Guillaume Bijl (Antwerp, BE, 1946) plays a delicate game with reality. In his installations and compositions he creates an everyday situation which appears to be completely familiar to us. Whether it’s a travel agency or a dog beauty parlour, he’s copied them so perfectly that fiction and reality have become inseparable. In this way, Guillaume Bijl makes us take a good look at ourselves: if things just seem to be what we think they are, we’re satisfied. We want to believe what we see.
Bijl's first installation was a driving school, set in a gallery-space in Antwerp in 1979, accompanied by a manifesto calling for the abolition of art centres, and replacing them with 'socially useful institutions'. This installation was followed in the eighties by a billiards room, a casino, a laundromat, a centre for professional training, a psychiatric hospital, a fallout shelter, a show of fictitious American artists, a conference for a new political party and a rural Belgian model house. A more recent show was at the Berlin’s Center for Opinions in Music and Art. Bijl is also an artist at the Mulier Gallery, has displayed at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art and has been reviewed by the New York Times.