Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce „never trust a rebel“, the first solo show with Dutch artist Marc Bijl (*1970). In his sculptures, paintings and interventions, Bijl – who lives and works in Berlin – engages with social structures, political events and perception of social control and regulation systems in the public arena. Bijl looks for origins and symbolic manifestations by deconstructing surface images and demystifying the semantic signs of symbols, logos, and labels from the area of Industry, national identity, religion, advertising, the economy and the art world. Through a body of work, which includes subversive performances, provoking gestures and spontaneous graffiti action paintings, the artist undertakes a general critical examination of the state of our society.
His newest works which form the core of the show at the Galerie Reinhard Hauff look at first glance like graffiti sprayed on outdoor concrete walls. In these paintings, the coloured concrete and surface structured backgrounds remind us of the faded, worn colours of the modernistic paintings of Franz Kline, Kazimir Malevich and Josef Albers. In the series „Afterburner“, shown here as a cohesive entity for the first time, urban aesthetic mixes with „an inner battle for structure in life“ (Marc Bijl) through references made both to the wall paintings in war regions and areas of armed conflict, and to the exemplary market presence of major icons of Modernism. The eye catching attraction of Modernist abstract painting which are the source references for his appropriation of and explicit references to art history, are here used by Bijl – quite in contrast to the original intentions of these painters, who were searching for a quite personal spirituality in life with and through their art – to emphasize the social preference for upholding existing structures and classification systems. The conflict in Northern Ireland, directly referred to in the anti-IRA folk song from which the title of the exhibition „never trust a rebel“ is taken, is still visibly remembered on numerous „heroic“ wall paintings. In Marc Bijl’s work, it represents only one example of an on-going socio political struggle – where a prolonged and bitter fight over old political and religious issues is still fought.