Portraits of Viennese

A Homage in the Spirit of Nestroy

28 October to 5 December 2004

Many of the works of photographers working in Vienna reflect the mentality characteristic of the popular comedies of the famous Austrian satirist Johann Nestroy (1801-1862). It is in the individual, often “crypto-ethnographic” methods and the critical ironic view with which the Viennese photographers regard their for the most part anonymous fellow citizens where Nestroy’s spirit and view of mankind are most clearly mirrored. His mocking, sometimes malicious intentions and ability to ferret out hidden and familiar human weaknesses seem to come alive in these works once again. This perception informs the exhibition “Pictures of the Viennese”.

Almost all of the photos selected display a high degree of ironic distance, a Nestroyan heritage, as it were, for in their typological series, their reportages and also in the individual pictures, the pictures document social realities, and sometimes psychical borderline situations or social fringe elements.

The show, put together from the collection of the Department of Culture of the City of Vienna (“Museum auf Abruf”), is to be understood in the spirit of Nestroy as a homage to the people of Vienna, a fresh attempt, this time by means of photographs, to document the anonymous Viennese in their variety, their wit, their peculiarity, their contradictions, but also in their charm and amiability.

Represented in the exhibition are the photographers Andreas Baumann, Heinz Cibulka, Sepp Dreissinger, Marianne Greber, Franz Hubmann, Leo Kandl, Nikolaus Korab, Barbara Krobath, Erich Lessing, Ernst Logar, Reinhard Mandl, Emil Mayer, Marcelo Perocco, Josef Polleross, Cora Pongracz, Didi Sattmann, Curt Stenvert, Christian Wachter, Harry Weber and Flora Zimmeter.

Organizer: Museumspädagogischer Dienst MD Berlin
On the occasion of the “Month of Photography”