The Inability To Overcome The Narcissistic Universe refers back to the idea that every form of creation has a destructive aspect in it. Franzen argues that the universe has a narcissistic nature. A mirror can serve to show the true essence of such characterization of a dualistic universe, since it is tinted in gold colour. Whereas the ancients venerated icons and Gods, Franzen venerates the destruction of the reflection of the narcissistic nature of the observer, the art piece, and the artist.


This project refers back to Franzen’s belief that the universe is narcissistic in all aspects; this is its very nature. Franzen addresses biological, physical, chemical, religious, and spiritual narcissism, in all things and beings. He argues that photons, protons, gods, artworks, and even spacetime itself is stringent narcissistically in themselves.

Franzen’s project consists of large golden and metallic sheets, on which he performs hits and cuts with different tools, such as hammers, axes, or even guns. The results are shiny mirrors with greatly visible traces of destruction on, and in them.  Here, the golden mirror represents the insurmountable narcissism of all things. It is our imprisonment and curse. It is a symbol of being captured in the inability to overcome the narcissistic characteristic of the universe. In the mirror we are facing our own destructive selves. We build our lives in a constant denial of our imperfect, fragile nature and repressed fear of mortality. Destruction is thus a basic component of human nature, but it is one that is mostly disregarded. In the need to demystify and expose the overarching presence of destruction, Franzen destroys the mirror, thus erasing all its layers. Franzen’s artistic project investigates the narcissistic nature of humankind with a hands-on approach; he combines a performance and a final piece, each as part of the process.

The artist, the creator, the universe, the observer, and even the artworks are all narcissistic. None are able to see the other in their true nature, only through the subjective lens of their own understanding. The artist does not understand the image, he merely sees it as a creation of his own perception. The image is not interested in the observer, it just wants to be perceived, observed, and venerated. The observer perceives all solely from his personal sphere of knowledge.


All try to get as close as possible to the others, while none of them have the chance to exist in the same space and time frame. They are thus unable to truly identify with others, constrained to merely perceive the shadow of their own light. It is necessary to overcome and break through the thin gold layer of perception, which mirrors ourselves. In order to do so, Franzen makes clear that the artist and any other figure has a need to purge, slaughter, and kill our own perverted mirrors. Furthermore, the role of the artist is to penetrate the boundaries of our vision and existence in order to look behind the veil of the illusion of being one entity. Franzen represents such complicated concepts in a remarkable project that can be compared to the collision of the photons that created the big bang. The artist has a responsibility to create a new world, while destroying the existing one, and The Inability To Overcome The Narcissistic Universe can be considered the first step towards immortality, the way to find the answer, the answer that all priests and scientists, lovers and builders have been looking for.

Franzen’s The Inability To Overcome The Narcissistic Universe is an unfinished art project that connects the narcissism of the universe and the problems of the art market in a series of uniquely violent pieces with a high degree of pretentiousness, nevertheless upholding its visual value in a high stake.

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