Phantom Foreign Vienna



While on a multi-cultural journey round the world in the years 1991 and 1992 during which she never left the city of Vienna, Lisl Ponger meticulously collected Super-8 sequences of celebrations, weddings and dances. The initial concern was with making visible the cultural multiplicity which, from the point of view of their public presence in the city, simply didn’t exist. The return - a good ten years later - calls exactly that act of visualization into question. "What am I really seeing?" asks the commentary, spoken by Ponger herself. But it is not only that which makes it clear how conscious the film is with regard to the problems of how ethnicity is treated.



It appears that in every act of ‘making visible’ there is a simultaneous and inevitable tendency to capture the flee(t)ing and diasporic in fixed, stereotypical imagery as well.


In the process Ponger stages things on a number of ambiguous levels simultaneously. In the form of diary entries she shows that her encounter with the ‘multi-culti’ Vienna of the early Nineties as profoundly subjective. Right from the beginning every form of objective classification is rejected.