Thomas Bayrle “Monuments of Traffic”

Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo

poster for Thomas Bayrle “Monuments of Traffic”

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Known as a pioneer of pop and media art since the 1960s, Bayrle has curated a minimalistic yet humorous show with this hermetic installation in the middle of Tokyo’s roaring hustle and bustle. Bayrle’s aim was to turn the glass box of Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo into a place of mystery while maintaining a certain sense of humor.

In the center of the exhibition is an animated sculpture. A car’s windshield wiper with rhythmic moving arms on a steel column turns the piece into a type of conductor directing the entire room. In front of the sculpture is part of the vast work “Carmageddon,” which made a huge impact at “dOCUMENTA (13)” in 2012. Looking closer, the sculpture seems to be a relic from a time when daily traffic jams clogged the streets. Now single elements of the street are empty and abandoned, and cars appear to be the vanished objects of yesterday. On the back wall are three prints of mountain landscapes on gridded cardboard. These represent three Swiss Mountains, which are increasingly impacted by surges in traffic. Winding up the wall next to the mountains is part of a heavily cracked motorway with a warped trash car on it.

The exhibition also features a sound collage of furniture music, composed by Eric Satie in 1917, and the original sound of a windshield wiper. The sound collage runs all day long, interrupted only by the screening of the film “Sunbeam” (1994), which is shown on four small monitors in the room’s corners. In creating these dialogues of pattern, movement, sound, and rhythm, Bayrle once again creates a space where the meeting of machine and nature represents a key element of his work.

[Image: ©Louis Vuitton / Jérémie Souteyrat, Courtesy of Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo]



From 2013-05-18 To 2013-09-01


Thomas Bayrle



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トーマス・バイルレ展「Monuments of Traffic」


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