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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Guillaume Bijl - Passages...
Guillaume Bijl, Guillaume Bijl - Passages - "An intro to creative visualization", 1989. Book, ink, paper, 21 x 14.9 cm, 59 p., published by Stichting Kunst en Projecten vzw, Zedelgem, series : Passages, nr. 3/1, idea/concept/layout by Guillaume Bijl.
Mon Chalet [My Chalet]
Guillaume Bijl, Mon Chalet [My Chalet], 1987. Installation, mixed media, 310 x 310 x 230 cm.
10 colour photographs of ...
Guillaume Bijl, 10 colour photographs of installations, 1979-1985. Photography, photographs, 31 x 49 cm.
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The collection XXX – The ...
29 June 2012 - 16 September 2012.
Maarten Vanden Eynde’s project Museum of Forgotten History housed the remains of a possible future past. The exhibition took the form of fict
The collection XXXIII – T...
07 June 2013 - 22 September 2013.
The character of a collection reflected the current priorities of the M HKA collection: the evaluation of Antwerp’s avant-garde tradition; th
The Eightees – A Decade o...
17 June 2016 - 18 September 2016.
The Eighties – A Decade of Extremes presents a nuanced picture of the eighties with all its contrasts, cheerful and playful, but also hard an
EXTRA MUROS: Geel – Middl...
15 September 2018 - 04 November 2018.
Exhibition project Middle Gate II – The Story of Dymphna is a cooperation between M HKA, the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp, and cultural
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Composities & Composition...
= contemporary archaeological still lives or tranquil scenes of daily life at the end of the twentieth century that recall the Duchampian tra
Since the end of May 2002, the M HKA has strayed from the beaten track of museum catalogues. The M HKA does not consider a systematic thereof
"... They cannot be reduced. They’re not representable. The claim of the complexity of their design is irreducible. They never give the impre
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"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