Smacmccreanor’s first viral video hit 2 million views in 20 minutes. But the TikTok creator has now taken her digital performance art to new heights.

Famous for impersonating products being crushed by a hydraulic press, we had a chance to chat to smac about the whirlwind of having her work living large at NGV Triennial 2024.

AP: Smac, this is your very first art exhibit – how did this one with NGV come about? 

S: The first point of contact was actually an Instagram DM from Myles (Triennial curator) asking for my contact info, which is fitting since my work is so linked with social media! But once I got more details my jaw just dropped. I remember googling “NGV” to actually triple check this really was the NGV I already knew and adored. 

Being in an internationally acclaimed contemporary art exhibit is nothing I ever expected, especially in this way, but somehow everything I had dreamed of. A big nod goes to all the people who have generously shared, watched and pushed my digital content online because it was the internet culture that truly made my work so widespread! 

AP: It’s one of your main exhibits at Triennial and we’ve seen so many people laughing and smiling –what is it about your Hydraulic Girl series that resonates so strongly with people? 

S: There are a lot of elements thrown at the audience all at once but ultimately I think it’s visually stimulating, oddly satisfying and kinda silly. Since it was originally created for social media the timing and format makes it easily digestible, a huge role in drawing an audience in for the experience. 

Some people are initially confused, some are amused, some love the colours and fashion or choreography and facial expressions but to really see all the layers you have to loop the same clip multiple times, a classic comedic callback to the punchline. 

AP: If you were you to pick only one clip across your entire exhibit to summarise your art in a nutshell, which one would it be? 

S: Gosh this is not easy to answer…but let’s go with the Fererro Rocher episode. 

AP: Aside from your own work, what are your top two pieces at NGV Triennial? 

S: Walking through Triennial in its entirety is mind blowing! But two pieces that I cannot shake from my mind are Fernando Laposse’s entire exhibit and Speculum by SMACK (not to be biased but obviously their name is cool too). 

AP: Where do you look for inspiration day to day?

S: I’m inspired by so much; from objects, animals, food and music, to online comments and inside jokes. It’s mostly fun to create performance work based on things that aren’t usually seen as performance. Like furniture for example. 

AP: What’s your creative process like? Where do you begin when putting your work together? 

S: My creative process hasn’t really shifted since I was about 8-yrs old. Growing up I was fortunate to have not felt creatively limited by my surroundings, environment or people, and I naturally kept that uninhibitedness throughout my career. 

So usually I just think of an idea and then execute it, I produce everything on my own and don’t tend to hesitate during the process. But I also have never created something that wasn’t fun for me. It’s always totally authentically enjoyable for me, so it’s a delight when I see others enjoy it too! 

AP: For us, it’s the magic that happens when you come together over a cup of coffee. Do you have a favourite brew to get you in the creative headspace?

S: I love chocolate so I think I could get into a mocha…but like very weak….possibly leave out the coffee haha. 

AP: Is there anyone out there that you would love to collaborate with?

S: I would love to create more video performance art work for children’s entertainment! So maybe ABC? The Wiggles!? It would also be so fun to collaborate with Australian based brands from food to fashion and more!

AP: Are there any particular artists that have influenced your work? 

S: My style of performance has definitely been influenced by comedy. Specifically Frank Woodley, Rowan Atkinson and Lucille Ball! I’ve always looked up to multi-disciplinary artists that merge all sorts of mediums and talents. And of course as a trained dancer I’m inspired by music, disco funk and whimsical classical are the soundtrack to my life. 

AP: Can we expect a smac solo exhibition in more prestigious galleries around the world soon?  

S: That would be the dream of all dreams. Whatever comes next, I’m here and ready for it! 

You can check out smac’s exhibit in the entry hall and great hall at NGV Triennial, before it ends on April 7, 2024.