Sven ‘t Jolle
°1966, Antwerp (BE) - lives and works in Melbourne (AU)
Sven ’t Jolle’s work can be read as an impassioned critique of capitalism, mixing poetry and humour with social engagement. His installations, sculptures and works on paper reveal how he fuses together historical references and citations from everyday life to create new and eloquent constellations of images, forms and ideas. His visual idiom is informed by both art history and popular culture, for example by the Belgian cartoons of his youth, masterpieces of twentieth-century painting or archaeological artefacts. He also plays with language, mixing catchphrases and proverbs as he moves between different languages and registers. Sven ‘t Jolle’s work explores the values of contemporary society, addressing with understated humour its inequalities.
A recurrent technique in ’t Jolle’s work is the practice of détournement. Associated with the Situationists, it translates as “rerouting” or “hijacking” and is often employed to turn mass-media signs or symbols against their original meaning. Playing with an existing sign (or artwork), ’t Jolle adapts it to offer an alternative reading. By working within this tradition of détournement – also employed by punk in the 70s or the culture jamming movement of the 80s – he locates his practice within a history of political engagement, while his references root him firmly within the realm of art.
Sven 'T Jolle - Entrepreneurship, 2016
Sven 'T Jolle - Citizenship (Protect your loved ones), 2016 on view at Wiels, Brussels
Sven 'T Jolle - Mens erger je niet, 1994
Sven 'T Jolle - Sans Papiers, 2006, installation view at Wiels, Brussels in 2017
Sven 'T Jolle - Holiday in Melsbroek (127), installation view during Beaufort03 in 2009
Sven 'T Jolle - Collecting Debt, 2017
Sven 'T Jolle - (casse-toi alors) Pauvre canard, 2009
Sven 't Jolle - Meltdown, 2009
Sven ‘T Jolle - Stock idols, 2015
The work of Sven ‘t Jolle has been exhibited internationally. He had solo exhibitions at Wiels, Brussels; La Kunsthalle, Mulhouse; S.M.A.K., Ghent; and Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle. Group exhibitions include BPS 22, Charleroi; M HKA, Antwerp; FRAC Nord-pas-de-Calais, Dunkerque; MAMAC, Nice; Leopold Hoesch Museum, Düren; and MuZee, Oostende. ‘t Jolle also participated in the biennales of Rennes and Venice.
Sven ‘t Jolle is represented by the following galleries;
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