Pawel_Althamer | Michael_Asher | Nairy_Baghramian | Guy_Ben-Ner | Guillaume_Bijl | Martin_Boyce | Jeremy Deller | Michael_Elmgreen und Ingar_Dragset | Hans-Peter_Feldmann | Dora_Garcia |
Isa_Genzken | Dominique_Gonzalez-Foerster | Tue_Greenfort | David_Hammons | Valérie_Jouve | Mike_Kelley | Suchan Kinoshita | Marko_Lehanka | Gustav_Metzger | Eva_Meyer und Eran_Schaerf | Deimantas_Narkevicius | Bruce_Nauman | Maria_Pask |
Manfred_Pernice | Susan_Philipsz | Martha_Rosler | Thomas_Schütte | Andreas_Siekmann | Rosemarie_Trockel | Silke_Wagner | Mark_Wallinger | Clemens von Wedemeyer | Annette_Wehrmann | Pae_White
Right in the middle of a grassy area on the Sentruper Höhe by Lake Aa with nothing but trees and meadows around, is a milestone of cultural tourism. If the spectator steps a bit closer, he can view the archaeological excavation site from a balustrade guarding the edge of the pit. Standing there, he will see an unearthed, shingle-roofed spire topped by a weathercock. Guillaume Bijl discovered it – or rather, he invented it, as the spectator will quickly have guessed. It is an absurd, surrealist sculpture. With their steeples, the churches of Münster are still an integral part of the urban landscape. Bijl came up with the idea that “somebody could discover another church – one that had fallen victim to the passage of time, buried during the war.” And, thanks to the Belgian artist, Münster has now gained new perspective on the culture of façades.
With his characteristic charm, Guillaume Bijl has added an apologetic gesture to his work, assigning it to the category of “sorry objects” that reveal themselves to be reproductions. However, Bijl is not apologizing for drawing a caricature of our expectations, but rather for betraying his normal emphasis on realism. His modesty will probably not help him much, though, for his steeple will become a tourist attraction.
Guillaume Bijl's installations are full of irony and wit, and create an illusion of design and order, making us immediately aware of the ineptitude or the often involuntary comic of public productions. The attempts to establish order in the urban setting, and to shape it to correspond to various interests and requirements, is, according to Bijl, an illusion that becomes the motif of his art. His artistic program can neither be labelled „objet trouvé“ nor „context art“. Bijl has a priori doubts that you can experience the public by putting the public on stage, e.g. by furnishing the city. His installations deceive by presenting reality. Bijl's ‚Roman Street’ (1994) in the Middelheim Open Air Museum of Antwerp looks like an archaeological site. The artist believes that illusion is the only way to endure the lack of content and the void of things. His models are cultural tourism and the commercial recreational industry.