︎︎︎ The Garden of Earthly Delights: The book.
︎︎︎ Talks in the Garden: Umbráfono II.
︎︎︎ SPECULUM 10 Keys
SPECULUM 10 KEYS
Ton Meijdam, Thom Snels and Béla Zsigmond are SMACK, a design collective based in the Netherlands that uses technology and 3D animation to create figurative artworks to explore mass culture. Speculum is the piece responsible for closing the exhibition El jardín de las delicias: un recorrido a través de las obras de la colección SOLO. We invite you to discover more about this artwork:
The triptych Speculum is a contemporary video-art interpretation of Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. SMACK gets inspired by the 16th century triptych and turns it into a digitalized reinterpretacion brought to the present day .
Speculum is the result of a three-years project that took off in 2016. The Dutch Stedelijk Museum in Breda (now the Museum of the Image/MOTI) commissioned SMACK a work inspired by Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, on the occasion of the artist’s fifth century anniversary. The result was the central panel of the piece: Paradise. Later, and with the support of Colección SOLO, the team developed Eden and Hell, that completed Speculum in 2019.
The artpiece is a ruthless depiction of today’s society, as it was the goal of Bosch more than 500 years ago. Speculum seeks to be a mirror of contemporary reality and mass behavior. One of SMACK’s priorities has been to created recognizable characters to the viewers themselves, who are reflected in those that inhabit the work, producing a mirror effect.
The link of the Dutch collective with Bosch goes beyond Speculum, since the artist has always been a source of inspiration in their previous creative processes: «(Bosh) worked with symbols and reflecting society».
Paradise is the first panel created by SMACK: a space where lust takes the central stage. The characters represent temptation and excesses of the present day. Constant references to brands, consumerism and sexuality are present in this panel. The relationships with products, overexploitation or the way we relate with others in the 21st century have given place to many of the characters in this central panel.
The first panel according to the traditional lecture of Bosch’s Garden of the Earthly Delights is Eden. SMACK describes Eden as “Silicon Valley inside out”: an internet garden or an amusement park about to open. The gentle, calm characters and pastel-colored shades create an irreal sensation of a natural landscape.
Last panel is Hell, a projection of our fears: the space where sinners are punished. For SMACK, Hell is linked with the idea of morality, which changes according to the times. The visitor finds himself in a chaotic, crowded and violent environment, full of characters that represent the punishments that relate with the sin committed within the current morality .
Technology is present in the three panels and becomes the guiding thread of Speculum. The characters represent projections of the digital beings in which we have become, such as prisoners of the hashtag, characters inspired by social media fed with likes, etc.
SMACK scans the present day and the main characters that make up the current international society. Therefore, it is not surprising to discover from cartoons such as SpongeBob or Hello Kitty, to celebrities as the South Korean PSY dancing his Gangnam Style, Kanye West or Kim Kardashian as the 21st century Venus of Willendorf.
Speculum is an invitation to reconsider the present society through a fictionalized mirror. SMACK reflects social, political or ideological realities in this garden from an objective perspective that does not aim to make a critic but to leave open the interpretation of the viewer, who is in charge of making his own judgments.