Pichler’s dreamlike images of floating or underground buildings and cities suggest lost civilizations discovered and rebuilt by the artist’s hand. Primarily a sculptor, Pichler carefully constructed his architectural visions on paper or in models, influencing a generation of architects and designers. Nucleus of an Underground Building reveals Pichler’s mixed feelings about machines, which were both an inspiration to him and an ironic component of his designs. The project resembles an ominous defensive artillery battery; it is the entrance to an elaborate underground metropolis, with a multitude of incisions and protruding shafts offering portals from which to look out or in. The result is dramatic but has no obvious purpose, a clear provocation on the part of an architect who believed that architectural thought should critique the social atrophy and laziness induced by new technologies.
Gallery label from 9 + 1 Ways of Being Political: 50 Years of Political Stances in Architecture and Urban Design, September 12, 2012–March 25, 2013.