Erwin, Toni, Ilse
I started photographing when I was 16 and was accepted to the School of Graphic Arts in Vienna when I was 19. After four years I graduated and passed my trade test. In the final school year I attended a class for film technique and our teacher Professor Dirnhofer lent us his camera, a Eumig C16. I started to make films with my colleague Erwin Reichmann, and we were highly influenced by the Nouvelle Vague. That was the beginning. In my first film I made a portait of Erwin and for that reason the film is simply called Erwin. Toni the small kid with the pistol is my brother. And Ilse was a friend, ten years younger than me, who had recently tried to commit suicide; later she succeded. I also made photographs of her. With Ilse I noticed for the first time that an emotion arise during the film. That is what mostly interests me in comparison to making photographs. Photography has a suspending camera eye – and this disadvantage I wanted to turn into an advantage: Thus the idea of serial photography developed – taking many similar shots and comparing the images. This idea has been very much influenced by the lectures of Hans Neuffer and Peter Kubelka. (...)
People are usually shy at the beginning, which I know from portrait photography. For that reason I begin shooting at a distance and then try to get as close as possible. And that’s more or less the way I’ve shot my films.
(from an interview with Friedl Kubelka)
Thematically Friedl Kubelka´s films are closely related to her photographic works, which are portraits. In 1968 she began working with film, producing her first sketch of three individuals. The three protagonists appear in various aquatic environments in Vienna, at the Danube Canal or the Danube River itself. The final passages herald Kubelka´s later approach to film: the film portrait, which dispenses with language and an actual plot.
Friedl vom Gröller