Missing Link

19 / 04 / - 28 / 06 / 2002
Exhibition / Discussion

Overview and documentation of the work from Vienna-based
Arbeitsgemeinschaft (working group) "Missing Link" (1970-80)
a haus.0 project in collaboration with Constanze Ruhm

Arbeitsbericht Projekte 1970 – 72
Karl 365 (1971)
16. November: Eine Utopie in neun wirklichen Bildern (1972)
Treffen auf dem Feld (1972)
Via Nostalgia: Straßenarbeit (1972/73)
STtilleben Weltatrappe (1972/73)
Die andere Seite (1973)
Die verstoßene Stadt (1974)
Asyleum – Großes Hutobjekt (1976)
Via Trivialis Fünf Aspekte zur Straße
Wiener Studien
Comments in Architecture (1980)



Missing Link was formed in 1970 as an "Arbeitsgemeinschaft“ (working group) - to use their terms - by Angela Hareiter, Otto Kapfinger and Adolf Krischanitz during their studies in architecture at the Technical University Vienna.

This formation is chronologically situated after the first impulse of a young Vienna experimental architectural scene had begun to gain recognition after the Mid-60ies through practitioners such as Hans Hollein, Haus-Rucker-Co and COOP Himmelblau.

A common factor of this generation of young architects was the lack of building possibilities for those who desired to reflect the perspectives of a new postwar spatiality. This situation became a defining setting for the formation of a uniquely Viennese synthesis of influential tendencies in contemporary architecture ranging from a particular reception of American Pop Culture to a shared terrain implied in the distribution of theories, i.e. Archigram. This generation’s sense of spatiality was expressed in the public sphere by challenging the social conventions implied in the fixed limits of the solid 19th century Vienna city scape with new shapes projected by behavioralist/futurist/Pop models that were outlined in forms ranging from pneumatic architectures to performances and manifestoes.

When starting in 1970, Missing Link’s perspective onto this new sense of activated public sphere was evident within their own terminology and practice as a 'working group' that added a sociohistorical reading anchoring the social to urban historical maps. Their work allowed for a dimension to be seen that reflected on the dynamics between context, urban fabric and texture through performance and temporary architecture in the public sphere, studies and analysis for urban planning, and film scripts. The group set out on a search for the ‘missing link’ between people and architecture, within the sphere of the social and society as concept and reality as well.

The work ranges from sculpture/tools (“Para-Architecture”) like the "Betonbrecher" (“Concrete Breaker”, 1972) which was developed to lay bare the supporting structures hidden underneath the concrete walls that define modernist cityscapes, to performances in public space like "Stilleben Weltattrappe" (“Still Life World Dummy”, 1972/73), a TV production Utopie in neun wirklichen Bildern (1972), the "Asyleum project" (“Hat Object”, 1976) to the "Wiener Studien" (“Viennese Studies”, 1977-79), a study on the Viennese social housing projects dating from the years 1924-1934.

Seen from a contemporary vantage point, Missing Link established a particular bridge between the Seventies and the Eighties by their methodology amending the freedom offered by the cultural referents of earlier architectural experiments in the public sphere, and by joining this with relations expressed through investigation and analyses of the everday. While Missing Link’s work initiated as a collective process within their early studies, it reflects these pop cultural/media/behavioral referents within a new media architecture influenced by sociological studies, and can be recognized in how each member’s specific role developed furtheron in practical and theoretical environments, linking between built architecture, film set design and architecture, and socio-historical analysis and text production.

Included in this exhibition from Missing Link will be studies, drawings, documentations, theoretical writings, a performance for TV production and publications dating from the Seventies.