« (…) Within the framework of my œuvre, I call the Transformation-installations ‘a reality in a non-reality » (assuming that a place of art is ‘unreal’, ‘functionless’). In 1979 I wrote a fictious pamphlet, in which the government writes off art as superfluous (because of its non –functional nature). In the content all art spaces were to be closed and transformed into ‘useful’ societal institutions. My installation ‘Driving School Z’ was the first in this series. (…) I thus obtained a three-dimensional still life inside an art space, intertwined with the reality of our paradoxical society that was put in perspective in a tragi-comical fashion. This form being so highly expressive, with his myriad of themes and materials (raging from a banal travel agency to an oppressive nuclear fall-out shelter), it has yielded 40 odd installations in 12 years’ time. It has become a visual, critical, archaeological story of our age, as it were, visualized with ‘distancing’ alienation.
« Auction House », Kunstverein Hannover (1992-1998)
« Caravan Show » , Le Magasin, Grenoble
« Abri Anti-Atomique », Place St.Lambert, Liège
« Herrenkleidung », Kunstverein, Köln
« Neuer Supermarket », galerie Littmann, Basel, 1990
« Central Airport Basel », Theater Basel
« TV Quiz Decor », Biennale de Lyon, 1993
« Guinness World Record Counting » Galerie Annie Gentils, Antwerp, 2002
I tend to call these installations ‘a non-reality in the reality’. The situation-Installations are a kind of fake operations with a situational character. The usually interfere with reality on the occasion of a specific art manifestation.
Some can be quite far-reaching, fictitious interventions which are barely visible and unsettle banal matters of course.
« Lustrerie », Kunstmesse Basel, 1989
« Roman Street », Openluchtmuseum Middelheim, Antwerpen, 1994
« Documenta Wax Museum », Documenta IX, Kassel, 1992-2005
“Matratsenland”, Haverkampf Kunsthalle Münster”, 2003
”Supermarket-Installation”, ‘Shopping’, Tate Gallery, Liverpool,
The word ‘sorry’ is a prototypical, cool word of this age.
When, in 1987, I started compiling a number of absurd assemblages from existing objects, and thus made an abstraction, I was ‘being unfaithful’ to my own realistic form. I called those little works ‘sorries’.
Later on, I also made a number of larger, absurd installations, in which Those works became an absurd poetic extension of my œuvre.
Almost all my compositions are called ‘Composition Trouvée’. This name came about at the installation of a composition in 1983. The term ‘Composition Trouvée’ alludes to the existing term ‘Objet Trouvée’, in the sense that each of these is a consciously compiled and recognizable composition- a previously existing, found one, ‘so to speak’. They are chunks of reality that vary from trivial consumption and interior fragments to pseudo- public manifestation décors.
The Compositions are a logical consequence of the way in which I manipulate themes and materials in my larger installations. These compositions, however, are devoid of all situational pretensions. I myself would describe the relationship in my œuvre between the compositions and installations as follows: If I were to interpret my larger installations as ‘large tableaux’, my compositions would relate to them as sketches or small drawings.
In general, I wish to regard them as present-day, archaeological, still lifes.
5. Cultural Tourism
Over the past ten years, I realized a number of installations (transformations & situations), which can be categorized as dealing with the phenomenon of ‘Cultural Tourism’. (…). In general, I question the artificial values of our ‘civilization’; consequently, this provokes a reflection in my work of the way ‘History and Culture’ are visually presented. We belong to the generation, which on the one hand goes to Travel Agencies, Fitness Centres, Casinos, and which on the other hand builds atomic bomb shelters. We spend our weekends visiting ‘interesting’ Historical sites.
The range of these installations exposes not only the banality of cheap mass-tourist culture (a Wax museum, Prehistoric polyester figures, History of erotism); it also focuses on more sophisticated intellectual subjects. In these, I explore the questionable fetishist approach to historical personalities and their ‘objects’ (Composer Memorial Room, 5 Historical Chairs, 8 Historical Lederhosen). Finally some of the installations comment ironical on the popular representation of science (History of transport, a founded Meteor Stone)
(G.Bijl 1998) (see cat. « Guillaume Bijl », Kunstausstellung der Ruhrfestspiel Recklinghausen, 1998)
In 1998 Guillaume Bijl started with a museum installation in The Pavilions at Almere (Holland): "Souvenirs of the 20th century". This installation can also be situated in a series of musea which Bijl created during the last decade of the 20th century: objects which belonged to well known and historical personalities of the 20th century are exposed in a museum like way: the hat of Magritte, football of Pele, toque of princess Diana, Micro of Malcolm X, the camera of Werner Fassbinder, handbag of Twiggy….
Other "Musea" are in the following public collections:
"Komponisten-Sterbezimmer", 1991, collection Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Wien
"Documenta Wax Museum", 1992, Ontario Museum, Toronto
"Roman Street", 1994, Museum Middelheim, Antwerpen
"Wunderkammer", 1995, Château d’Oiron, Oiron
"6 souvenirs sportives", Domaine de Chamarande, France
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Exposities (komt nu voorbij)
De volgende instellingen bieden werk aan en organiseren exposities:
Galerie Lumen Travo, Amsterdam
De volgende musea/instellingen hebben werk in hun collectie:
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
IKOB, Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst Eupen, Eupen
Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Muhka, Antwerpen
Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Gent
Vertegenwoordigd in de volgende bedrijfscollecties:
Kunstcollectie KPN, Den Haag
Schiphol Kunstcollectie, Luchthaven Schiphol
TNT Post Kunstcollectie, Den Haag
Vlaams Parlement - Kunstcollectie, Brussel
De volgende instellingen hebben werk in stock:
XX Multiple Galerie, Rotterdam