Guillaume Bijl: Matratzentraum / Art Basel Unlimited 2023

For his Matratzentraum, Guillaume Bijl meticulously transforms the exhibition space into a mattress store. Each detail is scrupulously considered including the price tags, cellophane-wrapped mattresses, signage, and fluorescent lighting. Bijl’s chosen form of installation is built on the premise of a fictional narrative wherein the art space is no longer of use to the public and has been rented out to a more functional business. The mattress, as a site, evokes rest, routine, and the basic need for shelter. Fundamental values of human life are stripped from their intrinsic nature and sold as a product, prompting a deeper investigation into the commodification of home. Bijl’s archaeology in real time within the context of an art fair, exposes the capitalist nature of ascribing value to basic human needs.

Guillaume Bijl: Matratzentraum / Art Basel Unlimited 2023, Galerie Nagel Draxler in collaboration with Meredith Rosen Gallery. Basel (Switzerland), June 13, 2023.

Guillaume Bijl (born 1946 in Antwerp) is known for his large-scale installations and visual realism. Since the late 1970s, he has created realistic decors using found objects and has played a pioneering role in the resurgence of the ready-made to create an ‘archaeology of our time.’ Bijl lives and works in Antwerp.

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