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13. 03. 12. - 15:49

Political photography, Hamlet reloaded and Oldenburg

A fascinating exhibition examining how political leaders are using the power of photography to their benefit is now on display at a Viennese museum while theatregoers are at the ready for the premiere of a play loosely based on a tragedy by William Shakespeare.

The Kunsthaus Wien (www.kunsthauswien.com), which is located in Vienna’s Landstraße district, presents "Head 2 Head. Politics and the Public Image". Election campaign posters, portraits but also film documents are featured in the exhibition.

The Kunsthaus cooperated with the Museum of Design in Zurich, Switzerland, in organising the exhibit which includes pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Angela Merkel, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. "Head 2 Head. Politics and the Public Image" includes a special section focusing on Austria’s political elite and how they handled the spotlight.

"Hamlet Sein" will premiere at the Theater an der Gumpendorfer Straße (TAG) tomorrow (Weds). The theatre – a medium-sized stage in Mariahilf district which has produced a string of widely acclaimed drama plays and comedies in the past years – promises a witty and quick approach to Shakespeare’s masterpiece which will be turned into a contemporary Danish western. Call +43 1 586 52 22 or visit www.dastag.at for more information and to buy tickets.

The TAG is within walking distance of the Viennese Museumsquartier (MQ), a popular meeting place thanks to its many cafes and bars and home of some of the city’s most exciting museums. The MQ is located in Vienna-Neubau, next to the Volkstheater. It was opened in 2001. Wolfgang Waldner headed it until he became state secretary in the federal foreign ministry last year. Former Posthof Linz manager Christian Strasser succeeded Waldner.

The Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK), one of the MQ’s cultural institutions, currently hosts an exhibit called "The Sixties". The exhibition features objects Pop Art legend Claes Oldenburg created in the 1960s. Oldenburg may not be as famous as Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol but is considered as one of the most important New York-based artists of our time.

"The Sixties" shows how the artist – who was born to a Swedish couple who migrated to the United States after he turned seven – was influenced by everyday objects. Oldenburg supersized or deformed them to confuse and bewilder his fans. He planned to equip the MUMOK with giant mouse ears but had to pull the plug on the project for financial reasons. "The Sixties" will be on display at the MUMOK until 28 May before it moves on to other galleries in Europe and the United States, including the renowned Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

>> www.mumok.at

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