Videoart feature – artists self-portraits- 1-3
On that very day, Wilfried, just a few days 19 years old and shortly before his graduation from high-school, was a founding member of an association of young artists living in Esslingen, a city close to Stuttgart (Southern Germany). Since 1966, Wilfried had been participating in an annual exhibition of young artists organized by the municipality and a youth organisation active in the exchange with the diverse twin-cities of Esslingen, particularly Vienne (France) and Udine (Italy).
In 1968, the artists participants in these local cultural activities were asked to form a local artists group with the perspective to run an own art gallery to be supported by the municipality, and for this purpose a legal association had to be established first (in German called “Kunstverein”), and 16 January 1969 was the constitutional gathering of “Qualerie 1”, a strange name, but the artists liked it. After his successful high school graduation, Wilfried enrolled in the Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts in autumn this year. Some weeks later, on the annual meeting the artists association was electing the board for the coming years, Wilfried had been elected as the chairman to run the gallery. While it had been the idea of the municipality to support contemporary art in the provincial town, the artists actually were too young and not accustomed to run professionally the art association and the gallery.
Advised by his father, Wilfried never made any decision by his own, but always in agreement with other board-members, but it was his job to communicate their decision, which one of the artist who was supposed to participate in one of the first exhibitions the artists run gallery wanted to organise, did not accept, he felt unfairly treated and started intriguing against Wilfried, so that during 1970 Wilfried’s initial enthusiasm turned slowly to the opposite, now it was him who felt continuously unfairly attacked and emotionally and intellectually overwhelmed with the stressful responsibility.
At the end of the winter semester in February 1971, Wilfried made the 1st radical cut in his life, he gave up his position as a chairman, left the association, and told his parents he would not continue his studies at the academy, he never wanted to be confronted with contemporary art again!! The shock was tremendous!
Of course. it was not the end of Wilfried’s engagement in contemporary art otherwise this “retrospective” wouldn’t be possible, but his decision had far-reaching consequences for this future life, because from time to time he came to a cross-road and – making decisions, he was always following his heart!
Wilfried always saw the “self-portrait” as a most relevant and personal-initimate expression in art. So, there are good reasons, why the “self-portrait” became a topic in his own art creation, as well as in curatorial projects.
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