Guillaume Bijl

The Arm (Composition Trouvée)

The Belgian artist Guillaume Bijl (b. 1946 in Antwerp, Belgium, lives and works in Antwerp) reflects on the absurdities of the commodity world with ironically humorous works and at the same time raises questions about the relationship between art and consumption. His artistic practice is characterized by strategies of displacement and fictionalization. Since 1970, for example, Bijl has transposed the interiors of driving schools, supermarkets, mattress stores or public authority waiting rooms to other public spaces as well as to art institutions and galleries. The extensive installations systematically simulate parts of our everyday, trivial environment and at the same time make them visible anew. The work The Arm from 1990 offered by Neuer Berliner Kunstverein is one of Bijl’s Compositions Trouvées, which the artist also calls “contemporary archaeological still lifes”. For this purpose, objects are detached from their original contexts and rearranged. In a black briefcase with red velvet lining, reminiscent of the upholstery of a coffin, the dummy of a severed limb gently rests. The solemnly presented joke item can be read both as a simple stocktaking of an absurd leisure industry and as a critical commentary on it. Guillaume Bijl’s works are represented internationally in numerous collections, his works were shown at, among others, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main (2018); Manifesta, Zurich (2016); CAFA Museum, Beijing (2014); Museum Ludwig, Cologne (2010); Skulptur Projekte Münster (2007); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2000); Secession, Vienna (1993); Documenta, Kassel (1992); Venice Biennale (1988).



The Arm (Composition Trouvée)
1990, Suitcase, plastic arm, red fabric, photographs laminated on cardboard, 10 x 44,5 x 31,5 cm, edition of 10 + 2 AP, certificate
1.200 euro member, 1.500 euro non-member