Verena Prenner @ Reinthaler Gallery
Verena Prenner: OKAPI
3 . 9th to 15th 10. 202 1
“In October 2018, Verena Prenner received a cigar box from a friend that he had found in the cellar. Inside were two hundred original contact prints of large-format photographs, depictions of what appeared to be visions of a colonial hunter mission in Africa. Personal notes on the back of the photos show that they were taken in the Congo between 1904 and 1906, taken by Rudolph Grauer, an Austrian adventurer in Central Africa.
Grauer’s main interest was in the research and hunting of exotic mammals, reptiles, insects and birds for European museum collections – for example the famous okapi from the Natural History Museum Vienna. It is believed that Rudolph Grauer collected around 70,000 animal species. Verena Prenner wondered to what extent our current perspective on Central Africa has changed compared to Grauer. She moved to the Congo for six months to find answers on her own. As the resulting photographs show, the original plan of just being an observer soon developed in the direction of a “participating test object” that was confronted with cultural challenges, prejudices and stereotypes.”
Gumpendorfer Strasse 53