Oswaldo Maciá

COL (1960). Lives and works in London.

Anestesia, 2014
Acoustic / olfactory installation, various media. Image: Sketch, ink on paper, 42 x 29,7 cm
Produced by BIACI

Oswaldo Maciá’s Anestesia is an acoustic/olfactory sculpture that presents us with an examination of the etymology of the word aesthetic. With this piece, produced for #1 Cartagena, Maciá further develops his ideas regarding the urgency of reflecting on the limits of insensitivity and anesthesia that we experience in our everyday reality. For Maciá, this research is an expanded re-reading of the concepts of anesthesia and aesthetics, emphasizing the difference that exist between the two that are accepted as valid. At the same time he questions the place where the boundaries of sensorial indifference are drawn. In this acoustic/olfactory installation the viewer experiences a series of sound textures that are based on the way bees communicate, through vibrations, while the olfactory element is made up of certain notes related to the concepts of anesthesia and aesthetics.

Since its origins, the term aesthetic has been reduced to a single sense—our sense of vision. It is derived from the Greek aisthetikê (sensation, perception) and aisthesis
(sensitivity, perception via the senses). It was later appropriated by the German philosopher Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten to define the science of the beautiful. At the same time, the etymology of the word anesthesia— from the Greek anaisthesia, for lack of sensitivity—presents itself as the opposite of what this sculpture proposes: the absence of feeling as a great human weakness.