Artist Joe Sweeney Responds to Brexit #leaveamessage4europe 28 Days Public Archive

Art Frontiere , March 3, 2019

Two-part, sculptural and digital artwork by Joe Sweeney, collecting a vocal archive of the public’s opinion and questions in the countdown to Brexit.


The sculpture of the iconic 90s phone booth resides in the middle of the ‘British desert’ in Dungeness, Kent and can be viewed 24/7 on live stream via the website.

British Artist Joe Sweeney, embarked on this ambitious project responding to Britain’s decisions to leave the EU and invites us all to leave a message as part of a historical archive.


While Britain’s post Brexit future may not be determined British Artist Joe Sweeney’s project sparks quite an interesting concern regarding British history and whether the study of British past has a future in a post-Brexit Britain.


+44:Leave a Message for Europe’ centres around a sculpture of a BT telephone box installed on Dungeness beach. Captured on film 24/7 via a live stream feed for 28 days in the lead up to our departure from the EU.


The location of the symbolic BT phone box sculpture resides for the next 28 days in Dungeness and the location choice was important for Sweeney. The pebble beach  as it is a symbolic Brexit location as Kent was predominantly ‘leave’ and Dungeness is a British coastal beach also known a British desert , dubbed as "Britain's only desert" by the Met Office. ‘Located at UK’s most south-easterly point, the inactive phone box acts as a beacon. It is a nostalgic call to action – a reminder of the way we once communicated - with the nuance of the voice.'


The project did not come without its hurdles, specially when it came to housing the phone box sculpture in the middle of the Dungeness and locals response to it.


For 28 days, the phone box installation will be the official statue of #leaveamessafe4europe and will encourage the the public to engage with the sculpture by calling free via the website to voice and record their hopes and fears, at this pivotal moment in Britain’s history with the EU.


All messages will be collated and form a publicly accessible vocal archive.  Whilst the sculpture is installed, this archive will grow over the four ‘live’ weeks, will be audible online during that time and lead to the creation of a permanent archive.'Exposed to the elements, the sculpture also represents the UK, facing new challenges and an uncertain future. Visit the sculpture in person or view it streamed live here, 24-7, as it is altered daily by its environment - and as we count down to B-day.'