Body Missing, The Website

Vera Frenkel

1995, colour, English, French and German


This site, an extension of a work first installed at the Offenes Kulturhaus Linz, Austria, furthers Frenkel's inquiry into the Kunstraub (art theft) policy of the Third Reich and the fate of art works missing after World War II. A key feature of that policy was the Sonderauftrag Linz, the little publicized plan that the best of the works acquired from across Europe be brought secretly to Linz, Hitler's boyhood home, for his proposed Fuehrermusum there.

Shipped to the Alt Aussee salt mines nearby, the works could be stored under conditions of perfect humidity and temperature. When the allies arrived after the war and opened the mines, it seemed, when the inventory work was done, that some of the hidden works had disappeared.

The point of departure for the Body Missing website is a conversation overheard at the Transit Bar in Linz. Some regular patrons are considering the question of the missing works and whether it might be possible to make a link between their own work and one that was gone.

Visitors at the web site enter one of several versions of the bar and move between the tales of personal displacement told there (Bartender's pages) the artists' spaces where the work is going on (Artists' pages), and the larger narratives surrounding the missing art (Info pages), told through contemporary documents from Hitler's last Will to reports of the U.S. Government's Monuments, Fine Arts & Archives section

The first group of artists actually revisiting lost works are: Joanna Jones (Frankfurt); Alice Mansell and Mickey Meads (Halifax); Piotr Nathan (Berlin); Bernie Miller; Daniel Olson and Jeanne Randolph (Toronto). Their preliminary investigations are part of this site.

Body Missing, the website, can be found here:

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