Timo Kahlen. Works with Wind
Timo Kahlen. Junge Tüten (Young Bags), 1990
from "Works with Wind"
Five paper bags floating, dancing, thronging, competing
in the wind of two electrical fans in the corner of a room.
With no possibility to escape, the bags take on
personalities, each characterized by particular
behaviour. Pure play at first sight, the work soon
becomes "an ambivalent situation of life
- through the cold precision of a machine."
Philip Ursprung, Basel 1992
Exhibited at Hochschule
der Künste Berlin, 1990 / Bonner Kunstverein 1992
Diecidue Arte, Milano 1992 / Galerie de l'Esplanade, Paris 1994
DC Arts Center, Washington DC 1994 / Galerie Voges + Deisen, Frankfurt 1995
Landesgalerie Oberösterreich, Linz 1997 / Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen 2011 etc
Timo Kahlen. Holding My Breath, 2020
March 2020. Holding my breath.
My breath, carefully controlled and tangibly contained
in an intimate, fragile and shimmering sphere,
becomes, quite literally, the medium of my reflections:
on 'social distancing', on cultural isolation and well-being.
Recorded in the artist's studio in Berlin,
in times of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.
These are times that make you 'hold your breath':
as the invisible air becomes existential.
HD video and sound from the series of ' Works with Wind '.
For monitor viewing, speakers and headphones
Webbiennial, Turkey 2020, The New Art Fest, Portugal 2020
and Field Notes: Safe and Sound, Berlin 2020.
"Passagen" at Kunststiftung DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main 2022.
Collection of Kunststiftung DZ BANK
Released on Vimeo. See vimeo.com/409211734
Timo Kahlen. Small Turbulence
(Proposal for an immaterial sculpture)
made of steam, 1991 / 1999
Steam from the street, kept in movement by cars.
"Timo Kahlens work is characterized by a
subtle perception of the natural and the technical world.
In his video Small Turbulence (Proposal for an immaterial
sculpture, 1991/1999) Timo Kahlen takes the role of a
discoverer in a world, where theres nothing left to discover,
simply because everything has seemingly been analysed
and explained. Nonetheless, what seems common, everyday,
like the steam coming from a sewage pipe in the
busy streets of New York, can be seen as a singular,
phenomenal event and truly become an ephemeral,
immaterial sculpture. Always, Kahlen tries to investigate
and understand phenomena at their blurry edges:
just before, in between, besides and after
the actual event." (Dr. Jule Reuter, Berlin 2001)
Kahlen's proposal for an immaterial public
sculpture made of steam
was nominated for the "Kahnweiler-Prize for Sculpture" 2001
in Rockenhausen, Germany
Video loop, 1:43 min, sound. Latest screening at "Timo Kahlen: Barely visible/ Fast unsichtbar 1988 - 2018",
seventeen video works at the Ruine der Künste Berlin 2018
Timo Kahlen. In der Schwebe (Afloat), 1992
Conceptual drawing for exhibition space
filled with drifting clouds of steam
Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin (University of the Arts Berlin), Berlin 1992
Timo Kahlen. Proposal for Immaterial Memorial, Oslo 2006
Memorial for Tsunami victims
and survivors, consisting of several
(immaterial, changing) columns of steam
and stone walls & benches
Public proposal and exhibition, Oslo 2006
Timo Kahlen. Tautologischer Raum
(Tautological Space), 1990 / 2015
Kinetic sound installation.
The factual wind of a rotating electrical fan
directs a single loudspeaker
suspended from the ceiling to rotate slowly
and as if by chance, changing its speed and direction in mid-air ;
thereby projecting the (likewise artificial) sound of wind
emitted by the speaker to move across, to meander,
to slide and to rotate along the gallery's walls.
Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin 1990; re-installed at FRISE Hamburg 2015
Vitrine (Display), 1991
The containment of a storm:
empty display case, industrial fan,
1 cubic meter of (invisible) storm
Installation views of the solo exhibition
"Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind",
the inaugural and first exhibition of
Kunst-Werke Berlin, June 1991
The solo exhibition "Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind", in June 1991,
was the first and founding exhibition of the Kunst-Werke Berlin
SOMA Projektgalerie, Berlin 1997
Two opposed movements of air
interact as they meet in line with
the space's dividing wall and doorway.
