My name is Helga Christoffersen. I’m one of the curators here at the museum and a co-curator of Thomas Bayrle: Playtime.
You are standing in one of the main rooms of the exhibition and also a room that very much captures Thomas Bayrle’s wording of a key method in his practice overall, which is the repetition of many small images into larger shapes, which he also calls superforms. This idea of the superform is one that Thomas Bayrle developed really from very early on in his outset as an artist. Bayrle is not trained initially as an artist but rather as a weaver, starting out by working on the factory floor maintaining weaving machines and really understanding the mechanics and also the systematics that went into translating a pattern onto fabrics.
Bayrle, he took this experience of the factory and the repetition and really brought that into his own art practice. Being at that time very interested, not so much in the emotional kind of nature of images and art making but rather taking inspiration from this moment in Germany in time in general where production of consumer goods was really booming in Germany after the 2nd world war.
A very important reference point for the work of Thomas Bayrle and also the room that you are standing in is an exhibition that he had as a young artist in 1967 at Galleria Apollinaire called Produzione Bayrle, meaning production Bayrle. In ‘67 was the first time that he covered both floors and walls of a gallery space, hence really emerging the viewer in this universe of mass produced forms. Also, suggesting at that time not simply that these patterns they were limited to canvases or to silkscreen works but really producing also clothes and other wearable items that visitors, they could buy from the gallery in this exhibition that he set up almost like a supermarket where his superforms then became consumer goods.