Playing with the intersection between reality and fiction, Guillaume Bijl uses context, pairing the expected and the unexpected, to create situations in which we are challenged to examine our own understanding of normality and how things are connected. His practice combines a pastiche of the real and the non real. Often working in immersive installations, Bijl transplants well-know environments and situations within the context of the gallery. Travel agencies, supermarkets, gymnasiums, beauty pageants, political conferences, mattress showrooms, laundromats, dog grooming salons, saunas, casinos and waiting rooms are recreated to an eerily accurate degree, as we are swept up in the theatrical nature of his work.

The connotations that Guillaume Bijl produces for us are playfully provoking, as he turns his attention towards us, asking us to imagine our own narratives for these environments and their current context. In so doing, we become an active and necessary part of the work, continually bringing forwards new meaning, creating an on going exploration of the realities of our contemporary realities and lives.

Guillaume Bijl (b. 1946, Belgium) has had many solo exhibitions throughout his career, notably at S.M.A.K. (Ghent), Arken Museum (Ishøj), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), The New Museum (New York), Wiener Secession (Vienna), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Kunstverein Hannover (Hannover), ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art (Karslruhe), Neue Galerie Graz (Graz), and Centre National d’Art Contemporain (Grenoble). He participated in Document IX in 1992. His work is found in the collections around the world, including the Centre Pompidou (Paris), FRAC National (Paris), MOCA (Los Angeles), Ludwig Museum (Cologne), S.M.A.K. (Ghent), Neue Galerie Graz (Graz), and Musée des Beaux Arts (Lausanne), Museum Moderne Kunst (Brussels), Middelheim Museum (Antwerp), Städtlische Galerie (Stuttgart), Boymans van Beuningen Museum (Rotterdam), Musée d’art contemporain de Lyon (Lyon), and Museum voor Moderne Kunst (Brussels), among many others.

carrie emberlyn