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Vera Frenkel's

Body Missing Altaussee Project

An exploration of her practice.

Mon. November 12, 2018
7:30 PM

MON. NOVEMBER 12, 2018

7:30 PM

Doors at 7 PM

The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

1214 Queen Street East, Toronto


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Pages UnBound invites you to join us on November 12th for the public presentation of Vera Frenkel's Body Missing Altaussee project. The artist will walk us through the new 2018 website and special guests will engage the artist and each other regarding the project. These include:

Elizabeth Legge, Writer, Art Historian, Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art, University of Toronto

Wanda Nanibush, Anishinaabe-kwe writer, image-maker, curator and community organizer, Wanda Nanibush is inaugural Curator of Indigenous Art and Co-Head of the Indigenous + Canadian Art Department, Art Gallery of Ontario

Sigrid Schade, Curator, Editor of the Hatje Cantz monograph entitled Vera Frenkel, Art and Cultural Historian, Professor and Head of the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS), Zurich University of the Arts

Norbert Schweizer, Former Production Manager for Exhibitions, Director of Administration at the O.K. (Offenes Kulturhaus) Centre for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria; Project Manager for multiple iterations of Body Missing in Europe and Japan; rightly named Project Companion

Dot Tuer, Writer, Cultural Historian, Professor of Visual and Critical Studies, OCAD University; author of Mining the Media Archive: Essays on Art, Technology & Cultural Resistance (YYZ Books)

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.

About Elizabeth Legge

Elizabeth Legge studied English at the University of Toronto, and art history at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of History of Art at the University of Toronto. She has written books on Max Ernst and psychoanalysis, and on Michael Snow's landmark film Wavelength (London: Afterall/MIT, 2009). She has also written articles on Dada, Surrealism, and contemporary British and Canadian art in journals including Representations, Art History, History of Photography, Word and Image, Border Crossings, and the Journal of Canadian Art History. Her essay on Vera Frenkel's …the body missing, “Analogs of Loss,” was included in the book Visual Culture and the Holocaust; and her article on Frenkel's The Institute: or what we do for love was published in the major book edited by Sigrid Schade, Vera Frenkel.

About Wanda Nanibush

Wanda Nanibush is an Anishinaabe-kwe writer, image-maker, curator and community organizer from Beausoleil First Nation. She is the inaugural curator of Indigenous Art and co-head of the Indigenous + Canadian art department at the AGO.

Related links:
Rebecca Belmore: Facing The Monumental
Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries 1971-1989
Rita Letendre: Fire & Light

About Sigrid Schade

Professor Sigrid Schade is an art and cultural historian. She is Head of the Institute for Cultural Studies in the Arts (ICS), Zurich University of the Arts, where she has taught since 2002. She was Professor for Art, Science and Aesthetic Theory at the University of Bremen from 1994 to 2004. Sigrid Schade has curated numerous exhibitions in prestigious international venues; in 1994 she curated the first iteration of Vera Frenkel's six-channel photo-video-web installation Body Missing for the Andere Koerper (Other Bodies) exhibition, which she organized at the Offenes Kulturhaus Linz, Austria. Professor Schade's research interests include studies in visual cultures, hierarchies in the arts, gender studies, interrelationships between the arts and new media, and the politics of memory. Selected publications include Studien zur visuellen Kultur, co-edited with Silke Wenk, transcript Verlag Bielefeld, 2011; Studies in Visual Culture, co-editor of the series, transcript Verlag; Vera Frenkel, editor, Hatje Cantz, 2013 (German and English editions); Constructions of Cultural Identities in Newsreel Cinema and Television after 1945, co-edited with Kornelia Imesch and Samuel Sieber, transcript Verlag Bielefeld, December 2016.

For more information please see

About Norbert Schweizer

Since 2009 Norbert Schweizer has been working as an independent Consultant for Arts and Culture. He is the Project Companion and Manager for a wide range of contracts and specializes in art for public spaces, work by artist collectives and projects in the field of art and science. From 1992 to 2008 Norbert Schweizer was Production Manager for Exhibitions, Vice-Director and Director of Administration at the O.K. (Offenes Kulturhaus) Centre for Contemporary Art, Linz, Austria, where he accompanied over 750 art works from their conception by the artist to their installation in the O.K. Norbert has held a Lecturer position for Acoustics for Sculptors at the University of Art and Design, Linz. While at the O.K., between 2003 and 2009, he also headed up an initiative for the 'non-directive education of children' and was involved in the running of a primary and secondary school.

About Dot Tuer

Dot Tuer is a writer, cultural historian, and Professor of Visual and Critical Studies at OCAD University. Her scholarly and creative work explores the intersection of cultural memory, decolonization, and visual storytelling in Latin American and Canadian art. She is the author of Mining the Media Archive: Essays on Art, Technology & Cultural Resistance (YYZ Books), and numerous museum catalogue, book anthology, and journal essay publications. In 2012-13, she was the guest curator of the retrospective exhibition of Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting held at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her current research focuses on the politics of performing cultural memory and commemoration in the Americas.

A selection of her writings is posted at OCAD University's website here.

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.

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MON. NOV. 12, 2018

7:30 PM

Doors open 7 PM

The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom

1214 Queen Street East, Toronto