Over the span of a short yet exceptionally prolific career, Michel Majerus (b. 1967, Esch- sur-Alzette - d. 2002, Niederanven) captured the spirit of his time – decades marked by the expansion of globalised consumer culture and digital technology. His large-scale paintings and installations are characterised by the visual sampling and collaging of an eclectic repertoire of imagery and text. Borrowing freely from art history, video games, commercials or electronic music, his work resonates with the frenzy of imagery and information that has been pervading our contemporary society through the omnipresence of internet. In his work, Majerus transgressed the well-worn rules of painting and created unmistakable interpretations of the pop culture of the 1990s and early 2000s that continue to be of unfailing relevance today.
Majerus’s painting installations typically examined the growing role of the digital, allowing visitors to walk through and experience emerging visual cultures in an immersive way. SINNMASCHINE [Sense Machine] (1997), featured as part of the exhibition in the Grand Hall of Mudam, is one of those. Referencing The Man-Machine, the 1978 album of German electronic-music band Kraftwerk, its industrial metal floor recalls a dancefloor on which visitors’ steps resonate. Playfully blending the vocabularies of entertainment, advertisement and the news, the artwork portrays the homogenisation of taste in a globalised capitalist economy. Majerus used the iconographic repertoire of the Internet at a time when the information age was still in its infancy.