Autorijschool Z marks the starts of a whole series of installations which Belgian artist Guillaume Bijl initiated in 1979 and which he himself refers to as Transformation installations. With this series, the artist has over the past forty years created an oeuvre that presents a fictional reconstruction of our time.
In 1979, Bijl writes a fictional pamphlet in which the government apparently comes to the conclusion that art is irrelevant to society and that art spaces must henceforth be transformed into spaces with a social purpose. The first artwork in this 'Art Liquidation Project' is the installation Autorijschool Z. To create this work, the artist closed the Antwerp gallery Ruimte Z and transformed it into a useful social institution: a driving school. The space is furbished like a driving school and becomes, as such, a perfect imitation of reality. The staging was so convincing that casual passers-by assumed that the gallery had in effect become a driving school. The illusion was perfect.
Guillaume Bijl realises that his actions – the choice and arrangement of the objects – during the creation of the installation are those of a sculptor. “In fact, every installation I make is carefully thought out. What I make is still a set. It has been put together in a conscious, reasoned manner so as to represent reality".