One hundred years after the proclamation of International Women’s Day, with the anniversary exhibition FESTE. KÄMPFE. 100 Jahre Frauentag (Parties. Struggles. Women’s Day Centenary) the Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Art presented attractions from a multi-level research project carried out by the Bruno Kreisky Archives Foundation. Besides the historical exhibition there were artistic interventions in public space. In addition, in collaboration with the Filmarchiv Austria in the Metro Kino (Metro Cinema), a multi-part accompanying publication and the series Film & Zeitgeschichte: 100 Jahre Frauentag (Film & Contemporary History: The Women’s Day Centenary) were developed.
Since the first Women’s Day, in 1911, the Vienna Ringstraße has played a pivotal role as location of the established political power as well as a route and destination of women’s demonstrations. Both the party political mass events during the First and Second Republic as well as the “autonomous” women’s movement in the 1970s and 1980s used the Ringstraße for demonstrations — as did other new social movements. With her project Repair Democracy. Ein Demonstrationszug zu 100 Jahre Frauentag (A Protest March on the Occasion of the 100th Anniversary of the Women’s Day) Lisl Ponger took up the demonstration with a temporary design on the outside of a streetcar set at the Ring: staged photos on the outsides of a power car and trailer car of the number 2 line showed groups of migrants as public collective, as a demanding mass in movement. On their banners are the words “Migration Rights are Women’s Rights” or “Empowerment.” The women in front of the camera are indeed activists. They demand a social necessity: equal rights for all.
Lisl Ponger thus simultaneously examined social and aesthetic forms of representation and so clarified symbol-political possibilities of art. At the same time, the ways and means of the (self-)representation of social groups related to the concerns of the Woman’s Day was explored.
Based on: Johanna Zechner, In.Anspruch.Nehmen. 100 Jahre Frauentag. Fünf Kunstprojekte im öffentlichen Raum, pp. 309–310; Heidi Niederkofler, Maria Mesner, Johanna Zechner (eds.), Frauentag! Erfindung und Karriere einer Tradition, Vienna 2011, p. 312.
Outside of a streetcar set of line 2
*1947 in in Vienna, lives and works in Vienna
About the project
The project was initiated and realized by the Bruno Kreisky Archives Foundation and the Johanna Dohnal Archive in collaboration with the Volkskundemuseum Wien (Austrian Museum of Folk Life and Art), which on the occasion of 100 Years Womensday hosted a special exhibition called FESTE. KÄMPFE. 100 Jahre Frauentag from March 4, to June 30, 2011.