Mass behaviour, violence and our perception of ourselves are put under a kind of microscope in Tribe, the latest project by the Dutch art collective SMACK, presented for the first time in June 2022 in Madrid in the Colección SOLO space during Certeza exhibition.
Digital works — Tribe – City, Tribe – War, Tribe – Circle, Tribe – Apex and Tribe – Tower — form the backbone of a broad project that brings together around 300 characters and encompasses both digital media and physical formats, such as sculpture. The renowned trio of artists has presented its new project at the Colección SOLO (Madrid) while one of the pieces of the artistic proposal, Tribe – Tower, was presented exclusively at the reopening of the Evoluon museum in Eindhoven in September 2022.
Hybrid beings -half camera, half gorilla-, PPE overalls turned into fashion items and baby heads with little legs fighting beasts, are some of the characters that exist in Tribe. Hundreds of beings and dreamlike and dystopian elements inhabit the digital and autonomous works that are part of this project. “It’s a portrait of the masses,” summarise the artists, whose fascination with group dynamics, technological phenomena and the ego are expressed in Tribe with an eclectic selection of individuals who bring to life deeply recognisable social attitudes.
Collective behaviour and manipulation are recurring themes in SMACK’s work, which often uses popular visual references and light-hearted aesthetics to present us with an uncomfortable reflection of who we are.
The work SPECULUM (2019), meanwhile, represents a contemporary interpretation of Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights. The digital triptych places the viewer before a crude mirror of our time. The work presents an environment populated by lonely individuals obsessed with images, invasive technologies and icons of contemporary popular culture. The work has been exhibited in London, Seoul and Rotterdam, among other cities. It has also been visited by more than 90,000 people at Matadero Madrid in the exhibition at The Garden of Earthly Delights Through the Artworks of Colección SOLO.