|The German artist Lisl Ponger (born 1947, Nuremberg ) 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. Her art frequently engages with the academic disciplines of ethnology and anthropology, whose methods and politics become manifest in the collection and exhibition practices of ethnographic museums. |
Lisl Ponger presents two exhibitions in the four exhibition 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 a population 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: The Vanishing Middle Class, Installation view Secession 2014
Photo: Michael Michlmayr.
The exhibition about the disappearance of the middle class is divided into rooms that address particular issues such as “The Rise of the Western Middle Class,” “The Middle Class in Peril,” “From Playing by the Rules to Gaming the System,” “Exhibits for Posterity,” and “The Emerging Middle Classes.” In addition to the historical development of the middle class, the show examines its relation to democracy and capitalism in its neoliberal form—with a particular focus on the effects of tax havens and the banking crisis—as well as newly emerging middle classes in countries such as China. It presents a wealth of illustrative materials, including real and counterfeit branded products serving as status symbols, historic photographs, postcards from tax havens, life masks taken from members of the middle class, board games, coins, and cash envelopes.
Lisl Ponger lives and works in Vienna.
KünstlerInnen Wiener Secession Website