In the beginning of 2015 OstLicht Collection had the opportunity to purchase the complete photographic estate of Cora Pongracz: about 42,000 negatives and 1,100 prints. The following survey of the material brought up numerous previously unknown works and allowed for a more detailed cataloguing of large parts of her photographic oeuvre than ever before.
For the first time, OstLicht presented a focused selection of her pictures from the seventies, the most productive period of the photographer in Vienna. Cora Pongracz documented Otto Muehl’s performances, photographed Arnulf Rainer during three phases of his work, portrayed Hundertwasser in the hammock, Nitsch in Prinzendorf, Joe Berger on film set or Franz Ringel among his friends. Her husband Reinhard Priessnitz introduced her to a number of Austrian writers and a lot of them had their picture taken by Pongracz.
The artist also shot more conceptual series during that period, questioning representation in photographic portraiture. It is in these series that the seminal qualities of her work show, which covered aspects that were to shape the contemporary art discourse in the ensuing years: identity, pose and performativity.
The photographs are available for sale as gelatin silver prints from the original negative in a limited edition of 5.
IMPRESSIONS FROM THE OPENING