The Vanishing Middle Class
Lisl Ponger's art has long explored the constructed nature of (cultural) identity, our—often stereotypical—ideas about and images of the "Other," and the associated questions of visual representation.
In the Secession's main hall, Ponger will now be realizing a project she has wanted to do for a long time: the Museum für fremde und vertraute Kulturen [Museum for Foreign and Familiar Cultures], in short MuKul. Although the museum is fictional, its design is based on painstaking research. It is an almost disturbingly detailed recreation of real ethnological museums, a growing number of which have recently adopted names such as world museum, museum of cultures, and the like. The exhibits are identified with inventory numbers and places and dates of purchase, and the museum has object and section labels as well as panels listing the museum staff and all lenders. In a bow to popular demand, there is even a Photopoint in the lobby where visitors can pose for pictures in front of a backdrop.
Lisl Ponger presents two exhibitions in the four rooms of the MuKul: The Vanishing Middle Class, a show that undertakes what is known as "salvage ethnology" by recording and documenting as many facets as possible of the life of an ethnic group whose future is in peril, and the special exhibition Lisl Ponger. Wild Places with a number of photographic works the artist created between 2000 and 2010.
Lisl Ponger was born in Nuremberg in 1947 and lives and works in Vienna.
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