GRID, The Bigger Picture Show at NDSM Loods, Amsterdam, 13-16 June 2019
What would you do?
Spectacular exhibition of 32 thought-provoking works by Robert Smit
Chasing dogs and a defenseless infant opposite an injured dog with caring owners; laughing SS officers in bathing suits on holiday from Auschwitz opposite an artist’s family group photo on the island of Corsica: the rich, colossal and dialectical images of Robert Smit never cease to make you think.
Smits works make you look at yourself in the mirror and ask: ‘What would I do?’ He makes us concentrate our minds on serious past, present and future issues such as the holocaust, bizarre scientific experiments, freedom, prostitution in Amsterdam, consumerism, fake news, fear of immigration and the relationship between nature and culture.
Without imposing any values and drawing on illustrious examples from Hieronymus Bosch to John Heartfield and Banksy, Robert Smit takes you into a tunnel of contradictory meanings and bizarre facts. Sixty-four of his unique diptychs are soon on display, firing uncomfortable ambiguity and unexpected interdependencies at the beholder.
Smit hoes, digs, and plants and mixes up our interpretations, horizontally and vertically. Together they provide a breeding ground for critical self-reflection as well as viewing pleasure.
Amsterdam School of the Arts
Smits diptychs feel a bit like somewhere you could be drawn in for hours musing on the symbolism of each oppositional object.
Rob La Frenais
Independent curator and writer