Book Launch: Guillaume Bijl & Past Realization by John C. Welchman (EN)
Art historian John C. Welchman presents a recently published monograph on Guillaume Bijl and his book of essays on contemporary European art.
Self-taught artist Guillaume Bijl (b.1946, Antwerp), is mostly recognized for his alternative take on conceptual art, his desire to directly engage the viewer, and his Transformation Installations started in the late 1970s. In these works he realizes meticulous imitations of everyday realities in galleries and museums, mainly focusing on trade and exchange locations—whether in commodities, information, or skills. Built around a comprehensive essay by John C. Welchman entitled "Jumps of the Cat: Guillaume Bijl's Simulation Therapy," this reference monograph, published by JRP|Ringier, reveals the scope of his thinking and art during the last four decades.
Past Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art XX–XXI, Vol. 1, published by Sternberg Press, is a collection of dynamic and engaged writings by Welchman on a range of contemporary European artists: Vasco Araújo, Cosima von Bonin, Jan De Cock, Orshi Drozdik, Susan Hiller, Andy Hope 1930, Michael Kunze, Nathaniel Mellors, Miguel Palma, José Álvaro Perdices, Sascha Pohle, Thomas Raat, Nicola Stäglich, and Xavier Veilhan. Anchored in concerns that emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s, Welchman poses thoughtful and provocative questions about how these artists receive and negotiate the social and aesthetic histories through which they live and work.
A specialist in the Californian art scene, on Paul McCarthy, and Mike Kelley (whose complete writings he edited), John C. Welchman is a modern and contemporary art historian, a critical theoretician, and a curator. He is Professor of Modern Art History in the Visual Arts Department at the University of California, San Diego.
Organized in collaboration with HISK – Higher Institute for Fine Arts in Ghent