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'Viennese Types' the title of the current exhibition about clichés and reality of stereotypes at the Wien Museum Karlsplatz in Vienna (since 25 April, until 6 October 2013). 'Wiener Typen' was the name of image series showing mainly people whose work places were on the Viennese streets like street merchants, musicians or the ones who worked in public spaces such as coffee house waiters.

Caused by new economical circumstances at the late 19th century, the stereotypes began to disappear from the streets; but the types existed further in language and cultural expressions like the Wienerlied (Viennese Song) or stage productions like Ödön von Horvath's 'Tales from the Vienna Woods' which is about the factitiousness of society in the early 1930ies. One of the main protagonists of Ödön von Horvath's play is Alfred, a villian or 'Pülcher' such as the Viennese say.

fig.: The image shows a so called 'Pülcher' from the 'Wiener Typen' series from 1886. The word 'Pülcher' means much more than only 'proll'; it is defined by the Pülcher's behaviour and the things he is doing. The word 'Pülcher' stands for lightheaded man, betrayer, thief, criminal, villian, swindler. Photographer of the series is Otto Schmidt who made his pictures inside the studio as well as outside on the streets; sometimes his protagonists were dressed in costumes; they were quasi 'styled up' to fit into the image of the stereotype. Photo: (C) Wien Museum/Peter Kainz.

The Wien Museum confronts selected pieces from its Viennensia collection of 'Wiener Typen' with reality. Visitors will find alongside to the eye veiling impressions of clichés, images of reality such as migration and ethnic typing.

"These clichés contrast starkly with the reality of migration, child labour and ethnic stereotyping."

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