Mill room (2016)
Who hasn't heard of the mill in the Black Forest Valley, a scenario that casts a romantic glow on a Southern German idyll? Yet even the Romantic poet Joseph von Eichendorff had already broken with such romanticizing gloss at the beginning of the 19th century when, by way of his "Good-for-Nothing", he created the prototype of the romantic dreamer. The miller cannot use his dreamy son in an undertaking based on up-to-date technology. Neither does Tim Otto Roth view his homeland through romantically rose-colored glasses but lures the exhibition visitor into a curiosity cabinet which, via his paintings, photographs, diagrams and sculptures, he has designed as a cultural criticism of the Black Forest—beginning with the mill as a hi-tech enterprise. Along with the dynamic changes in the Black Forest, reborn as an industrial landscape with its consequences for the environment—by way of watermills and windmills as sculptural objects—are what our man from Oppenau makes plain to us via Schwarzwald's bright and shady aspects. Whereby the exhibit room does not only document Tim Otto Roth's intellectual confrontation with his native countryside, but gives us an insight into the work process of this conceptual artist: the tracing of the aesthetic potential of the cultural landscape in its past and present-day history is the starting point for his artistic work.