Aline's Orchard (Between scandal and Oblivion)

2018: Installation + Scent


"Drawing on archival research, oral history, and active imagination, Cassils uses sound and sensory suggestion to re-create the Barnsdall olive groves in total darkness as a once and future site of political radicalism and queer cruising.

Aline’s Orchard references the specific history of Barnsdall Park, which was created and donated to the city by the oil heiress, experimental theater director, notable eccentric, and single mother by choice Aline Barnsdall, who purchased Olive Hill in 1919 and turned it into a radical artistic enclave.

"The space is filled with the suggestive scents of aroused bodies, raw earth, and pheromones designed to activate a combined sense of fear and pleasure."

Julia Steinmetz


Live grasses and dried leaves contribute to this immersive environment, which is also permeated with a custom scent composed by a perfumer in collaboration with the artist.

We are transported to a moment in which Silver Lake is a bastion of communism commonly referred to as “red hill,” the Mattachine Society is being formed on the stone steps leading up an epic local hill, and sexual and artistic unions crossing lines of race and class are staged amid the olive trees. Aline’s Orchard conjures up the city’s erstwhile queer haunts: amid the rustling leaves of the olive trees and the quickened breathing of erotic anticipation, we might just brush up against queerness and feel the breath of futurity on our cheeks, an invitation to another world. ”

Text excerpted from the COLA 2018 Exhibition Catalogue