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) 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.