Two symmetrical spaces,
four green nets, two industrial fans
with contrary wind direction
"Timo Kahlen: Strömung"
SOMA Projektgalerie, Berlin 1997
Timo Kahlen. Windphotographien,1991 - 2022
The series of 'Wind Photographs'
records visual traces of wind
moving through the branches and foliage of trees.
In the long time exposures, defined contours dissolve
into abstract representations of a transient motion.
Exhibited in numerous contexts, including Dieci.Due! Gallery Milano 1992, Bonner Kunstverein 1992,
Museo Ken Damy Brescia 1992, Galerie Voges + Deisen, Frankfurt am Main 1993, Luftmuseum Amberg 2010,
Märkisches Museum Witten 2017, DZ Bank Kunstsammlung, Frankfurt am Main 2017 and Kommunale Galerie, Berlin 2022.
Sammlung Kuenstlerfoerderung Berlin and Collection DZ Bank, Frankfurt am Main etc.
Installation view at "Timo Kahlen: Windwechsel", Luftmuseum Amberg 2010. Image below: Wind Photographs, 2021 & 2022.
Work in progress 1991 - 2022
Timo Kahlen. Vortex, 1992
Five powerful industrial fans, mounted into a
cubic metal construction, create a furious storm.
The deafening sound and brutal force of the wind
fill the exhibition space, making the visitor hesitate
to approach the massive, volatile, aggressive object
"Timo Kahlen: Arbeiten mit Wind", Neue Galerie, Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin 1992
Timo Kahlen. Feld (Field), 1992
Sound and wind of twenty-five electrical fans
moving at alternate speeds.
A cluster of multi-directional movement and sound
Competion of German Art Academies at Bonner Kunstverein 1992.
Re-installed at Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft Berlin 1994.
Installation view at Bonner Kunstverein, 1992
In Quarantäne (In Quarantine), 1992
Two sealed isolation wards
of the recently abandoned Russian military hospital
in direct proximity to the Bauhaus Dessau,
two powerful industrial fans moving the air within,
creating a thundering, invisible storm
"... and a strong sense of leakage... when faced with
the unseen (immaterial) danger of disease."
Installation view of the site-specific, temporary wind installation at
"(ueber Zeit): Die Ruine der Kuenste Berlin am Bauhaus Dessau", Dessau 1992.
Quoted from a text by Joanna Littlejohns, Guernsey 2001.
Timo Kahlen. Trojaner (Trojan), 2013
Sculpture, pedestal, scent of sweet perfume,
and 3D lenticular postcard edition
The sweet perfume emitted by the splintered,
fragmented, abstract red sculpture - the 'Trojan' -
catches public attention, as the artist carries the object,
placed on a white pedestal, through the streets of Berlin,
appearing here and there, at random locations.
On request, spectators and passers-by are encouraged
to take home as a present a very attractive 3D postcard
of the object: a state-of-the-art lenticular, multi-layered
photograph of the 'Trojan', presenting a sequence
of multiple and changeable three-dimensional views
of the object, as the postcard is held and seen
at different angles.
This conversation piece, the attractive and
unexpected present, now travels into the homes and
offices, trespasses the threshold from public to
private sphere, to unfold its viral effect
"Timo Kahlen: Trojaner", Temporäre Kunstprojekte, Galerie M, Berlin 2013
Timo Kahlen. 12 Winde and Kühler Wind, 1992
'12 Winds' is a site-specific installation in the forbidden,
walled-up Russian military zone of Dessau - abandoned and
dismounted, stripped of all its electrical or technical parts just weeks before -,
situated only 200 meters from the historic site of the Bauhaus Dessau.
Twelve electrical fans oscillate out of sync at various speeds
in the dismantled, abandoned surgery of the former Russian military hospital.
In 'Kühler Wind (Cold Wind)' five photographs of visual traces of wind
travelling through trees and undergrowth are displayed
on tiled pedestals in another dismantled surgery, beneath a
blue antiseptic neon light. Conserved and pinned-down,
they are sealed behind glass, and remain frozen in time.
Installation views at "(ueber Zeit): Die Ruine der Kuenste Berlin am Bauhaus Dessau",
Russisches Lazarett am Bauhaus Dessau, 1992
Timo Kahlen. Time Remaining, 2020
An image of vanitas: a close-up of the artist
consistently blowing dandelion seeds from their stem.
Each breath of air carrying away a number of seeds, until none are left.
