On November 12, Pages UnBound partnered with the Gladstone Hotel to present Vera Frenkel’s Body Missing Altaussee project. Frenkel walked an eager audience through the new 2018 website and special guests engaged in a panel regarding the project.
Body Missing is a six-channel photo-video-web artwork on the issue of Third Reich art theft. It was first created in 1994 at the Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz, for the international exhibition, Andere Körper (Other Bodies) curated by art historian and editor, Prof. Dr. Sigrid Schade.
Since then, Body Missing has travelled widely – from Vienna to Stockholm, Toronto to Paris, Warsaw to Tokyo, and many venues in between, returning to Austria in 2008 as part of the Tiefenrausch (Depth Addiction) exhibition in the Aktienkeller tunnels under the City of Linz.
In September, 2017, Frenkel was invited to install Body Missing in the Altaussee salt mine, in the very chambers where over 7000 art works stolen under Hitler’s notorious Sonderauftrag Linz (Special Assignment Linz) were stored, and destined for his never realized Fuehrermuseum. The key storage spaces, reached through nearly a kilometre of long, narrow tunnels into the mountain, were opened to the public for the first time since 1946 for last fall’s Body Missing installation. According to visitors, the relation between artwork and place was uncannily resonant on many levels – the project radiated as much artistic and political relevance and urgency as it had in the year of its inception, two and a half decades earlier.
In 2018, with the help of programmers Matt Smith and Tom Legrady, Vera Frenkel created the Body Missing Altaussee website to make available the experience of finding the installation in the charged underground location that had witnessed the events that lie at the core of the work. Learn more about this project here: bodymissing-altaussee.org
About Vera Frenkel
Vera Frenkel is one of Canada’s most renowned multidisciplinary artists, respected both internationally and at home. Her installations, videos, performance works and new media projects, addressing the forces at work in human migration, the learning and unlearning of cultural memory, and the ever-increasing bureaucratization of experience, have been seen at documenta IX, the Venice Biennale, and at major museums, festivals and galleries throughout the world.
Artist-in-residence venues range from the Chicago Art Institute, the Royal University, Stockholm, and the Slade School of Art, London, to the the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, Toronto, and the Akademie Der bildenden Künste, Vienna. Frenkel is recipient of major honours including the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the Canada Council Molson Prize, the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the Bell Canada Award for Video Art, the IDMAA (International Digital Media Arts Association) Award, and earlier this year, the TFVA Founders Award.
Body Missing, her six-channel photo-video-web project on Third Reich art theft, first developed at the Offenes Kulturhaus, Linz, returned to Austria to be installed in the actual spaces inside the Altaussee salt mine where stolen art works intended for the proposed Führermuseum were stored – spaces to which access had previously been strictly forbidden.
Thank you Pages Unbound & Vera Frenkel for celebrating with us!