Sven 't Jolle - Out of touch (Boze brievenbussen) (2019)
In his sculptures, installations and works on paper, the Belgian artist Sven ‘t Jolle (b. 1966) mixes historical, political and social aspects, denouncing the inequality of society in his completely unique visual idiom. ’t Jolle feels connected to the working class and in his work exhibits outspoken criticism of capitalism, the demolition of the welfare state, the power of big business and the lack of humanity in migration policies. With works that are often equally harsh and humorous, which frequently have their immediate origins in news items but can also be based on art history or popular culture, he reflects on our current age.
For his work for DELIRIOUS, ’t Jolle took inspiration from a typical phenomenon in his new homeland of Australia: mailboxes that residents have made themselves. These are located along main roads or at intersections in the country’s vast and sparsely populated regions. Without these roadside mailboxes, the delivery person would have to travel impossible distances. The mailboxes are usually made as cheaply and efficiently as possible; old waterproof canisters, milk churns or oil drums are simply provided with a mail slot and mounted horizontally on a pole. Sometimes all kinds of waste materials are also used to create lavishly decorated figurative sculptures.
Along one of the more remote paths at De Oude Warande, ‘t Jolle placed an ensemble of mailbox sculptures, just as if these trails were also part of a postal route. Clustered along the path, the works create the impression of a group of waiting figures – particularly angry ones. As well as an exercise in the sculptural and aesthetic qualities of mailboxes, this work is a form of social engagement.
Out of touch (Mad Mailboxes) is a reaction to the notion of being ‘out of touch’, the sense of not belonging that increasing numbers of people are suffering as they are unable to keep up with developments in our modern era of digital communication and, in a more general sense, because of financial difficulties resulting from cutbacks as a consequence of the global banking crisis. These mad mailboxes refer to angry citizens in their yellow jackets, whose protests originally began in rural areas.