Geert Bisschop

(No) Iron Curtain
Site-specific installation

Curated by Mimi Debruyn


The installation by Geert Bisschop was designed especially for the Saint Bernard Chapel and triggered many political and ecological connotations. His large-scale framed photography shows a foot path running along the forest of the southern borders of Šumava. Another element was the text “(NO) IRON CURTAIN” and maps, documenting the artist’s pilgrimage along the European border. This was presented as a counterpoint to the spiritual space, contributed to the founder of the Cistercian order, Bernard of Clairvaux. Engaging in dialogue with the fresco of Jakub Antonín Pink which depicts Saint Bernard meditating in a landscape, Bisschop alludes to the epistola no. 106: “You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” The installation was part of a larger project focused on the theme of journeying along the European borders which became possible after the political changes in 1989.

Jiří Zemánek

In his work, the Belgian photographer and visual artist Geert Bisschop (b. 1957, Antwerp) often links images of nature and landscape with the philosophical and political ramifications in the media of black and white, and colour photography, text, installation, sculpture and painting. His earlier work was inspired by the tradition of “landscape photography,” capturing images of seemingly usual landscapes, of frontiers, or of the transition zones between nature and culture. Lately he has been examining the possibilities of complexity in dynamic content and forms, including philosophical, political and ecological relationships. He draws inspiration while undertaking long-distance per pedes expeditions.

Fungus, Plasy, 24. Sept. – 10 Oct., 1994. Blanka Jiráčková, Ateliér, čtrnáctideník pro současné umění, 1994, č. 19, s.8