14/01/2006 > 03/03/2006
Opening on 13/01/2006, from 7 pm to 9 pm
The logos, symbols and other representations of post-capitalist aesthetics are the centre of Dutch artist MARC BIJL's work. Using the medium best appropriate to each situation – installations, sculptures, videos, (often illegal) public interventions, posters, stickers etc. – he formulates his own iconoclastic and subversive aesthetics, influenced by punk and gothic subcultures.
MARC BIJL questions symbols of power – either political, religious or commercial – as well as those of protest movements, to demonstrate their archetypes and stakes, playing off of each other. Through a re-contextualisation of these simplified signs of complex power structures, he underlines their paradoxes, not hesitating in the same time to deconstruct his own language of subversion.
For his first show in Paris, MARC BIJL presents Afterhours, a monumental installation of a restyled basketball field. Surrounded with fences and barbed wire, haloed with fog, the work reminds of a street basket field in a no-go area or in a prison. But, with his lines made of fluorescent tubes and its unreal atmosphere, the installation evokes as well the set of a stylized video clip or a commercial for a sport brand, which turns the sport field into an arena where modern day gladiators confront each other.
Through the dramatic setting and aggressive imagery developed by these brands, here recreated by Marc BILL, the basket field hence becomes, beyond its original function, a symbol, a logo. After the brands (for instance Nike's 'Swoosh'), the individuals (like Che GUEVARA, whose sense of action got romanticized while his face was flowered on T-shirts) and the events (such as the attack against the World Trade Centre), public space itself has been turned into a symbol, through a 'logo-isation' process.
Far from any judgment, MARC BIJL simply reformulates and extends the statement already pointed out by Herman HESSE in his book Steppenwolf (1927), a quote of which is spray painted on a wall in the exhibition space, already warning the world against simple mindedness and inspiring a dark romanticism as a reaction to this phenomenon. MARC BIJL increases the confusion, voluntarily creating an installation which adds to the power of seduction of the system he casts a light on.
MARC BIJL also shows a video piece shot in deserted streets in New York, whose atmosphere evokes the one of the installation.
MARC BIJL was born in Leerdam (Pays-Bas), 1970. He lives and works in Rotterdam. Recent exhibitions includes Superstars, The Celebrity Factor: From Warhol to Madonna (Kunsthalle et CA Kunstforum, Vienne), Emergencies (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, León), Populism (Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam ; National Museum of Art, Oslo ; Frankfurter Kunstverein ; Contemporary Art Centre, Vilnius), On Patrol (De Appel, Amsterdam), Premieres (Museum of Modern Art, New York).