Timotheus Tomicek is an Austrian artist, filmmaker and photographer. He studied at the Film Academy Vienna/Paris. Tomicek is known in his artistic work for his inconsistent cross-media approach. Since 2009 he is represented in international exhibitions and collections.
Timotheus, you are known for your cross-media work, which you yourself describe as “inconsistent”. How do you describe your artistic work?
Timotheus Tomicek: It is difficult to describe my art to anyone, if only because I myself do not know exactly where art begins and where it ends. If I cook lunch and stir it, like the oil paint on the palette, is that art already? No, probably not.
Anyway, my work is the opposite of uniform. It means I don’t follow a line. At least not on the outside. The themes are of course connected and can also be seen as a line, but in the end it’s curves that circle around the theme.
What are you working on right now?
Medicine for the World. It’s a video in super slow motion in which a honey-like liquid drips from a spoon. I’m also working on a spruce barometer, an oil painting and a new book.
Please tell us more about “Medicine for the World”.
I wanted to do something simple. A spoon, a juice, gravity and time. Space, time and content are inseparable, so I’m trying not to process them separately. The technical realization is just handicraft. The spoon is freed from ugly reflections in a “light tent” and recorded in 4K video format.
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
Everywhere. Mostly outdoors. It is the combinations of (mostly) everyday situations that open up a new theme. If you assume that everything is somehow, somewhere connected with everything, then you can move from any “position” to the desired goal. The aberration happens only through distraction, and this distraction can sometimes even lead to a larger goal.
I think that every work of art has to tie in with a zeitgeist, so that it can be accepted by the world, even if there is more timeless art, which is then often called miracle: like the pyramids, for example.
The beginning is half of the whole, says Aristotle. Another proverb says it is heavy – like the first stroke on a white canvas, for example. How do you start a new work?
I don’t know the fear of the blank paper. Maybe it’s because of my expectations, which are not high, because the “magical” works are very rarely created from my experience, and only when they want to be. I do not believe that art comes from “ability” alone.
What is your personal definition of art?
“Art is when you can’t do it, because if you can do it, it’s not art.” I didn’t come up with that quote, Nestroy did. There’s a piece of truth in every definition, whether I like it personally or not. For me personally, art is neither one thing nor the other, but rather a happy moment in which something flashes up that is otherwise hidden. The artist is only responsible for making this possible.
Do you have a personal work ritual that you like to follow?
I only start work when I need to. That means I wait a very long time until the urgency is at its maximum before I unpack the paintbox. A ritual does not really exist, because I don’t believe (in art) in repetition or even recipes. Nor do I cook according to a recipe.
Tim, now a question arises that has nothing to do with art: Can you tell us a favourite recipe?
One day I wanted to make pancakes, but there was no egg at home. So I thought, no egg. Then I realized: There’s no milk either. So no milk either! How much can you leave out? The pancakes with just flour and water were delicious! The most global dish ever! The flade, ciabatta, or whatever… But it wouldn’t have worked without a pinch of salt.
What is especially important to you about your studio?
That the chaos can be put into an understandable structure when it is needed. The studio has to be functional. It’s only for the realisation of the themes, not for inspiration – in my case.
Inspiration is a voice that you either hear or not when you enter a room. The room is not just a metaphor, it is real at the same time.