Guillaume Bijl (°1946, Antwerp) explores the boundaries between art and social reality. His oeuvre can be divided into different categories, of which the Transformation Installations, the Situation Installations, the Sorry-installations and the Compositions Trouvées are most important. His works can often be categorised into several of these. In his installations, he uses plain, everyday objects and simulates the environment of our daily life.
The Transformation Installations introduce a reality in an unreality. This reality can be understood as a theoretical model of different services, stores, places related to popular media, the entertainment industry and cultural tourism. The installations provide a museum or gallery space with a function. In a fictional pamphlet of 1979, Bijl wrote that the government considered the museum or gallery to be unreal and without function. At the beginning of his career, this pamphlet accompanied his installations. By ironizing the lack of function or use that is often attributed to the arts, he criticizes our society, which is often too focused on functionalism. The installations don’t create an illusion of realness, but expose the illusory side of reality. In our current society, we no longer notice the mechanisms of power and the different social phenomena – like tourism, commercialization and mass production- that govern our reality.