Smell of Fear

Smell of Fear

Dried cow and chicken blood, tobacco in a glass tube on a metal handler
15 x 7 cm

A work from group exhibition ”The Bambi Project“.

”The bleeding has stopped,“ said the old stag, ”the blood stopped flowing from your wound. It isn’t emptying your veins now. And it can’t betray you anymore either. It can’t show Him and His dog where to find you and kill you.“ (Salten, p. 195)

Rūta Spelskytė’s set of works can be perceived as a curious laboratory full of mystical potions and geological objects. The artist researched several elements connected with Salten’s book, like the author’s cultural origins and hunting traditions, but her main interest became the alchemy of the blood. Although having had experience with biology and chemistry before, she has never used blood as a component for her experiments. The chapter in the book with bleeding Bambi going in circles to hide the traces and push himself to survive inspired Spelskytė to take this topic up and look closer.

In the result she created — ”Bloodstone“ (shamanistic instrument against bleeding), ”Soul“ (example of animals blood as the place according to Jews where the soul resides), ”Head Glove“ (copy of deer skull from layered latex), ”Smell of Fear“ (danger repellent mixture, used to repel deer from brushing young trees), ”Tobacco Leaves“ (leaves hung to dry), ”Milkweed Milk“ (poisonous liquid from the Asclepias plant used by hunters to make the injured deer bleed out).