My name is Helga Christoffersen. I’m one of the curators here at the museum and a co-curator of Thomas Bayrle: Playtime.
Bayrle began his career during the first period of post-war German recovery. While much of his work from the 1960s looked at the ways that Germans embraced consumerism, to forget the horrors of WWII, in the 1970s he began to look at the ways in which the urban landscapes of Germany were physically transforming. Many cities rebuilt buildings, roads, and highways that had been bombed by the allies during the war, replacing historical areas and structures with more modern architectural forms.
Bayrle himself he was fascinated by the scale of this rebuilding and the ways in which the patterns of modern cities seemed to replicate and stretch out endlessly across the globe. Stadt is one of a number of works in which he recreated these patterns of buildings, highways and parking lots using intricately constructed photo collages. Seen from the vantage point of the present, these works of which Stadt is part but other works on this wall, anticipated the kind of urban sprawl that can be found in every part of the world from Germany to the United States to China. So these works also resemble contemporary digital architectural modeling and suggest the pathways and connections of the digital realm as well.