Thomas Bayrle

Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)

“I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore” was, surprisingly, the first retrospective of the work of Thomas Bayrle, but it was worth the wait. The only question is why it took so long. Curated by Chus Martínez, this exhibition was exhaustive enough to make up for lost time, including more than 250 works from 1964 to the present. Though this oeuvre makes use of an array of supports and formats (silk screens, collages, acrylics, sculptures, 16-mm films, wallpapers, and more), it is wholly coherent, due to a certain stubbornness and discipline that could fool us into forgetting that Bayrle’s work offers an ironic encomium of the enjoyment that lies hidden within any seemingly rational system of production. In effect, the pace of machines paradoxically gives rise to an irrational, unsustainable, obsessive, and obscene form of production for mass consumption, but that same pace is capable of

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