Is a Refrigerator Good or Evil? The Moral Evaluation of Everyday Objects is a research publication from Springer Science + Business Media. De Jong based his second solo exhibition Court of Justice at Fons Welters Gallery in Amsterdam on this research. The show is a peculiar fusion of a courtroom and a prison. As the title of the exhibition already indicates, De Jong focuses specifically on elements of justice; from the hierarchical design of courtrooms, to the psychological manipulation of juries, the theatricality surrounding a judgement and the following isolation. Who is summoned to court? And who is to judge?
Although Folkert de Jong is known for his often grotesque-looking, human sized figurative sculptures, this time the eccentric character has been replaced by a clinical feeling of oppression. His use of material was mostly focussed on contemporary, often non-recyclable materials like Styrofoam. But recently he has broadened his material palette by adding transparent Plexiglas vitrines, enclosing foam assemblages of objects and body parts. As if they are preserved in formaldehyde. De Jong has also collaborated with radiologists in Utrecht, to create an M. R. I. scan of his head, which he has used to make a holographic 3-D image of his skull. Except from this hologram, the human figure disappeared in De Jong’s Court of Justice. While De Jong has represented immoral human behavior in previous works, he now questions the morality of things themselves. Can an object be intrinsically good or bad? Could an item be put to trial?
Folkert de Jong (Egmond aan Zee, 1972) lives and works in Amsterdam. Through his sculptures, cultural symbols and (historical) figures are transformed into theatrical narrative tableaux, addressing themes of war, greed, history and power. His work arises from a strong fascination for the psychological and bodily human condition. De Jong exhibited worldwide, recent solo exhibitions include Hominid Lands, Musee d’Evreux (2015); The Holy Land, Hepworth Wakefield (2014 – 2015); Amabilis insania. The pleasing delusion, Middelheim Museum, Antwerp (2013) and Actus Tragicus, Mudam, Luxembourg (2013).
Artwork by Daniele Formica & Suyoung Yang
Poster by Gilles De Brock