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Thomas Bayrle on Michel Majerus

‘Majerus was driven by mass – calm and heavy like a smooth car – six cylinder bicycle with no flat tyre’

Once upon a time – 2002, I think: a moment with Michel Majerus in Berlin trying to rebuild an intensive moment in Berlin – Helke made a little film –

• we were crossing a broad street -

– sunny afternoon near a water tower – him with a white shirt – pulling his bicycle –

  • o laughing – not loud – talking in his tender voice – changing the dimensions of his face, turning it into sly humour –
  • we walked a bit in pure space – sunny, great nothing – filled with found reality – blue sky – how refreshing –
  • not pressing – ice cream? in a halfpipe gelateria? ok – one percent of competition ...
  • Majerus was driven by mass – calm and heavy like a smooth car – six cylinder bicycle with no flat tyre
  • Flann O’Brien? – two dimensional – three dimensionality? Suddenly there was a red cinema opposite ... His arm raised, he described a large flat form – a pink Berliner –
  • ? A painted flat three dimensional bridge – running into this very cinema? – wow –
  • was it his project? Our correspondence – if ever – was about: mass!
  • Mass-production / mass-consumption / crops – cops – noses – shoes –
  • pressed into the now – automatically political – up way out – not let it be – America
  • paint!
  • Take the mighty brush – step onto the ladder and paint! A long line! –
  • <<<<<<<<<<<<< precisely! No sweating!
  • And step down again – was that it? Helke pressed the button – wuff – felt inferior – (You’ll never get this far)
  • Germany still tries to escape from mass-production – into health production – healthy bread –
  • bio - o yeah – those days not yet vegan – sorry for the past – I am bio myself – and Michel – of course – also bio! – magt nix

He came from Luxemburg – via Stuttgart – no problem with a synagogue –

  • worked – painted – the programme he carried in mind – kept cool – while hot – if something is too long – make it longer – like the architect Saarinen – and America – where not everything goes! –

In Berlin – I was born – we walked some hours on the sunny side of the street ... World War II? – go to Los Angeles? – make paintings – big ones – come back as Massproduct – of Cells – of Atoms – and –

  • fly into _ O ------

Yours Thomas B.

Main image: Michel Majerus, if we are dead, so it is, 2000, installation view at Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne. Courtesy: Estate of Michel Majerus and Wikimedia Commons

Thomas Bayrle is an artist based in Frankfurt, Germany. In 2018, he had a solo show at The New Museum, New York, USA. 

Issue 200

First published in Issue 200

January - February 2019
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