TV works

Lili Dujourie

Lili Dujourie (b. 1941) creates photographs, slides, collages, video films and sculptures. The titles of her works often refer to literature, opera or mythological figures. In the late 60s, she began making minimalist sculptures constructed from iron plates, rods or staves, often in precarious balance. She concluded this first period with Amerikaans Imperialisme (American Imperialism, 1972): a steel plate leaning against a wall that is painted in colour, except for the part behind the plate, which is unpainted. Amerikaans Imperialisme offers a critical and particularly female view of American minimalism. Dujourie had the opportunity to realize the work for the first time in 1979 at the Aktuele kunst in België. Inzicht/Overzicht – Overzicht/Inzicht (Current Art in Belgium. Insight/Overview – Overview/Insight) exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent.

In the early 1970s she produced videos in which she filmed herself naked on a bed. Model turns artist, challenging the male viewpoint. But instead of eroticism, she prefers emphasizing the element of time. ‘My video works deal with the time element, time that cannot be captured. They deal with boredom, the impossibility of doing something.’

At the beginning of the 1980s, Dujourie turned to making sculptures with costly materials, such as silk and velvet. Her first textile pieces were exhibited in May, 1982, at a group exhibition with seven other Belgian artists at the Maagdendale Abbey in Oudenaarde (organized by Jan De Wilde and Christian Mys). These heavily sensual sculptures refer to the draperies in the paintings of Jan Van Eyck, Rogier van der Weyden and Rubens. On the other hand, they also refer to the emptiness of these coverings and the absence of the human body.

In 1990, Jef Cornelis made a film on the video work of Lili Dujourie, for the television programme Verwant. The greater part of his film consists of a compilation of video excerpts by Dujourie, entitled Fragmenten van sculpturen, 1972-1982 (Bits of Sculptures, 1972-1982).

In 2005, Lili Dujourie was given a retrospective exhibition at the BOZAR Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. In 2007, she was the only Belgian participant at documenta 12. [Lieven Van Den Abeele]