With The Village (Het Dorp) Gert Robijns has built a copy of the village he grew up in, Gotem (Belgium), and relocated it to the site of the military airport of Brustem, at just a few kilometres distance from the original town.
Besides being a tribute to his own roots, Het Dorp is first and foremost a powerful image. Stripped of every detail, of any sign of life, Gert Robijns reduces the village, with church and church tower, to its essence.
“The new ordering by the artist creates an atmosphere of tranquillity that enables us to contemplate the materials and shapes of the objects and their positioning in space.
If we define a still life as an arrangement of objects within a closed pictorial space, usually set against a neutral background that isolates these objects from their broader context, Robijns’ installations could be described as still lives in space.”
Bettina Klein, freelance exhibition commissioner for several international art centres and organisations, on Gert Robijns’ work in the new book Day for Night.