Mayra Sérgio

Impossible Records


Through our lives we constantly register the events and people we encounter. We take photographs, we write diaries, transforming lived experiences into 2D records for a future self. But how do our bodies record and remember things?

Smell is an especially strong trigger that can call up powerful responses almost instantaneously. It contains the paradox of it being fleeting and short lived but somehow staying deeply embedded in our bodies. Is it possible to force the transient smell into a memento? What does the act of trying to retain the ephemeral mean?

I researched on silk screening with spices. The resulting prints are vibrant and their scent very strong. Silkscreened on paper, the spices organically generate new landscapes, rich in flavour and culture. Nonetheless quite quickly their colour fades away and their smell disappears. The pursued qualities evaporate, once again, dissolving into time.

As an ambivalent solution to my quest it seems that the only way to keep those qualities is to make it impossible to experience by vacuum sealing the prints in a plastic bag. I place a scissor and leave the decision to the spectator: to preserve it or to experience it.