Exhibition

Today 19. Sep 2019 – 12. Jan 2020

The Vanishing Middle Class / Das Verschwinden der Mittelschicht

Place: Kunsthaus

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  • The Vanishing Middle Class / Das Verschwinden der Mittelschicht, 2014. © Lisl Ponger
    The Vanishing Middle Class / Das Verschwinden der Mittelschicht, 2014. © Lisl Ponger

For many years, the Austrian artist Lisl Ponger has been raising questions as to the kinds of pictures and descriptions that produce identity. The representation of “other” cultures in ethnology and anthropology is a preferred subject of her artistic work. Lisl Ponger’s fictive Museum für fremde und vertraute Kulturen (Museum of Foreign and Familiar Cultures), abbreviated MuKul, will be hosted by the Kunsthaus starting September 20. Using methods of classic salvage anthropology and securing testimonies of a culture in danger of vanishing, the museum under the direction of Lisl Ponger presents an exhibition in Dresden that features a wide variety of objects and picture documents on the vanishing middle class.

In addition, two special exhibitions held in parallel with artistic positions from North America and Europe, Lost Horizons (with artistic contributions by David Bradley, Carole Condé & Karl Beveridge, Rajkamal Kahlon, Ryts Monet, Nicholas Galanin, Tim Sharp, Fred Wilson) and Lisl Ponger: Indian(er) Jones I-V (…it belongs in a museum), reflect on the lost horizons of the middle class and critically deal with colonial forms of presentation and logics of collecting in ethnological museums. With the means of contemporary art, they tell stories of engaging with indigenous knowledge and the struggle for land and self-determination in late-capitalist societies of the 21st century.

Events:

  • Exhibition

    Place: Kunsthaus

    Thu, 19. Sep 2019, 19 Uhr

    Opening

    We kindly invite you to our opening of the three parallel exhibitions in our house.

  • Exhibition

    Place: Kunsthaus

    TodayThu, 19. Sep 2019 – Sun, 12. Jan 2020

    Lost Horizons

    Special exhibition on the ground floor
    International artists have been invited to the special exhibition “Lost Horizons” curated by Lisl Ponger. With the means of contemporary art, their works tell of the middle classes’ loss of faith in possible economic advancement and the reasons for this, as well as of the treatment of indigenous knowledge and the struggle for land and self-determination in the late-capitalist societies of the 21st century. The critical view of museum presentations going beyond a European perspective addresses the way ethnological museums are seeking orientation – in this case lost horizons – and questions the sustainability of colonial collections and forms of presentation.
  • Exhibition

    Place: Kunsthaus

    TodayThu, 19. Sep 2019 – Sun, 12. Jan 2020

    Lisl Ponger: Indian(er) Jones I-V (…it belongs in a museum)

    Special exhibition on the upper floor
    On the upper floor, Lisl Ponger’s solo exhibition Indian(er) Jones I-V (…it belongs in a museum) is on display, bringing together for the first time all five photographs of the large-format series Indian(er) Jones that she has been creating since 2010. Indy, as his friends call him, can still hunt without hindrance for relics, golden objects or diamonds, the main thing being that they are rare and valuable artifacts. It is not about wealth, since he is indeed a scientist, albeit a questionable one, and a highly esteemed man of honor à la Hollywood.
    Indian(er) Jones, the fictive character in Lisl Ponger’s staged photo series, on the other hand, plays entirely different roles. In Fact or Truth
    (2010), he is a photographer, in Das Glasperlenspiel (2010), a museum director and, in High Stakes (2012), he has just won a game of poker. In Sueños de Mundos Nuevos (Dreams of New Worlds) (2013), he appears a banker encountering the Mexican Woman of Death (La Catrina
    ), and in Free Trade – A Pipe Dream (2019), he finds himself in an opium den.
  • Talk

    Place: Kunsthaus

    Wed, 9. Oct 2019, 20 Uhr

    Verlorene Mitte?

    Prof. Dr. Michael Hofmann (sociologist, Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, and adjunct professor of sociology at the TU Dresden) in dialogue with Nikolai Brandes (qualified political scientist, postdoctoral researcher at the Danish National Museum)
    Moderation: Raiko Hannemann (historian, philosopher and political scientist, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin).

    As a response to the artistic propositions of the exhibition, Prof. Dr. Michael Hofmann will deliver a paper on the experiences and definitions of the middle class in the GDR and the period after German unification titled Das Loch in der Mitte [“The Hole in the Middle”]. The GDR-specific and transnational transformation processes will be discussed in dialogue with the qualified political scientist and art historian Nikolai Brandes. Since 2018, he has been a postdoctoral researcher at the Danish National Museum and participant in the “Middle Class Urbanism” project. In his contribution, Nikolai Brandes will deal with the history of a residential settlement for university employees in Mozambique that was built from 1979 onward in cooperation with planning offices and building contractors from the GDR and illustrates the ambition of the postcolonial state to transfer global – socialist – middle-class models to its own context. While the currently widely discussed residential architectures of the growing middle classes of Africa, including Mozambique, mainly follow Chinese models, the transformations and repercussions of GDR building culture in Africa has remained largely unnoticed until now.

    Moderated by the historian and philosopher Raiko Hannemann, whose research interest lies in postwar modernism, GDR history and, in particular, the development of democracy in Germany.

  • Talk

    Place: Kunsthaus

    Wed, 13. Nov 2019, 19 Uhr

    Vom Umgang mit indigenem Wissen

    Panel talk with Lisl Ponger (artist and director of the MuKul – Museum for Foreign and Familiar Cultures, Vienna), Gabriel Rosell-Santillán (artist, Berlin) and Rajkamal Kahlon (artist, Berlin). Moderation: Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz (Director Kunsthaus Dresden)

     

  • Talk

    Place: Kunsthaus

    Fri, 15. Nov 2019, 19 Uhr

    Sozialistische Cowboys - Von Indianisten und Cowboys zwischen May und Marx

    Panel discussion with Robin Leipold (curator of the Karl May Museum in Radebeul), Jens-Uwe Fischer (historian, author and research assistant at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg), and Gerhard “Gerry” and Heike Fischer (hobby Indianists and heads of the Indian club The Buffalos, Röderau).
    Moderation: Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz (director of the Kunsthaus Dresden)

    In the late 1920s, one of Germany’s first Indian and Western clubs was founded in Dresden. After a break due to the war, the club was reestablished in 1956 in the GDR as Old Manitou and exists until today. The first friends of the Indians were conservative Karl May fans with a rather folkloristic image of the Indians, but soon Western clubs and later on Indian associations emerged in many places that, starting in the 1970s, were also politically committed and showed solidarity with the Native Americans. Jens-Uwe Fischer, who together with Friedrich von Borries examined the scene in his book Sozialistische Cowboys – Der Wilde Westen Ostdeutschlands (Suhrkamp, 2008), will talk with Robin Leipold, the curator of the Karl May Museum Radebeul, about the culture of the Indianists and their own biographical experiences with the theme when they were growing up. Additional guests are Gerhard (Gerry) Fischer and his wife Heike, both active Indianists from the Indian club The Buffalos in Röderau near Zeithain.

    The event is organized in cooperation with the Karl May Museum Radebeul.