Lisl Ponger

The Master Narrative

From 25 October 2017
At the invitation of the Weltmuseum Wien, the MuKul, the (fictitious) Museum for Foreign and Familiar Cultures is presenting an exhibition of works by artist Lisl Ponger. Visitors are invited to take part in an exploratory journey that starts out from six large-scale, staged photographs in light boxes and a 2-channel installation with the title The Master Narrative und Don Durito which lasts a full museum day.

About the exhibition

About the exhibition

In Tahiti they will witness a conference. At a garden party in a tropical landscape (located in the entrance hall of the Weltmuseum Vienna) Christopher Columbus chats with Margaret Mead over a glass of wine and Franz Boas puts on a performance. The artist herself is engaged in preparations for her field work as a participatory observer while Indian Jones raises the curtain on his own museum. As with the woman in Sigmund Freud’s study, he has a categorised and labelled a collection of non-European objects. The list tattooed on a woman’s lower arm shows the genealogy of white appropriation of foreign lands and provides hints about the contents of the installation.

‘For those at the top, the calendar is made up of the past. So that it will stay that way the powerful fill it with statues, holidays, museums, homages, parades. That all serves the purpose of keeping the past in place; where things have already happened and not where they will happen,’ says Don Durito, a well-dressed, pipe smoking beetle from the Lacandon Maya jungle, the shield bearer chosen by Subcomandante Marcos of the Zapatista Liberation Army.

Statues, museums, famous people and important anniversaries are found yet again on stamps and first day covers, those small envelopes where the postal services of various nations celebrate at various times and immortalise them all for the future.

From 27 October
Every day except Wednesday
10 am to 6 pm

Friday
until 9 pm

Weltmuseum Wien

Heldenplatz
1010 Vienna, Austria

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Exhibition brochure (pdf, 599 KB)
Lisl Ponger made a collection of these envelopes with their colourful images for the exhibition. Over a thousand of them which she uses to illustrate strands of the master narrative. They tell of the effects of the colonial project and it relevance to the present day, of ethnological museums and their collections as well as of the influence of non-European objects on the visual arts, literature and film.

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