With "Cora Pongracz: Das fotografische Werk" SCHLEBRÜGGE.EDITOR and Ostlicht. Galerie für Fotografie publishes a book on the complete work of the photographic artist. On the basis of an in-depth examination of the estate acquired by the OstLicht Collection in 2015, it offers a well-founded overview of all phases of Cora Pongracz's work, life and artistic environment. The biography and bibliography were researched in detail for the first time. The processing of the extensive negative archive makes it possible to discover yet unknown photographs and allows a more precise classification of many others for the first time.
Cora Pongracz was born in Buenos Aires in 1943 during emigration. After her return she lived in Vienna until the end of the 1950s, then in Frankfurt and Munich, where she studied at the Bavarian State Institute for Photography and from 1966 in London. In 1969 she returned to Vienna, where the writer Reinhard Priessnitz, whom she married in 1974, brought her into contact with the Austrian art scene. Arnulf Rainer, VALIE EXPORT, Gerhard Rühm, Ernst Jandl, Franz West - to name a few: Anyone who stood in front of Cora Pongracz's camera from the late 1960s onwards still belongs in many cases to the Who is Who of the contemporary artistic and literary avant-garde. But Cora Pongracz is not only a documentarist; her portraits bear witness to artistic reflection and the search for a new position as a photographer. From the mid-1970s she worked on conceptual series such as "8 erweiterten Portraits - Frauen in Wien" ("8 Extended Portraits - Women in Vienna") and "Verwechslungen" ("Confusions"). In order to convey the complexity of a personality, she not only made individual portraits, but also translated the environment of the person portrayed into associative photo series. Here Pongracz joins the current discourse of that time on identity, pose, and performativity - aspects that still characterize contemporary art discourse today.