The Third Place


The installation "The Third Place" by Karin Fisslthaler and Bernd Oppl deals with the architectonic and social structure of the shopping mall in city centers. The current shift of these locations into the city centers is examined by taking the architecture of the first mall by Austrian architect Victor Gruen, built in the 1950s in Detroit and planned by him as the materialization of a social utopia and a compacted suburban space in the periphery, as a starting point. Karin Fisslthaler and Bernd Oppl address this change and the perception of shopping malls, as ostensively public spaces, particularly in respect of their function as abodes for youths, for whom the shopping center has to some extent replaced the street as place of experience, representation and perception, and also as test area of their own formation of identity. Exemplarily and on a model basis, the installation "The Third Place" links - as a stage and venue in the form of a mockup - the architecture of the "Northland Center" in Detroit with video portraits of youths in today's shopping malls, and emphasizes their role, their personal as well as extermal production of desires and identity within increasingly tightening public structures.

Another part of the exhibition is constituted by a participatory installation that was developed together with pupils of Berufsschule Linz 9 on the ground floor of KunstRaum Goethestrasse xtd. What are young people's expectations and utilizations of public space? Through interviews and discussions with the youths, these questions are returned into public space via projections.