“Standardised construction models have had a grotesquely dysfunctional impact on the living space. Andrea Pichl focuses on isolated details of normative architecture as peculiarities inexplicable from the viewpoint of rationalism, and turns them into sculptural ensembles. Irregularities, which normally are not expected to be there, but are still present like the preposterous survival of some almost extinct habitat, are in turn used as a basis for a new artistic system. The inherent paradoxes of such a methodology, which reduce the standardised and repetitive architectural components to absurdity, are also present in the title of her latest exhibition: ‘ausschließlich oder’” — Ludwig Seyfarth.
The installations by Andrea Pichl question modernist concepts of home and of living still influential today.
The exhibition focused on a group of large scale sculptures: zwischen. The title refers to the particular architectural occurance when a right-angled prefab slab building is erected next to a less regular pre-war apartment house, an unwanted, inbetween space is left over. As a rule, the gaps are usually hidden from sight by a cover-up extension of the facade. The rustic plywood models of Andrea Pichl visualise this spatial phenomenon.
Her sculptural work weg more specifically deals with a particular aspect of Berlin’s architectural history — the recently demolished building of DDR Ministry of Housing. Plasterboards cladded with black and white photographs were arranged to form an installation that explored the principles of building systems through acts of deconstructive means.
Wieder is a sequel to Pichl’s installation doublebind, commissioned by the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin for the thematic exhibition “Architektonika”. This minimalistic sculpture, more than two meters high, is a reflection on the WBS 70, the notorious DDR era prefab housing series for studio and one bedroom flats. Composed as an architectural model at a 1:6 scale, the installation rendered the ground-plans of the building to reflect on the experiences and rhythms of this living space.
The sculptural works were accompanied by a series of drawings. These pencil studies capture modernist building facades — a repetitive litany of patterns cast in concrete panels — and offer a hit toward the fragility of human lives that live behind them.