kathrin and josef ran DIE BAR in sonnenfelsgasse, in the 1980s the most important meeting place for the vienna art scene. a close friendship was forged there through the almost daily encounters. in 1987 they opened MAVO, a club in the 6th district whose interior was designed completely by josef and artist friends. it is in these two places that the idea for museum in progress probably arose.
california was a project for the newly founded daily newspaper der standard. i moved to LA in 1989, and josef asked me if i could design a full-page insert every month for a year. he said he had a sponsor for the project. this was in some way the pilot project for museum in progress. if i’m not mistaken, the name was coined by our friend fritz grosz, who wrote many texts for mip.
the portraits of artists were originally meant to be shown on television. i chose a very strict form: talking heads with a monochrome background and hard lines, which was somewhat radical for a tv format – and they were never shown for that reason. at first we invited artists of interest to us to a rented video studio, but later we produced the works with students at the academy in vienna, where I held a masterclass. over the years an astonishing archive has been assembled.
josef and kathrin’s idea of a museum in the media space was visionary.