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Studio International Presents Friedl vom Groller Work

Studio International Presents Friedl vom Groller film on 15 December 2011–28 January 2012.

“I want to see an emotion and how it arises.” Austrian filmmaker Friedl vom Gröller (born 1946 in London) gained recognition as a photographer under the name Friedl Kubelka. Best known are perhaps her serial works (year, month, week, and day portraits) and a cycle on avant-garde filmmakers like Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs, Tony Conrad, Morgan Fisher and Owen Land. In the late 1960s, however, vom Gröller had already also begun to make portrait films.

Shot on 16mm black-and-white stock, the edited-in-camera silent films present episodes with friends, family members and strangers based on situations that initially follow the classical parameters of portraiture: the artist’s only instruction to her sitters is to look into the camera for the duration of a reel of film. The studies focus on the sitter’s facial expressions and draw attention to the gestures that accompany the action.

“I want to see an emotion and how it arises,” is how vom Gröller describes her approach. She has three minutes to involve the sitter in a situation that seems to be made possible only by the presence of a film camera, but which is not about filmmaking itself. Blurred images, camera wobble, and side-lit scenes recall techniques of avant-garde and art film, or Andy Warhol’s screen tests, but in vom Gröller’s work they seem primarily to express the intimacy and intensity of the process of filming. To the voyeuristic power of filming, the act of being exposed and the gaze at the model, she responds with filmic and physical interventions, humour, and timidity. In her current films, we also see “aging beyond the economic considerations of politics” (FvG), a realm that is rarely visible.

As founder of a school for artistic photography and later independent film in Vienna, of which she is still the director, vom Gröller has exerted a shaping influence on a younger generation of filmmakers and artists.

Friedl vom Gröller’s first solo show in Germany and largest exhibition outside Austria to date focuses on her early and current films, shown together with photographs from various series including her portraits of filmmakers and her pictures staging the sculptures of Franz West, who has also featured in her films, as well as her early fashion photography, commissioned work that is being shown here for the first time.

Friedl vom Gröller (a.k.a. Friedl Kubelka) born 1946 in London, lives in Vienna. Her films have been screened at: Generali Foundation, Vienna; Anthology Film Archives, N.Y.; documenta 12; Austrian Film Museum; Toronto Film Festival (2009, 2010); Hong Kong Film Festival (2010, 2011); Diagonale (2009, 2010, 2011); 6th berlin biennale; Retrospektive MEDIA-CITY, Canada 2010. Selected exhibitions: Galerie Fotohof, Salzburg; Generali Foundation, Vienna; Fotogalerie, Vienna; Haus der Kunst, Munich; MUMOK, Vienna; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ludlow 38, New York; 6th berlin biennale; Lentos Museum, Linz (solo show)

Curated by Rike Frank
Exhibition architecture: Etienne Descloux PE-P and Julian Göthe
Graphic design: Jaroslaw Kubiak
Supported by the Federal Ministry for Education, Arts and Culture, Vienna, sixpackfilm, Vienna and Eidotech, Berlin

Studio International
Galerie der Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig
Wächterstraße 11
04701 Leipzig

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