In progress and without keys to the building it occupies, the Palais des Beaux Arts Wien is a cultural institution where exhibitions take place at multiple sites and times simultaneously: on our website, in the records of archives, in bookshelves, in artist portfolios, through email conversations, tours, and exhibition proposals. Located in the third district of Vienna at Löwengasse 47a, the Palais des Beaux Arts was built in 1908 by Arnold Bachwitz as a home for Atelier Bachwitz, an international publishing house that produced fashion and lifestyle magazines. In 1938, the Palais des Beaux Arts building and administrative board underwent Aryanization as a result of the family’s Jewish heritage.

Since 2014, a practice of putting artists in collaboration with history through commissions emerged at the Palais when it was re-initiated by Bernhard Garnicnig. In 2018, after working closely with Bernhard and having conversations about the competing meanings of occupation in the project, he asked me to become artistic director. Throughout this time, I’ve focused on multiplying the narratives that surround the building and its mostly lost family by addressing institutional representation through matter, memory and void. Because of my Jewish background, the work has functioned as an ongoing process of reclamation and become a mobile site of remembrance focused on the past, present, and future alike.