Part of the image: a (but seemingly) consistent timecode,
representing the time remaining from the beginning to the end
of the performance. A precise experimental setup
- interwoven by slight and unexpected sudden leaps in time and code,
and reversals of the steady flow of events, as the fragile dandelion parasols
seem to resist, to return, to re-align and re-gather at the stem:
making prolepsis and analepsis, time reversals and concurring movements
part of the narration, by rendering the narrative past, present and future
simultaneous elements in time.
HD video, 4:07 min. Recorded in the artists studio in May 2020,
during times of pandemic lockdown and isolation, due to Covid-19.
Image at bottom right: Timo Kahlen. Temporär (Temporary), 2021 prototype for installation at Ruine der Künste Berlin 2022.
Timo Kahlen. To Brancusi, 1991
Nine steel construction elements propping /
enclosing fragile birds' nests to the gallery's ceiling.
A fragile balance, calling to mind thoughts of
birth and creation - and of interception and death.
Installation views at Dieci.Due!, Milano 1992
and at Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, 1991
Further presentations at Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin, 1992
and Kunsthalle Basel 1992. Re-installed for the retrospective
of the Ruine der Kuenste Berlin, in 2015
Timo Kahlen. Without Title, 1990
A fragile setup: heavy steel beams
balancing fragile birds' nests
Sommeratelier, Hannover / Germany 1990, De Gele Rijder, Arnhem / NL 1990
Pépinières, Béthune / France 1991, Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin 1992. Early variations include: one
single bird's nest rotating from the ceiling, Arnhem/Berlin 1991. And: clusters of birds' nests, rotating at low speed,
as in "Kosmos" at 'Scholars of the Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft', Berlin 1994, or in "Heimat # 2", Berlin 2010 (not pictured).
Timo Kahlen. Wehen, 1990
In the synaesthetic installation Wehen the viewer
is hit by wind and sound: simultaneously tactile
and acoustic, the viewer feels and hears the wind
of seven industrial blowers mounted to a steel beam,
suspended from the ceiling at eye-level, like a storm
on the horizon. Rotating at different (full and
throttled) speeds, the electric fans moan and whistle,
creating various layers of white noise. Small speakers
mounted discretely behind each fan emit two further
layers of (prerecorded) sound of the same fans
at a virtual, doubled and a very low-pitched speed
- again modified by the whirling air currents
as each single sound passes through the electrical fan.
On the wall behind, three birds nests
lie abandoned on a coat rack
Hochschule der Kuenste, Berlin 1990
Sommeratelier, Hannover 1990
Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen 1992
Isolated birds' nests at Kunst-Werke Berlin, 1991
Timo Kahlen. Korrektur der Schwerkraft
Kunst-Werke Berlin, 1991
Defying gravity. Two industrial fans suspended
like pendules, rotating from the ceiling
in "Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind",
inaugurating the Kunst-Werke Berlin
in 1991: swinging and floating in mid-air,
a small distance from the ground, out of plumb
and avoiding the perpendicular
by the force of the (invisible) air
that they expelled.
The solo exhibition "Timo Kahlen: Works with Wind"
in June 1991 was the inaugural and first exhibition
of the Kunst-Werke (KW) Berlin.
Above: conceptual drawing and prototype. Variations of the work
at "Scholars of the Pépinières Européenes", Béthune / France 1990 -1991
and at the Ruine der Künste Berlin, 1991.
Timo Kahlen. Touching Time, 2022
Fragile dandelion seeds
(freshly plucked from the garden)
protected by glass display cases
slightly off-set on museum pedestals
Installation view of Timo Kahlen: "Immaterials 1986-2022"
at Ruine der Künste Berlin 2022
Timo Kahlen. Schwarzes Rauschen (180 min of Wind)
from the series of 'audio tape sculptures', 1996
Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin (now: University of the Arts Berlin), Berlin 1996
Timo Kahlen. Dialog (Dialogue), 1998
Two or more mounted men's shirts,
moved by the air of electrical fans
engaging in a virtual, silent dialogue
Presented at Rheinbeckhallen, Berlin 1999
and the International Artist in Residence Programme, the gallery, Guernsey 2001.
Above: Conceptual model of installation, 1998
Timo Kahlen. Slow Motion, 2019
Steel pins, gallery pedestal, magnet
Not more than a heap of steel pins on a white gallery pedestal
- yet, at short intervals, at a very slow speed, and pin by pin,
moving irrationally: continuously changing and rearranging
its structural shape and graphic pattern. Driven by chance, friction,
and a magnetic force below. A fascinating miniature.
