The installation "Zero & Not" by the American conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth was realized in 1989 on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death. The artist's continual occupation with Sigmund Freud's theories manifested itself in this work. Together with Peter Pakesch, Joseph Kosuth was then able to convince a number of artist colleagues to each donate one work to the Sigmund Freud Museum. The goal of this initiative was to confront a scientific institution with contemporary art. With gifts from John Baldessari, Pierpaolo Calzolari, Georg Herold, Jenny Holzer, Ilya Kabakov and Franz West, the Sigmund Freud Museum initiated a noteworthy effort to bring together contemporary art and psychoanalysis.
At the initiative of Sigmund Freud Museum Director Inge Scholz-Strasser, Peter Pakesch, and Joseph Kosuth, the existing collection was expanded in 1997. The artists Clegg & Guttmann, Jessica Diamond, Marc Goethals, Sherrie Levine, Haim Steinbach and Heimo Zobernig each added one of their works to the collection. Under the name The Sigmund Freud Museum Contemporary Art Collection" (former: Foundation for the Arts, Sigmund Freud Museum Vienna), the expanded collection was presented to the public.
The so far last time this collection was on display was in 2014 at the exhibition "Sigmund Freud and the Play on the Burden of Representation" - an installation by Joseph Kosuth at 21er Haus (Belvedere)