Artissima, Italy’s most recognized fair on an international level, returns to Turin for its 23rd edition. As part of the fair’s comprehensive program, Thomas Bayrle art exhibition Flying Home will be presented as a new and unprecedented parallel project. Realized in collaboration with Torino Airport and curated by Sarah Cosulich, the show will experiment with new models, unexpected places, and different audiences. Specially conceived for the city, this renowned German pop artist will create a site-specific work for Torino Airport’s baggage claim area, transforming it into an unexpected and stimulating exhibition space deeply imbued with meaning. This is the first time Torino Airport is participating as a partner in an art commission, creating a surprising cultural initiative.
Considered a pioneer of the German Pop Art Movement, Thomas Bayrle has been creating images since the 1960s that use the same or related smaller pictures, infinitely repeated as units of a whole. For this reason, he is described as a forerunner of digital language before it could have ever been imagined. As a place of transit for thousands of people, the airport is a recurring theme in the artist’s practice and research. Through his work, he reveals the dynamics of our society and a fundamental principle of repetition through exploring the way people move through space, economy, technology, or even religion. Drawing, printing, distorting, cutting and uniting units that eventually make up a whole through the process of “artisanal digitalization”, Bayrle has built images by hand that computers now process automatically.
Using a sequence of images, Flying Home shows the mechanism of the construction of his seminal piece Aeroplane from 1984, a large-scale print of a plane made up of a million small airplanes on a 96-square-metre surface. Fascinated by the message of speed, technology, and the future that airline represented, Bayrle created the Lufthansa matrix in 1980, a silkscreen composed of 1,960 small airplanes that became one of the hundreds of models of the monumental Aeroplane. Adding the element of human presence, collaboration, interaction, gesture and three-dimensionality into Flying Home, the artist highlights the complex manual process behind his practice. This also references the human side of the airport, something that is often obscured in the functioning of this gigantic machinery.
Welcoming all travelers by air and art enthusiasts alike, this project connects the city through arts in a rather engaging way. Artissima 2016 will take place in Turin from November 4th through 6th. As a fair’s off-site project, Flying Home will be on view from November 4th, 2016 until May 28th, 2017.
Featured images: Thomas Bayrle, Installation of airplane, 2012. Photo Nikolaus Schletterer, dOCUMENTA13, Kassel; Thomas Bayrle - Flugzeug blau, 1982. Litography in four colours, 45,5 x 66 cm on 49 x 69,5 cm paper. Photo Wolfgang Günzel; Thomas Bayrle - Capsule, 1984. 16-piece photocollage on paper , 495 x 640 cm. Photo Wolfgang Günzel; Thomas Bayrle - Airplane, 1982-83. Photocollage, 8 x 13,4 cm. Photo Wolfgang Günzel 2; All images courtesy of Artissima 2016.