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Afghanistan, Afghanistan! From the Archives of Karl Wutt

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Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, Schillerplatz 3, 1010 Vienna, Exhibition Spaces

Opening Hours: daily from 11.00 to 18.00, free admission

Welcome address | Andreas Spiegl, Vice-Rector for Teaching and Research of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
Introduction | Karl Wutt

Since 1971, Karl Wutt, lecturer at the Institute for Art and Architecture of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna from 1990 to 2004, has visited Afghanistan several times. In 1975 and 1976, still before the military putsch and the Soviet invasion, he studied the architecture and music of three Pashai groups: the Sum, the Shinganek, and the Chugani. Karl Wutt is the author of the only work documenting the architecture of the Pashai that is based on pre-Islamic forms. Despite their different language, the Pashai are culturally related to their northern neighbors, the Nuristani. Wutt has returned to the Pashai region three times after the war, which entailed a blackout lasting for 26 years. His photographs reveal how the war has changed these people, their habits and their habitat.

Karl Wutt Pashai-Dorf
© Karl Wutt: Pashai-Village Aret, 1976

It was still before the war when Karl Wutt succeeded to persuade some Pashai wood carvers to commit their ornamental motifs to paper. He also tried this in the Pakistani border area with the culturally related Kalasha group. Apart from about seventy photographs, the exhibition at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna also presents a selection of these drawings which Karl Wutt collected during his twelve stays between 1973 and 1997.

Karl Wutt Portrait 1996
© Karl Wutt: Portrait, Kalasha-Village Brun, 1996

Karl Wutt

Born in Buchscheiden, Carinthia, in 1943. Studied architecture, 1978 doctoral dissertation on "The Architecture of Some Valleys in the Hindukush" under Prof. Walter Dostal at the Institute of Ethnology, Vienna University. 1990-2004 lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna (Institute for Art and Architecture, Department Habitat, Environment & Conservation).

Fieldwork regarding the tribal ethnic groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as in the field of urban anthropology. Wutt has favored the media photography and drawing. From 1973 to 1997, he set up a collection of Kalasha drawings, to which more than 200 persons belonging to one of Pakistan's pre-Islamic cultures, "the last Hindukush Kafirs," contributed. In parallel with his work, he also assembled a private photo archive.

Publications (selection):

Karl Wutt: Landschaft. Menschen. Architektur, Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, Graz, 1981

Karl Wutt Portrait
© Karl Wutt: Portrait, Oigal, 1976
Karl Wutt Kalasha
© Karl Wutt: Renumeration Festivity of Kalasha, Village Balanguru (Pakistan), 1973

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