Sunday, 08 January 2017
The Wiels Contemporary arts centre in Brussels (Forest) will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2017. To mark the occasion, it will host a large exhibition called “The absent museum” from the 20th of April to the 13th of August. The exhibition will include work by 45 emblematic artists from the contemporary arts scene, including Luc Tuymans, Marcel Broodthaers, Francis Alÿs and Gerhard Richter.
This large exhibition will be held in the refurbished “Bloome” area and two neighbouring buildings, which were part of the “Wielemans brewery”.
To kick off this year of celebration, Wiels has got the Antwerp artist Sven ‘t Jolle, who was born in 1966, to exhibit from the 13th of January to the 19th of March. He is a passionate critic of capitalism. His sculptures, collages, installations and paper pieces are constellations of images, forms and ideas. They are full of historic references and current anecdotes, and influenced by Art’s history and popular culture. They are of course also critical of politicians. He plays with language and mixes slogans and proverbs in French, Dutch and English.
The theme of his exhibition says it all: “The age of Entitlement or affordable tooth extraction”. It’s a reference to a very controversial speech by the Australian Finance Minister Joe Hockey back in 2013. Mr Hockey is the current US ambassador for his country. In his speech, he talked about current restrictions on healthcare, which could lead to people taking out their own bad teeth.
Behind the term “entitlement” is “enlightenment”, which refers to the 18th century and the century of Enlightenment in Europe. Its ideals are based on Reason, Tolerance and Freedom. The artist says the same terms are now used in a neo-liberalist way and their meaning has changed dramatically.
Some of his work deals with immigration policies and austerity. The artist explores the values and inequalities of contemporary society with light humour.