Austrian artist Friedl KUBELKA has spent her life unflinchingly committed to photography. Kubelka studied at the Graphic Instruction and Research Institute in Vienna from 1965 until 1969 and later trained as a psychoanalyst, eventually establishing her own 'School of Artistic Photography' in 1990. Often associated with the Viennese Actionists - an avant-garde movement of the 1960s and '70s characterised by its use of the body as both subject and canvas – Kubelka's photographic works accentuate temporality, seriality and the body – whether her own, her husband's or her daughter's. In 1972, Kubelka began work on her life project Year's Portraits, where, every five years she photographs herself for 12 months, casting light on her day-to-day life, her emotional states and changes to her physical appearance. The 1972 series, for instance, focused on Kubelka's youthful face, yet in her 2002 series, she is pictured nude in a bare studio, while in another image she photographs a close-up of her face caked in a face mask. Kubelka also creates radical films under the name of Friedl vom Gröller.
Kubelka was awarded the State Prize for Photography in 2005, Austria's most prestigious photography award, and her work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions held at Studio International, Leipzig (2012); Lentos, Linz (2011); Fotomuseum, Rotterdam (2005); and Centre Pompidou, Paris (1980). She has participated in notable group exhibitions, including 'House of the Sleeping Beauties', Sotheby's S|2 Gallery, London (2019); 'elles', Centre Pompidou, Paris (2009); and the ground-breaking exhibition 'WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution', at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007), which eventually travelled to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; PS1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York; and Vancouver Art Gallery.