Lauryn Mannigel, born (*1983) and raised in former East Germany, works as an artist-researcher and curator. Since 2015, she is based in Berlin, but has also worked and studied abroad in a number of countries (France, Canada, Netherlands, Great Britain) over an 11-year period. Lauryn holds an M.A in Contemporary Art and New Media from Université Paris 8 (2009).
Lauryn’s artistic practice is both experimental and interdisciplinary. Since 2005, she has been mainly interested in tackling the issue of the Western cultural dominance of visual aesthetics and epistemology by exploring primarily non-visual modalities and perception. Inspired by narratives of empowerment and resistance, she has previously examined the influence of the physical and socio-cultural dynamics of space on body perception through site-specific interventions (e.g. Occupation Sonore, 2007) and tactile-sound installations (e.g. Internal Earthquake, 2014).
Lauryn initiated the nomadic meeting spaces Think Tank (2007-8) and the Think & Action Tank (2014-15) to foster informal discussions on diverse creative research processes and presentation formats. Since 2016, she has curated the Sensory Culture Club reading group, which tackles aspects concerning the role of society and culture of the historically repressed sense of smell, touch and taste. In 2018-19, she co-supervised a Master of Science thesis project on consumer science of body odour in food at Wageningen University (NL).
Since 2016, Lauryn has been investigating the politics of body scent by unveiling feelings and assumptions that people have pertaining to experiences of others’ smell and body odour. Lauryn creates performance-based experiments combined with interdisciplinary surveys. From a feminist perspective, she critically draws from laboratory practices of human olfactory (smell) perception in psychology and neuroscience. In this line of work, she recently presented her projects Love Sweat Love (2016), Eat Me (2018), and Smell Feel Match (2019). In addition, she showed the first results of her research into people’s felt perception towards others’ body scents at the interdisciplinary Human Olfaction Conference (2017).
During the bangaloREsidency, Lauryn will collaborate with the Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology. There, she will begin to explore ideas related to processes of “othering” by investigating people’s perceptions about body scents. As a starting point, she will examine “othering” as a form of social exclusion based on the premise that a person or group is perceived as "different", and therefore not considered as part of one's own social group. Through research and discussions on postcolonial narratives of “othering” with Indians and the Indian diaspora, Lauryn will design artistic experiments, in which participants can investigate their own olfactory judgment of others’ body scents. Most importantly, she seeks to engage in an open-minded discussion on the perception of body scent, which she intends to maintain past the residency period.