a performative video project, taking place at Kunstverein Ulm, 2023

  • The video-performance project is part of the exhibition “ON FIRE – permanent emergency” at Kunstverein Ulm, in which different ways of physical exercises and artistic evacuations are explored. How can we prepare ourselves for possible escape scenarios? How is it possible to deal with the mode of floating falling? And who is part of which evacuation plan? Which possibilities are there to deal with all of this?

    camera: Stifter Studio
    video excerpts of a 12:30 min. loop ( in 2K resolution)
    special thanks to IS Imaging Solutions

    © Tomas Kleiner

permanent emergency

exhibition by Greta Ehmann and Tomas Kleiner at Kunstverein Ulm
Sept 08 – Oct 08, 2023

  • How can we deal with the everyday droning sirens? How do we move from a rigid to a moving alert? What could practical exercise scenarios of preparation for uncertain futures look like?

    As the title “ON FIRE – permanent emergency” suggests, the artistic works by Greta Ehmann and Tomas Kleiner approach the subject in a way that is both: humorous and playful as well as existentially urgent. The premises of the Ulmer Kunstverein, once used as a fire station, will be re-staged as an experiential space of an artificial fire station in the exhibition.

    The jointly conceived exhibition by the two artists Greta Ehmann and Tomas Kleiner combines participatory installations with performative video actions and a large-format painting cycle.

    supported by Innovationsfonds Baden-Württemberg

    Special thanks to:
    Maurer Veranstaltungstechnik

    Photos: Stifter Studio

    – Neu Ulmer Zeitung, 01.09.2023, Article by Dagmar Hub 
    – Südwest Presse, 07.09.2023, Article by Jürgen Kanold

[‘fffhhhhh] praktiken der beflügelung

solo exhibition by Tomas Kleiner at Petra Rinck Galerie, Düsseldorf 2023
Sept 01 – Oct 21, 2023

  • Tomas Kleiner’s performative actions and research projects, often designed for the long term, are created in dialog with human, but also plant or animal actors. He deals with socially relevant, political and ecological issues and likes to leave the protected sphere of the studio behind. He moves into public space with his works and creates places of encounter and dialogue – for joint reflection and action.

    Since March, he has been engaged in an artistic research entitled “Cross-Species Flight Exercises”, investigating with scientific meticulousness and playful lightness how plants can acquire extended mobility practices by means of experimental flight constructions. In this way Kleiner continues his long-standing exploration of the mode of hovering, which combines orientation and aimlessness, doing and doing nothing, movement and rest.

    Text by Anja Heitzer
    Photos: Studio Kukulies

    – Rheinische Post, Article (29.08.2023)  by Helga Meister 

Artenübergreifende Flugübungen

the installation “Artenübergreifende Flugübungen / interspecies flight exercises” is part of the exhibition “1,5 DEGREES – interdependencies between life, the cosmos, and technology”
Kunsthalle Mannheim
Apr 04 – Oct 08, 2023


    The artist Tomas Kleiner has set up a performative studio for the exhibition “1.5 degrees. Interweavings of Life, Cosmos, Technology”, he has set up a performative studio in which he will perform cross-species flight exercises on three dates. Curator Anja Heitzer has taken a closer look at his work.

    “Hovering shows itself in the back and forth between world and ego, neither of which offers reliable orientation any more. This state of hovering is a general sign of the times.” 

    This is what the philosopher Walter Schulz wrote about the state of floating in 1985. He was describing man’s position in the world, which is characterised by uncertainty and restlessness. This inventory seems just as true today – 40 years after the text was published – as it did then. In addition to political unrest, the climate crisis in particular poses an elusive challenge to the global community. This task can quickly lead to resignation and fatalism. As the exhibition “1.5 degrees. Interweaving Life, Cosmos, Technology” shows, many artists are choosing to act and actively address the issue.


    Tomas Kleiner is one of them and tries to make the often negatively connoted state of levitation productive for our present. He makes levitation the tool of his art and thus reacts to real, ecological dangers. The increasing mobility of man is curtailing the habitat of animals and plants that, unlike us, are closely rooted to their ecosystem. To get rid of this dualism, Kleiner develops various – more or less utopian – strategies. With the help of helium balloons or self-sewn parachutes, he carries out cross-species flight exercises and thus develops new ways of motion for the most diverse forms of life.


    The helium balloons made of biodegradable corn change their flight behaviour depending on the shape and size of the balloons, the dosage of helium or the weight of the attached transport object (e.g. sweet potato or water lily). Driven by the breeze, they take on a life of their own – in a pack or as loners. Sometimes they move ponderously and hesitantly, sometimes exuberantly and adventurously through the museum. In addition to working on the so-called „æronauts“, Kleiner is currently testing parachutes as a means of mobility for plants. The flying objects are reminiscent of jellyfish, which inflate when attached to long lines, rise high into the air and then collapse again. They puff up and seem to breathe the wind. They make the power of the air currents visible and seem as light as a feather and weightless. When Kleiner lets his monumental medusas rise, the air turns into water and the ecosystems exchange places for a short time. Their movements are restless and yet calming. The state of suspension takes on an almost meditative component that celebrates rather than fears the “back and forth between world and self”. This mode combines a moment of departure with a moment of pause and reflection.


    In the process, Kleiner invites us to try out the state of suspension together with him. His experimental approach is always a starting point for dialogue and exchange. In the context of the exhibition “1,5 Grad” at the Kunsthalle Mannheim, Tomas Kleiner has set up a performative studio in which he will work repeatedly throughout the duration of the exhibition. He will perform his flight exercises on site – in the exhibition rooms or in the atrium of the Kunsthalle – and constantly change his exhibition presentation. Visitors can become part of his research. They are invited to reflect on the influence of man on his environment and to be inspired by Kleiner’s utopian experiments.

    Tomas Kleiner will be working in his studio at the Kunsthalle on the following days:
    Residency 1: 2 to 7 May
    Residency 2: 27 June to 2 July
    Residency 3: 3 to 8 October

    Text: Anja Heitzer
    Photos: Elmar Witt

    The project “Artenübergreifende Flugübungen is kindly supported by “Kunststiftung NRW”

AUFBRUCH IN DIE SCHWEBE / rise into the void, 2023

a performative project with wind based floating bodies made of discarded parachutes. It is part of Tomas Kleiner’s Bremerhaven Stipendium Residence and appears in public space on the shore of the sea, Bremerhaven, 2023

HAYAI KI / 速い木 [schneller Baum], 2023

an exhibition project in collaboration with Marco Biermann @FAK23 curated by Jana Bernhardt & Jana Peplau, Münster, 2023

  • here will soon appear a  text of Jana & Jana