Scotiabank Nuit Blanche

Off to a flying start curated by Ami Barak

l’air du temps, 2013

Suitable for all ages

With scent design by Tracy Pepe, Nose Knows Design and soundtrack by Clara Venice.

Thank you to PLAZA for their support.

l’air du temps, 2013

Faith La Rocque - Toronto, Canada


Inspired by artist Marcel Duchamp’s delicate readymade Air of Paris, this scent installation invites visitors on an olfactory journey to Paris in 1919 and references specific moments in the influential artist’s oeuvre and biography.

On December 27, 1919, Duchamp purchased a glass vial from a chemist located 'on the corner of rue Blomet and rue de Vaugirard' in Paris. He had the pharmacist empty the vial of its contents (medicinal elixir) and reseal it using a blowtorch so that it contained only air. Duchamp then labelled the flask Serum Physiologique and, on his return to the United States, presented the artwork to collector Walter Arensberg.

In l’air du temps, La Rocque creates a unique sensory environment by considering scent as a potent physical medium – though invisible and intangible – and explores qualities the air of Paris might have possessed in December 1919, post-WWI.

Was it solemn or victorious, fresh or polluted? Visitors are encouraged to use their noses to perceive the installation, calling upon their own memories and imagination to experience the artwork.

Faith La Rocque is a multidisciplinary artist who appropriates alternative health practices and products to investigate themes of belief, ritual and consumption in relation to the pursuit of health and “wellness.” La Rocque creates active installations that allow for critical awareness, sensory experience and physiological engagement.


2 Queen Street East (Enter from Yonge Street, north of Queen Street East)

This project is indoors.