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Conversations · Exhibition-Related

Mass Appeals: Thomas Bayrle’s Objects of Desire

Cover Image:

Thomas Bayrle, American Dream, 1970. Silkscreen print on paper, 16 1/2 × 31 1/8 in (42 × 79 cm). Courtesy the artist. Photo: Wolfgang Günzel

Bringing together a group of scholars, cultural critics, and writers, this panel will explore Thomas Bayrle’s long-standing inquiry into the relationship between mass media, political spectacle, and consumerism. The conversation will take up Bayrle’s interest in how cultural modes of production, distribution, and consumption shape individual desires and, when aggregated on a massive scale, reveal systems of power that pervade even the most mundane aspects of our daily lives. Panelists include Josephine Meckseper, Christine Mehring, and Sarah Nicole Prickett, and the conversation will be moderated by Bettina Funcke.

The panel is organized on the occasion of “Thomas Bayrle: Playtime,” the first major New York museum survey of Thomas Bayrle (b. 1937, Berlin, Germany). Bayrle is one of the most important artists to have emerged during the West German economic boom in the 1960s, and has received belated recognition for his influential works and processes. Long before the advent of current visual technologies, he foresaw our digital reality, employing photocopy machines and other midcentury tools in his early works to create analog visualizations of what we now understand as digital culture. Bayrle’s thematic investigations have ranged from a visual analysis of mass culture and consumerism to reflections on how technology impacts global politics. This comprehensive survey will bring together over 115 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, wallpapers and prints, early computer-based art, videos, and 16mm films.

Sponsors

Lead support for “Thomas Bayrle: Playtime” and its accompanying public programs is provided by BMW.

This program is made possible, in part, by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Full support for “Thomas Bayrle: Playtime” can be viewed here.

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