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While studing architecture in Hannover Timm Ulrichs was strongly attracted by Dadaism and, starting with visual poetry and graphic art, he developed the conviction that art and life cannot be separated from each other. In his words: “The totality of life equates the totality of art.” As early as 1961, founded the Advertizing Agency for Total Art including the Room Gallery & Room Theater in Hannover. In 1966, he exhibited himself as the first living artwork, thus laying the foundation for a large number of works dealing with his own persona and the exploration of the self. At the core of Ulrichs’ work and its interdisciplinary approach is the analysis of the self as a productive reflection on human existence in general. “Total Art,” as Ulrichs characterizes his own art, “knows no boundaries as regards to genre and encompasses diverse disciplines that serve to get to the bottom of human existence”.
For Timm Ulrichs Language is fundamental; his works are often playing with verbal concepts, tautologies, paradoxes and multiple meanings. He is considered one of the most remarkable conceptual artists in Germany.
Ulrichs has participated in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, among them at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Documenta 6, Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Centre Pompidou, ZKM Karlsruhe, Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and Kestnergesellschaft Hannover.
From 1969 to 1970, Timm Ulrichs was a visiting professor at Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Braunschweig, and from 1972 to 2005 professor for sculpture at Kunstakademie Münster.
Interviewed by Irene Pascual and Johnny Amore in Berlin