Friedl Kubelka vom Gröller
Das erste Jahresportrait, 1972-73
Black-and-white and color photographs
11 parts, 335 photographs, vintage prints,
baryta paper, approx. 5 x 5 cm each,
mounted on cardboard, handwritten text in ink
30 x 36.8 cm each, framed 38.2 x 41.4 cm each
The First Year Portrait
This idea came to me during a ride in a taxi with Hans Neuffer. Six months later, I was to discover that the idea was not new. Nevertheless, the subsequent production of a piece of work was very new for me. I learned that working regularly and patiently—even if I neglected the task for several days at a time—had a profound effect on my intellect and soul, and my emotional and euphoric state.
I tried to photograph myself every day from 22 March 1972 till 21 March 1973. The blank spaces represent my aggression, indifference, or forgetfulness towards this project. The result of this work varied between complacency, routine, and discipline. The following thought occurred to me during the last month of 1972: Narcissism has little to do with superficiality and aesthetics. It is, instead, an inability to adjust to other people’s emotions and reactions. The narcissist is incapable of perceiving any world other than his own.
Everything he extracts from reality becomes distorted as he crams it into his own intellectual narrowness, of which he is the painful center. (Ffriedl Kubelka)