Installed at "Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2019 and "Timo Kahlen: aus der Luft gegriffen / in trockenen Tüchern", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2020.
Free download of catalogue (PDF / 4.9 MB). English / German. 28 pages / 34 images. Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2020
Timo Kahlen. Sisyphus, 2018
Balancing forces: wind and gravitation.
Slanted plate, electrical fan, sphere.
The object (invisibly) forced half way up the slope.
"Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Künste Berlin, Berlin 2019
Timo Kahlen. Perpetuum, 2018
Worn and fixed tyres - re-inflated and losing air.
A self portrait.
Installed as part of the exhibition
"Timo Kahlen: FLUID", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2019
Timo Kahlen. Luftlinie, 2020
A thin wire suspended from the wall, and meandering in mid-air,
spells out the word 'Luftlinie', a German idiom expressing the concept
of defining the shortest distance between A to B. This concept of a linear distance
(referred to as the 'beeline' or 'air line distance') implies a mode of
moving in a perfect straight line to reach one's goal
(necessarily progressing in a flight mode, airborne and without detours).
Unfortunately, this concept does not consider the atrocities of topography,
the physicality of travelling, or the friction imposed by the road,
or by circumstances and hurdles of every day.
The wire sculpture thus attempts to reconcile the abstract concept
with observations from the artist's personal experiences and experiments.
Installed as part of the exhibition
"Timo Kahlen: aus der Luft gegriffen / in trockenen Tüchern", Ruine der Künste Berlin 2020.
Free download of catalogue (PDF / 4.9 MB). English / German. 28 pages / 34 images.
Edition Ruine der Künste Berlin, 2020
Timo Kahlen. Weightless, 2001-2018
A small insect (in variation above: a feather)
suspended, rising and falling, 'floating' perpetually
above a gallery pedestal. Very little wind projected
from an electrical fan mounted
into the pedestal
Early variations of this type of work include
a single, isolated (natural) leaf, animated by the (artificial) wind of an electrical fan,
as in the wind installation "Divergence (No. II)", International Artist in Residence
Programme at 'the gallery', Guernsey 2001 - amongst a number of other small-scale
wind installations from the series, since 2001. Installation view at the artist's studio.
Timo Kahlen. Curtain of Wind, 1996
From the series of
'audio tape sculptures'
A curtain of 'wind' recorded on tape.
Lines of audio tape, installed in
an open window : forming a visual 'screen'
of multiple horizontal lines interacting,
interfering and flickering - like 'white noise' -
in the draft of the open window
Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin
(University of the Arts Berlin), Berlin 1996.
Pictured: Conceptual drawing. Collection of the artist
Timo Kahlen. Raumhülle, 2021
A series of new photographs exploring
the movement of aerosols.
Part of the Tenderness of Space experimental series,
in times of the Covid pandemic, Berlin 2021.
Timo Kahlen. Sculpting Sound in My Hands
and Throwing It into the Air, 1991 - 2020
Sketch for a series of ephemeral, intangible
and temporary sound sculptures:
employing a method that I was never quite able to realize.
"Undocumented Events and Object Permanence" (autumn edition), noemata.net/ueop
and # biennale.no, Gol / Norway 2020
Since 1989, Timo Kahlen has been creating
and exhibiting numerous wind installations and other
sculptural and conceptual works related to the material wind.
These ephemeral and kinetic ' Works with Wind '
have received wide recognition, and were nominated
for the German national Prize of Art Academies 1992.
Kahlen's 'Works with Wind' were exhibited
- amongst other locations - prominently at the
Kunst-Werke Berlin in 1991, at Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin
(now University of the Arts Berlin) from 1990 to 1994,
at Bonner Kunstverein in 1992, at Galerie Voges + Deisen Frankfurt in 1993,
at DCAC Arts Center in Washington D.C. in 1994,
at Oberoesterreichische Landesgalerie Linz in 1997,
at Luftmuseum (Air Museum) Amberg in 2010,
at Zeppelin Museum Friedrichshafen in 2011,
at Galerie M, Berlin in 2013, at FRISE in Hamburg in 2015,
at the Ruine der Künste Berlin in 2019
and at Kunststiftung DZ Bank Frankfurt in 2022.
Timo Kahlen Works with Wind Sound Sculptures
Photography Impressum / Contact
© Timo Kahlen / VG Bild-Kunst, 1999 - 2023