Timo Herbst: [Attempt at Exhausting a Place / Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu]

Artist Timo Herbst received his diploma at the University of Arts in Bremen and Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig (Germany). He has shown his work in several museums and galleries in and outside of Germany. 

He was fellow of Art Quarter Budapest (Hungary), Goethe Institut Villa Kamogawa Kyoto and Paradise Air Matsudo (Japan), of Yarat Contemporary Art Center Baku (Azerbaijan) and Kulturstiftung Sachsen. 2016-2018 he was research fellow in an interdisciplinary project and research group “Arts and Science in Motion” of Volkswagen Foundation via FU Berlin and HBK Braunschweig. 2021/22 he was resident at Künstlerhaus München Villa Waldberta and Cité Internationale des Arts Paris. 

He is now resident at Fondation Fiminco for the international artists’ residency project. 

Curator Ricardo Fernandes interviews artist Timo Herbst

RF: [Attempt at Exhausting a Place / Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu] title is inspired by the poetry book by Georges Perec. How do you relate it to your art practice and to this specific body of work?

TH:Since the beginning of my art practice most of what I do is connected to the observation of the world or my surroundings and the capacity of understanding or dealing with it. I am interested in the indeterminacy and illegibility adhering to all types of images, or better said, in the indistinctness of our perceptions. The resulting ambivalences and contradictions that are characteristic of gestures have therefore become an important theme to me. Georges Perec gave himself exactly that task in observing and writing down what happened when he was at Place Saint Sulpice. He is not only describing the space or is creating a poetic form of how time is passing with what actions or things there. He is also provoking his limit of sense. How much can you see and write down, how much are you missing?

RF: Talk about the importance of drawing in your artistic practice and let us know how you started.

TH: As I mentioned, since the beginning of my art practice drawing and observing was an important practice for me. For example, at the beginning of my studies I was drawing people in the tram. That would limit my time to draw them because they would mostly leave after 5- 15 min. That changes your decision making and how you draw a line with the pencil. At the same time, I was interested in the capsule everybody created for themselves while sitting in the tram with their phone, book or music. In the end I had a portrait of a fragile crowd in their seats which produced a lot of empathy and relating to each other. This developed further into reconstructions of different actions or situations which I started drawing mostly in long sheets of (Japanese) paper. I, for instance, reconstructed a dance to draw it from one perspective in space to see if I would understand that movement more. The opposite is the case. It created a network of motions which the viewer is composing while watching that drawing. 

RF: You have used the delicate Japanese Washi paper as support of these works. What is the importance of the material and why did you use it to this series of artworks?

TH:I became interested in Washi paper in the last years of my study. Even though it often looks very fragile it is a very strong paper. I use it to layer several sheets on which I simultaneously draw on the front and backside (mostly for the big movement reconstructions). In 2016 I then went to Japan with a Goethe-Institut Residency in Kyoto and researched that kind of paper, how it is made. The Fusuma Doors in the Japanese Temples for example have up to seven layers of (different) paper. So, I learned their techniques to layer them which had a strong influence on how I install the paper nowadays. 

RF: Regarding your research for Rhythmanalysis art pieces, you mixed media and techniques that together form what we can consider a sculptural artwork. Please talk about the importance of technology to your artistic trajectory. 

TH:While in the drawings the context is hidden in favor of the appearance of movement, in my videos the context and in particular the communication through human actions is dealt with. The attention shifts towards the emergence of social meanings and narratives through the movements and gesture´s embedding during their performance. With my work “Rhythmanalysis” I then began to use movement of pedestrians or exhibition visitors through motion capture and data processing as compositional influence in creating my works. Compositions and editing of my video installations are thereby controlled or changed by the movement of distant pedestrians or exhibition visitors (sometimes unnoticed). In that work I use a very contemporary automation technique (computer generated animation and data processing) in combination with the traditional manual technique of drawing. I like this combination because both techniques talk about the same. I combined them to create depth to the image and also give them an equal relevance which they have in my process of creating artworks.


Main Museum and Institutional Collections


Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, Germany

artothek, Museen Köln, Cologne, Germany

Staatskanzlei Thüringen, Germany

Junge Kunst Bremen E.V, Bremen, Germany

Archiv der Moderne, Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Germany

Yarat Contemporaray Art Center Baku (Azerbaidschan), Azerbaijan

Art Quarter Budapest , Hungary

Bauhaus Museum Dessau, Germany

The Gallery


Ricardo Fernandes Gallery opens the doors of the international Contemporary Art market to talented artists. It is a continuation of a work of more than twentyfive years which began with the inauguration of a first gallery in Brazil and gave birth to an international career during which Ricardo Fernandes was actively involved. attached to the promotion of its artists.

The gallery is part of a movement of Parisian contemporary art galleries, extremely dynamic and resolutely cosmopolitan, which assert with each exhibition their international and artistic values. The gallery offers contemporary art exhibitions related to the most diverse media (painting, sculpture, photography, installations …) and opens up to a wide variety of contemporary artistic expressions.

Through its constant support for international artists and its involvement in the development of a rapidly expanding international market, Ricardo Fernandes gallery participates in the diverse and cultural art interactions of the city of Paris.

Photos: Amilcar de Castro first solo show in Paris, 2015, curator Ricardo Fernandes, photos SK

General Information

[Attempt at Exhausting a Place / Tentative d’épuisement d’un lieu]

Timo Herbst

Solo show

Ricardo Fernandes

Ricardo Fernandes and Timo Herbst

November 5, 2022 (from 2pm to 6pm)

From November 5, 2022 to January 16, 2023

Ricardo Fernandes
Marché Dauphine (galerie 95)

132 140 rue des Rosiers

93400 Saint Ouen


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