Auf- und Zugeschüttet - Life forms and intermediate uses above and below the NordwestbahnhofTracing Spaces

Auf- und Zugeschüttet - Life forms and intermediate uses above and below the Nordwestbahnhof

1. Department for Community Outreach - Fish Story
with Theresa Hattinger (TheHat) and Matthäus Bär

In an exhibition at Vienna's Nordwest Railway Station and in performative excursions, different means of transport, multi-confessional processional equipment and pop-up exhibitions will be used to comment on and question various fish-relevant "places" of the City of Vienna: the former habitats of Viennese fish in the Danube Canal and Danube, fishing districts and clubs, historical fish markets, fish factories, fish traders and fish restaurants, and finally also ice-cooled wholesale warehouses and fish cemeteries on the city's peripheries. In this way, aspects of the structural, social and cultural transformation of the city are reflected on the basis of places where fish is caught, traded and processed.
With guest contributions by artists, scientists and experts of everyday life.

MUSEUM Nordwestbahnhof
The exhibition can be visited free of charge every Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m. and by appointment. Please note the current Covid regulations in effect.
Open from June 20 to October 30, 2020 and from June 17 to July 20, 2021.
Nordwestbahnstraße 16 A, 1200 Wien (former bus terminal control center)
Reachability: U6 (Dresdnerstraße); Tram 5 (Rauscherstraße); Bus 5A (Brigittagasse)

Perceptual Grounds / Fish Stories
In the near future, the area of Vienna's Nordwestbahnhof will give way to a huge urban development area for 14,500 residents. Before the final demolition, the museum tries to document the eventful history(s) of this last inner-city freight terminal from 1872 to the present with interdisciplinary, artistic and ethnographic methods: Both in the projections of the spatial installation "Perceptual Grounds" by Joanna Pianka and Veronika Suschnig inside the museum, and in the interventions in the open space, the "fish stories" by Tracing Spaces, an urban working and living space is recalled that, despite its size and importance, has remained virtually unknown or forgotten until now.

2. Department of Urban History - Excavations from the darkest past - From August 3, 2021 visible all day

In a multi-part intervention on the edge of the Nordwestbahnhof site, a paradox of the history of Viennese Jews culminating at this location will be pointed out: For the shooting of the cinema film "The City without Jews", the Kopfbahnhofsgebäude was adapted as a film studio and set in 1924 to film the fictional deportation of Viennese Jews. However, the deportation in this film was still intended to be temporary. At the end of the film, the Viennese Jews are allowed to return to their city unharmed.

Only a few years later, after the Anschluss with Nazi Germany in 1938, the same station hall became the site of the racist Nazi propaganda exhibition "The Eternal Jew". This could have been shown at a more prominent location in a more central location. But perfidiously, a hall in the second district was deliberately chosen for this purpose. This district had the highest population density of Jews at the time. Visitors who wanted or had to see the exhibition travelled by tram to this district and, after the exhibition's devastating effect, left again through the same district - with a view to the population group which, in both film and Nazi propaganda, was held responsible for all the evils.

The project also deals with the history of several phases of storage and transport of the belongings and goods of Jews who fled from 1938 onwards, with reference to the railway station (e.g. via Hamburg to the USA and in the 1970s from Russia via Vienna to Israel).


From June 2020, public interventions will complement the project Museum of the History of the Nordwestbahnhof in the form of fictitious subdivisions: By means of a two-part intervention in the station area, the Department of Urban History points to a paradox culminating at this location with regard to the history of Vienna's Jews. The Department for Community Outreach links the two sections in the project "Wien. Fisch Story(s)", the Department for Community Outreach links the urban development area historically, thematically and geographically with "fish relevant" places in Vienna through a series of performative city walks.

Since summer 2015, Tracing Spaces has been operating a project space at the Nordwestbahnhof, the last inner-city logistics hub in Vienna. Embedded in the social milieu of the logistics landscape, a multi-layered multimedia cartography of the migration and mobility experiences of actors working here has been and is being successively created.


Fish Story (bis 30.07.21): Nordwestbahnstraße 16 A, 1200 Wien
Excavations (from 03.08.21): Entrance on the opposite side of the street from the house Nordwestbahnstraße 11, 1020 Vienna

Further Information

Participating artists:

Tracing Spaces - Michael Hieslmair and Michael Zinganel, founded 2012 in Vienna

Michael Hieslmair * 1974 Linz (AT), lives and works in Vienna (AT)

Michael Zinganel * 1960 Bad Radkersburg (AT), lives and works in Vienna (AT)

Theresa Hattinger * 1989 Salzburg (AT), lives and works in Vienna (AT)

Matthäus Bär * 1989 Graz, (AT), lives and works in Vienna (AT)

Joanna Pianka * 1983 Vienna, lives and works in Vienna and Warsaw (PL)

Veronika Suschnig * 1989 in Korneuburg, lives and works in Vienna, Klagenfurt and Neulengbach (AT)


Listen to the song "Fische in der Stadt" by Matthäus Bär!

On our Youtube-channel, you can find the Artist Talk of the Tracing Spaces with Barbara Steiner, which took place at the Vienna Art Week!


Auf- und Zugeschüttet - Life forms and intermediate uses above and below the NordwestbahnhofTracing Spaces

Time Period

June 20, 2020 to November 27, 2021

Tram 2 and 5, Am Tabor

The intervention is on view all day:
From Tuesday, August 3 to Saturday, November 27, 2021.



Go to documents


Artist Talk with Barbara Steiner, Vienna Art Week 2020
Song "Fische in der Stadt" by Matthäus Bär