smell of? As sweet as corn, like corpse flowers, of decay....

Living things rendered lifeless turn into objects. Sebum in sweat provides the human body a certain degree of impermeability as fat-coated hair floats in water. Humans have denser aggregations of sebaceous glands than almost any other species of mammals. Having lost the majority of hair, they represent the ‘living fossils’ of the hairless ape. Overly active in Parkinson’s Disease, they weigh down on the lighter compounds that compose individual body smell. To distill something’s spirit, parts of it must be left behind, it is necessary to forget. In the end, what gives?

2010 — 2019