• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Cora Pongracz

Cora Pongracz primarily dealt with the portrayal of individuals from her personal surroundings, documenting each of them in multiple photos. Her almost exclusively black-and-white photographs appear as phases of an exchange between the ones being photographed and the photographer, even if Pongracz kept her physical presence out of the images in order to shift the interaction such that it appears to take place as a performative process between the camera and the portrayed. In doing so, she integrated the factor of time as an ephemeral, transitory phenomenon to which she gave reinforcement via the serial principle. But Pongracz did no staging—neither of the individuals nor the camera nor herself. Her artistic approach consisted in constructing a sensitive field within which she hosts an irony and melancholy-laced process of interplay between photography, photographer and subject with the highest degree of photographic professionalism. Pongracz trained her lens on her photographic opposite with a fine sense of distance and simultaneous presence in order to enter into a quasi-unconscious performative dialog in which she succeeded in undermining that projective power of the camera which creates the pose as something which has always been anticipated. In the work of Pongracz, the mistake is at once method and metaphor.

The poet Reinhard Priessnitz (1945–1985), with whom she was married, summed up her art well in the catalog published in connection with her exhibition "verwechslungen" in 1978: “when cora pongracz, in her series and individual photos, composed portraits in which she marked a frame by naming ironic portrayal, she encourages—in an exemplary way all her own—a change in one’s receptive approach. in multiple ways, she shatters the identificatory relations typically postulated in photography, thereby opening up to perception aspects from which we must figure out whether they are to be viewed as identical with their models because she intended it or because our intention would have it be so.”

Pongracz’s "Photogeschichte Martha Jungwirth – Franz Ringel" [Photo Story of Martha Jungwirth and Franz Ringel] (1971) and her "8 erweiterte portraits" [8 expanded portraits] (1974/75), her individual portraits and portrait series from the Viennese art and literature scenes of the 1960s and 70s, and the series created since the 1980s are important examples of her artistic work, which she continued pursuing right up to her sudden death.



1943, Buenos Aires / AR – 2003, Wien / AT

Cora Pongracz studied at the Bayrische Staatsanstalt für Fotografie in Munich (Germany). She worked as a photographer and is best known for her portraits. Pongracz has received the „Deutscher Jugendfotopreis“ in 1965 and the „Würdigungspreis für Fotografie der Republik Österreich“ in  2000.


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