In the Abscence of Raimund Abraham – Vienna Architecture Conference 2010

Edited by Peter Noever, Wolf D. Prix

In honor of one of the most visionary and progressive architects and theoretical thinkers of the in- ternational avant-garde— Raimund Abraham — the MAK, Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, joined forces with the Institute of Architecture at the University of Applied Arts Vienna, to stage the Vienna Architecture Conference 2010.

Raimund Abraham stood for radicalism and utopias; he fought for visions and demanded the realization of architecture in its most unconventional and pioneering dimension. As a noncon- formist, an essential critic, and champion of a fundamental architectural stance, Abraham cam- paigned tirelessly for architecture’s collective renewal. With the construction of the Austrian Cultural Forum Building in New York (2002), he made an outstanding contribution to contemporary architecture in Manhattan.

Abraham’s legacy represents a point of departure and a challenge for contemporary architecture. To provide a discursive look at his exceptional stance, the hosts — Peter Noever and Wolf D. Prix— invited theoretical thinkers, artists, and architects to join the Vienna Architecture Conference 2010 in order to point out the unshakable contemporaneity and unique imagination of visionary, theo- retician, mentor, and teacher Abraham in an international context. Among the participants were Vito Acconci, Peter Eisenman, Kenneth Frampton, Andrea Lenardin, Peter Kubelka, Thom Mayne, Jonas Mekas, Eric Owen Moss, Alexis Rochas, and Lebbeus Woods. This publication documents the keynote lecture, speeches, and discussions held throughout the conference and involves additional contributions by Peter Cook, Michael Rotondi, and Elfie Semotan.

Only a few hours before his death on 4 March 2010, Raimund Abraham held a lecture at the South- ern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles. In his talk, entitled Profanation of Solitude,” he summed up his uncompromising attitude towards architecture.

A DVD with Raimund Abraham’s last lecture is enclosed in this publication.