Sven 't Jolle: The Age of Entitlement, or Affordable Tooth Extraction

About this exhibition

WIELS presents the largest solo presentation to date of Belgian artist Sven 't Jolle (Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1966)

‘t Jolle’s work is a humorous and impassioned critique of capitalism. Presenting his sculptures, installations and works on paper, this exhibition at WIELS offers a generous overview of his recent practice. It reveals how he fuses together historical references and citations from everyday life to create new and eloquent constellations of images, forms and ideas. His work explores the values of contemporary society, addressing with understated humour its inequalities.

The title for this exhibition is taken from a 2012 speech by the former Australian treasurer Joe Hockey. Decrying the welfare state as unsustainable, Hockey proclaimed: “The Age of Entitlement is over.” ‘t Jolle approaches the phrase both critically and generously, using it to explore the question of entitlement more broadly. Who is entitled to what? Who decides upon this entitlement? The pun upon the Age of Enlightenment is far from accidental. The Enlightenment was the dominant philosophical movement of the eighteenth century in Europe, founded on ideals of reason, tolerance and liberty. Today, while the same words are often applied to the neo-liberal society in which we live, their meaning – or our understanding of them – has changed dramatically, as ‘t Jolle underscores in his work. By giving the exhibition a second, or alternative title – Affordable Tooth Extraction – ‘t Jolle undercuts any pompousness with an absurd verbal juxtaposition that nevertheless refers to the dismantling of the welfare state and public healthcare. 

Sven 't Jolle
The Age of Entitlement, or Affordable Tooth Extraction
13.01 - 19.03.2017
Curator: Zoë Gray

With the support of:
Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris