Sissel Tolaas: RE_________, 2022, at ICA Philadelphia
First major US exhibition of work by interdisciplinary Norwegian-born artist Sissel Tolaas opens at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania on September 16.
This exhibition is organized by Astrup Fearnley Museet in Oslo and curated by Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director and Chief Curator. The presentation in Philadelphia has been specially configured for the ICA, and is organized with Zoë Ryan, Daniel W. Dietrich, II Director.
Over the course of the past 25 years, Tolaas has developed an artistic and scientific practice using smell as her primary medium, composing provocative smells to activate memory, recreate place and time, capture seasonality and arouse emotional and intellectual responses. The exhibition Sissel Tolaas: RE________, exemplifies the breadth of this complex yet highly researched, direct and intuitive practice. Opening on September 16, RE________ is on view at ICA Philadelphia through December 30, 2022.
The exhibition is comprised of 20 works that use smell to consider a broad range of pressing issues, including climate change, evolution, geopolitics and anthropology. Tolaas rethinks, reconstructs, revisits, and reacts to these issues in her practice through her intangible, but highly sensory medium. Between each “situation,” or project throughout the exhibition, Tolaas encourages visitors to reflect on their body and the air they breathe, focus on new impressions and revisit old ones. Recognizing that smell as a sense has the greatest capacity to instantly evoke memory and emotion, Tolaas’s work powerfully explores the concept of experience, of the unknown and even the (un)pleasantly familiar.
Sissel Tolaas was born in Stavanger, southwest Norway, and lives and works in Berlin. Her projects have been presented internationally, including at the Venice Biennale; the Gwangju Biennale; the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Victoria in Australia; and Tate Modern in London.
Support for Sissel Tolaas: RE________ has been provided by The Inchworm Fund, the Office for Contemporary Art Norway (OCA), the Royal Norwegian Consulate General in New York, International Flavors & Fragrances Inc., and Kvadrat Inc.
The exhibition presentation at Astrup Fearnley Museet is generously supported by the Foundation Thomas Fearnley, Heddy and Nils Astrup, The Foundation Hans Rasmus Astrup, EGD Holding, and The Thief.
Additional support has been provided by Nancy & Leonard Amoroso, Cecile & Christopher D’Amelio, Carol & John Finley, Norma & Lawrence Reichlin, Meredith & Bryan Verona, and Caroline & Daniel Werther.