In his solo exhibition that reflects the MAK Collection, Thomas Bayrle (born in Berlin in 1937) combines traditional craft techniques with the computer-generated art of the Information Age. Using the metaphors of dyeing, weaving, and programming, Bayrle explores the ambivalence of art, craft, and industry and gives rise to kaleidoscopic shapes—Mass Ornaments.
Bayrle develops his legendary “superforms” as a reference to cultural and industrial icons like Jesus Christ, Mao, the highway, or the smartphone. He composed the oversize stage set iPhone meets Japan (working title, 2017) for the MAK Columned Main Hall out of iPhones; under the auspices of digital interconnectivity, it oscillates between a couple who briefly indulge in a play of scents, and architectural elements.
With Bayrle’s project, the MAK becomes the arena for a newly established interaction between art and craft, artist and weaver. Drenched in blue, Bayrle has created the ornamental image area of the iPhone Pietà (working title, 2017), a tapestry woven by hand in France, using smartphones—simultaneously ornament, apparatus, and adornment—and has translated the cultural code of the pietà into an atmospheric portrayal of social and political events.