Are we actually standing before the definitive end of architecture today — as Rem Koolhaas announced at Columbia University in 2009? A look back seems called for, to show the context of the current turning point.
The starting point — i.e. the beginning of the end — is represented by the failure of the Modernist project, and the deep architectural crisis that ensued. In the Az W Alte Halle, twelve selected Reference Islands shed light on individual stories, events and priorities, framed by several chronological narrative strands. Even though each Island tells an independent story, the contents of the exhibition span the architecture of the last 50 years. Without prescribing any specific lines to pursue, visitors can explore new interrelationships, challenge established positions and take their own approach to the reception of architecture.
As an independent exhibition in the Neue Halle at the Az W, a thirteenth Island is dedicated to the current status quo of architecture, shedding light on several contemporary developments in architecture by showing them in a context of the past.
The exhibition is an appraisal as well as an account, and closely tied to the biography of Dietmar Steiner. It is a subjective reflection of events in the world of architecture in Vienna over the past 50 years, providing a context for the current situation of architecture. Proclamations of "The End" have been coming for 50 years, but it is in the hands of the players concerned to influence what happens next.