Artist: Guillaume Bijl
Venue: Nagel Draxler, Berlin
Date: March 19 – April 23, 2016
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Nagel Draxler, Berlin. Photos by Simon Vogel.
Almost all my compositions are called ‚Composition Trouvée‘. This name came about during the installation of a composition in 1983. The term ‚Composition Trouvée’ alludes to the existing term objet trouvé, in the sense that each of these is a consciously compiled and recognizable composition – a previously existing, found one, „so to speak“. They are chunks of reality that vary from trivial consumption and interior fragments to pseudo-public manifestation decors.
The Compositions are a logical consequence of the way in which I manipulate themes and materials in my larger installations. These Compositions, however, are devoid of all situational pretensions. I myself would describe the relationship in my œuvre between the compositions and installations as follows: If I were to interpret my larger installations as „large tableaux“, my compositions would relate to them as sketches or small drawings.
In general, I wish to regard them as a present-day, archeological still life.
(The four compositions on the walls of the gallery space are ‚so called‘ fragments of an antique or curiosity shop. The three small glass vitrines in the office are dealing with kitschy objects of tourist shops.)
The word ‚sorry‘ is a prototypical, cool word of this age. When, in 1987, I started compiling a number of absurd assemblages from existing objects, and thus made abstractions, I was ‚being unfaithful‘ to my own realistic form. I called those little works „sorries“.
Later on I also made a number of larger, absurd installations, in which I consistently insinuated the human figure in a surreal tableau.
(The work in the office with ‚the dog painting‘ has a „Sorry“ title.)
Over the past ten years I have realized a number of installations (transformations & situations) which can be categorized as dealing with the phenomenon of ‚Cultural Tourism‘. In general, I question the artificial values of our ‚civilization‘; consequently, this provokes a reflection in my work of the way ‚History and Culture‘ are visually presented. We belong to a generation, which on the one hand goes to travel agencies, fitness centers, casinos and on the other hand builds atomic bomb shelters. We spend our weekends visiting interesting ‚historical sites‘.
The range of these installations exposes not only the banality of cheap mass-tourist culture (a Wax Museum, pre-historic polyester figures, history of eroticism); it also focuses on more sophisticated intellectual subjects. In these, I explore the questionable fetish approach to historical personalities and their ‚objects‘ (Composer Memorial Room, 5 historical chairs, 8 historical Lederhosen). Finally some of the installations ironically comment on the popular representation of science like the history of transport, a found meteor stone.
(In this case a fake fragment of a museum of natural history showing Dino eggs.)