Exotic Fantasies in ‚Austrian‘ Art and Literature since the Baroque 2
First broadcast: Mon 06.07.2015, 11.00 Uhr MEZ
Rerun: Wed 22.07.2015, 21.00 Uhr MEZ
A Broadcast in collaboration with: Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, Lisl Ponger
The broadcasts in June and July 2015 were devoted to the subject of exotic fantasies in “Austrian” art and literature since the Baroque. They focused on the event of the same name that took place in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen on the initiative of Büchsenhausen fellow Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa on 19th May 2015, with further participation by cultural scientist Belinda Kazeem, artist Lisl Ponger, and historian Walter Sauer.
During her fellowship at Büchsenhausen, fellow Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa continued work on a moving image project she had begun in 2012, in which she explored the largely forgotten story of the 30,000 European refugees who lived in refugee camps in East Africa during and after the Second World War.
She also investigated how this by now near invisible event represents part of a longer history of utopian European settlements in this region of Africa – one of which, the “Freeland Project”, was the brainchild of the Austrian economist Theodor Hertzka (1845–1924), who attempted to establish an ideal society as a colony of European settlers in present-day Kenya. Why have so many Europeans historically perceived East Africa as paradisiacal? Where do they get this idea from?
This “Salon” evening in Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen aimed to contextualize Hertzka’s ideas and world view by looking at his work in relation to other representations of ‘foreign’ cultures and ‘foreign’ lands that have occurred in Austrian culture over the past 300 years.
The evening offered presentations about Theodor Hertzka and his idea of Africa emerging from his 1890 prose work “Freiland,” (Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa), about the changing representation of the baptism of Africans in Austrian religious art (Walter Sauer), about the Austrian novelist Peter Altenberg and the Ashanti Village in 19th-century Vienna (Belinda Kazeem), and about the construction and consumption of ‘exotic foreignness’ in Austrian popular culture (Lisl Ponger).
The lectures by Belinda Kazeem and Lisl Ponger could be heard during the July broadcast.
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Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, *1976 in Glasgow, GB, studied English Literature at Cambridge University / GB (1995–98) and Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London (2006–08). Prior to joining the UdK Graduiertenschule, Berlin (2012–14), she was a participant in the LUX Associate Artists Programme / GB (2009) and a Fine Art Researcher at the Jan van Eyck Academie / NL (2012). Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa works in a wide range of media, which include installation, sound, video, photography, printmaking and drawing. She has also recently started writing.
In 2014-15 she participated in the Fellowship Program for Art and Theory at the Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen.
Lisl Ponger works with photography, film, and installation on stereotypes, racisms, and the construction of the gaze at the interface between art, art history and ethnology. She lives and works in Vienna.