This reference monograph reveals the scope of Guillaume Bijl's thinking and art during the last four decades.
Built around a comprehensive essay by John C. Welchman entitled “Jumps of the Cat: Guillaume Bijl's Simulation Therapy,” the book spans the early Treatments (1975-1978) to the on-going Transformation Installations, Situation Installations, Compositions Trouvées, and Sorry bodies of work.
Grounded in and marked by a number of economic, social, and cultural conditions, Bijl's works are a stimulating reflection and synthesis of our current times. As John C. Welchman writes: “Bijl's work made important contributions to many of the issues addressed by the Western neo-avant-garde art world from the 1970s to now—questions about performativity and spectacle; elitism and ‘lowness'; simulation and ‘commodity art'; life-scaled corporeality and the uncanny; appropriation, archives and the postmodern readymade; negotiations with selfhood and artifice; and the tension between work situated in art institutional and public spaces.”
Published at the occasion of the artist's exhibition at Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Belgium, from March 4 to May 8, 2016.
Self-taught artist Guillaume Bijl (born 1946, Antwerp, where he lives and works), is mostly recognized for his alternative take on conceptual art, his desire to directly engage the viewer, and his Transformation Installations started in the late 1970s. In these works he realizes meticulous imitations of everyday realities in galleries and museums, mainly focusing on trade and exchange locations—whether in commodities, information, or skills. One of his most famous pieces is his groundbreaking Lustrerie Media installation shown in Art Basel in June 1984 for which he transformed the entire booth of his gallery into a light shop. Bijl's practice is however much richer and more diverse and largely gœs beyond this landmark series. Among other shows, Guillaume Bijl has participated in the Venice Biennial in 1988 and 2009, documenta IX (Kassel) in 1992, the Lyon Biennal in 2013, the Istanbul Biennal in 2013, and Münster Skulptur Projekte in 2007.