SPECULUM (Eden, Paradise and Hell)

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  • Condition Report

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, Madrid

  • Catalogue Essay

    A digital triptych inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, Speculum is a mirror of the present day. Always-on technology, ubiquitous branding, environmental collapse; SMACK call out contemporary ills using 3D animation and shrewd references to popular culture.

    Speculum comprises three panels — Eden, Paradise and Hell — and is the result of a three-year project initiated in 2016. As part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary, the Stedelijk Museum Breda (formerly the Museum of the Image / MOTI) commissioned SMACK to create an artwork after The Garden of Earthly Delights. The result was Paradise, based on the central panel of Bosch’s masterpiece.

    While lust takes centre stage in the original artwork, SMACK’s Paradise calls out the excesses of 21st-century society. Sex is ever-present, with rows of penis-horse riders circling mid-screen; branded packaging blights the landscape, while in the foreground a Gangnam Style dancer seeks thumbs up approval. This is a garden of superegos, where each self-obsessed character is locked inside their own loop.

    With support from ONKAOS, SMACK built on the success of Paradise to develop the side panels, Eden and Hell, completing Speculum in 2019.

    Eden is described by SMACK as “Silicon Valley inside out,” an oasis of pastel-coloured calm reminiscent of an amusement park about to open. Hell, meanwhile, is a projection of our deepest fears, where hashtags and surveillance cameras populate a landscape of everlasting tortures.

    Speculum forms part of the permanent holdings of Colección SOLO and is displayed at the collection’s private museum, Espacio SOLO, Madrid.

    Courtesy of ONKAOS. Supported by Colección SOLO.

  • Artist Bio

    SMACK

    Dutch

    SMACK is the award-winning trio of digital artists; Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels and Béla Zsigmond.

    Based in Breda, The Netherlands, the three studied together at the School of Fine Arts and Design (AKV) St. Joost and founded Studio Smack in 2005. Working with computer generated imagery and 3D animation, they produce films and digital art inspired by contemporary culture. Their work explores mass behaviour, surveillance, the pervasiveness of branding and personal identity in the information age.

    SMACK’s creations have received numerous awards. Their early work, KAPITAAL (2006), took first prize in three different festivals, including Amsterdam Film.

    Experience; PIMP MY PLANET (2010) was recognised at the Dutch Design Awards and European Design Awards; and WITCH DOCTOR, for the Dutch rock group De Staat, has received fifteen different prizes including Best Animation in a Video at the UK Music Video Awards 2016, an Edison Award for Best Music Video of the Year, and Best Music Video at Bogotá Short Film Festival.

    In 2016 Stedelijk Museum Breda (formerly the Museum of the Image / MOTI) commissioned SMACK to create a contemporary interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights as part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary. The outcome was Paradise. SMACK have since developed the side panels, Eden and Hell, to create the digital triptych, Speculum, part of the permanent holdings at Madrid-based art collection and private museum, Colección SOLO.

    Courtesy of ONKAOS. Supported by Colección SOLO.

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SMACK

SPECULUM (Eden, Paradise and Hell)

4k video loop triptych
dimensions variable; to be displayed on three 4K televisions
Executed in 2016-2018.

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HYSTERICAL Hosted by Gary Card

London Selling Exhibition 18 July - 21 August 2019