GUILLAUME BIJL / 5 HISTORICAL HATS & COMPOSITIONS -
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Born in 1946, lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium
I would classify my work so far in about 4 different categories:
Installations Transformation: a reality in unreality
The Installations Location; unreality into reality
Compositions: actual still life’s archaeological
Treatments are a series of projects (paper plans that were never realized) designed around 1975. My aspiration to establish, through an art form, a direct interaction with reality, resulted in the following treatment projects: the church, education, army, travel, construction, careerism, sex, psychiatry, routine daily life of a worker. The viewer is led through a scene arranged that he would go through in the time of a few hours, a kind of corporate structure of treatment of a life stage. Treatments were the basis of my subsequent installations and my means of expression in general.
As part of my work, I describe the Transformation Installations reality in unreality (from the point of view of art space being “unreal”, “non-functional”). In 1979 I wrote a fictional pamphlet, in which the authorities, believing that art is superfluous (because of its non-functional), proceeded with the closure of artistic spaces, which would be eventually replaced by “useful” social institutions. My installation “Z Driving School” was the first of this series. In 1984 I dropped consciously the text of fictional failure, in part because of its visual evidence (always present inherently) was very clear, on the other hand because of the confusion in interpretation (it was thought mistakenly as art on art, etc…) More than the concept of Treatments (more dramatic) here I get a more subtle shift from fiction to reality (for the artistic public as for the profane.
I obtain a still life in a three-dimensional artistic space, mixed with the reality of this paradoxical society, that I relatives in a tragic-comic way. I felt that the expression of this form was very rich, the possibilities in themes and in materials (for example, a banal travel agency to an oppressive bomb shelter), I made forty of these facilities in the space of 12 years. One could say that is has become a visual narration, critical, archaeological of our time, visualized by means of a disposition that creates distance. Note that during a dozen openings, some “live paintings” fictional have been made, and that the new installation was confronted with the reality, even physically. In practice, all these installations have been made with the collaboration of several institutions. Some were acquired by museums in recent years.
I usually call these installations “ a unreality in reality”. These situation installations are a kind of semblances of operations having a situational character and constitute interventions in reality in the occasion of an artistic manifestation.
These fictional interventions are sometimes very elaborate, barely visible, and question the evidence commonplace.
Photography (which focuses on situational) not making enough visual evidence of such facilities, we found it useful to accompany a brief description.
The word “sorry” is prototype of a current cold word
When I began the composition of some small absurd assemblages in 1987 using existing object, thus making an abstraction, I was lacking “loyalty” towards my own realistic form. I gave the name of “sorry” for these small works.
Later I made some absurd larger installations, suggesting emphatically the human figure in a surreal scene.
These works have become a absurd political extension of my work.
Almost all my compositions are title “found composition”
This name was born when performing a composition in 1983. The term “Found Composition” is an allusion to the term “found object” already existing, in the sense that it is always in the case of a identifiable composition consciously composed in the style of an object…existing…”as found”. These are fragments of reality, ranging from insignificant fragments consumption and interior décor imitations of public events.
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