Born in Antwerp (BE), lives in Antwerp (BE).
Antwerp visual artist Guillaume Bijl (°1946) attends a theatre course and initially works as a set designer and painter. From the mid-seventies, he starts his work on conceptual staging to transform the dramatic tragedy of everyday life into museum installations.
Using close reproductions of sales booths for mattresses, lampshades or toilet bowls, Guillaume Bijl reconstructs the clichéd seductiveness of the shop window as a museum installation. Bijl repeats this process using the uninspiring emptiness of a driving school, the amusing gaudiness of a dog salon and the painful gimmickry of television studios where happiness made of plastic and cardboard is won. He draws inspiration from the day-to-day reality of his surroundings in an effort to explore the dividing wall between the reality of the social and its counterpart in the arts. At the same time he challenges the viewer's sense of critical judgement, which is all too easily led astray by the dazzling banality of commercial consumer society. Window dressing and keeping up appearances have pushed reality so far over the edge that whether or not a thing is true is a question that has ceased to be asked.
In addition to these conceptual installations, Bijl also photographically reconstructs reality, with his photo presentation 265 Belangrijke en minder Belangrijke foto’s uit de 2e helft van de 20ste eeuw [265 Important and less important photos from the second half of the 20th century], based on photographs found in cheap development laboratories, serving as a good example. The artists opts to converse with reality by reconstructing a sham reality as art.
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TV-Quiz decor [TV Quiz Sh...
Guillaume Bijl, TV-Quiz decor [TV Quiz Show Decor], 1993. Installation, mixed media, 1300 x 900 x 400 cm.
235 Belangrijke en Minder...
Guillaume Bijl, 235 Belangrijke en Minder Belangrijke Foto's van de 2de helft van de 20e Eeuw. [235 Important and Less Important Photos from the 2nd half of the 20th Century.], 1986-1995. Installation, photo, paper, 235 x ( 26 x 19 cm).
Project - notities [Proje...
Guillaume Bijl, Project - notities [Project Notes], 1969-1975. Drawing, ink, paper.
Composition Trouvée (Romm...
Guillaume Bijl, Composition Trouvée (Rommelmarkt), 1988. Installation, mixed media, 75 x 220 x 230 cm.
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The collection XXVIII – I...
17 June 2011 - 18 September 2011.
In the summer of 2011, the M HKA invited British artist Emily Wardill (°1977, Rugby) to make a selection of works from the collection, and to
Guillaume Bijl - Projecte...
05 October 2012 - 20 January 2013.
"Society is not as idealistic as one imagines. That's also why I seriously question society, the civilisation in which we live. In the face o
A NON-U-MENTAL HISTORY OF...
02 May 2021 - 29 August 2021.
The Flemish museum world continues to evolve, but the media coverage of these innovations focuses almost exclusively on architectural concern
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Stichting Gordon Matta-Cl...
In various ways, the ICC played an important part in forming the potential of the collection. Flor Bex aspired to establish a museum in Antwe
GUILLAUME BIJL ENSEMBLE
"Society is not as idealistic as one imagines. That's also why I seriously question society, the civilisation in which we live. In the face
Composities & Composition...
= contemporary archaeological still lives or tranquil scenes of daily life at the end of the twentieth century that recall the Duchampian tra
Media View all
"I remain essentially an anarchist and you have to be a bit of an anarchist to understand my work... and have a sense of humour. I am one hun