Magazine article Artforum International

Guillaume Bijl

Magazine article Artforum International

Guillaume Bijl

Article excerpt

SECESSION; GALERIE HUBERT WINTER

There are few exhibitions that can be described as easily as "Der Mensch uberwindet Distanzen" (Man overcomes distances). Everyone can imagine a historical exhibition on the subject of transportation and by extension, communication. Structured into individual sections such as paths and streets, shipping, railroads, bicycles, automobiles, air travel, and telecommunication, this subject was treated here with historical objects, accompanying texts, and video documentation. Guillaume Bijl, "curator" of this exhibition, was concerne with all the production details, from the elegant gold letters on a dark-red background in the entrance hall to the subdued atmosphere and spotlights, the proper gray curtains that covered the room, the plush carpeting that muffled sounds, and even the plants that gave the space a lived-in feeling.

This perfectionism is perhaps the only element that differentiates seeing this exhibition from writing about it. This is true for only one part of the audienc who knows this is a Bijl exhibition. But the Secession is frequented more by visitors who are interested in the building itself; usually the exhibitions of contemporary art are consumed almost touristically. Bijl targeted this "walk-through" audience. Thus there was no artist's name at the entrance but, rather, the name of the main sponsor, the office of tourism, thereby heightenin the show's claim to authenticity. …

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