Radical Austria | Everything is Architecture


20 July 2021

This text by Bart Lootsma was originally published in the accompanying catalog of the exhibition. You can find the full catalog here.

Walter Pichler’s prototypes of furniture and appliances are perfectly executed and functional. By emphasizing certain effects of the use of everyday objects, these prototypes show their cold and disorientating impact.

Walter Pichler, Kleiner Raum – Prototyp 4, 1968. Photo: Christian Skrein. Courtesy Wien Museum, Vienna.

For example, how watching television or listening to the radio disconnects you from your immediate environment. According to Pichler, modern media and appliances do not connect people, but rather decrease the connection, both socially and physically. Devices take over the role of your fellow human beings.

Walter Pichler, Schlafsaal, 1968 (detail). Estate Walter Pichler, courtesy Gallery Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck/Vienna.

Although there are three beds in Pichler’s dormitory, direct contact is impossible if you were to lie down in one of them. Each bed has its own built-in radio or dildo. In another work a telephone is given its own altar with tabernacle. This way Pichler shows that everyday objects such as furniture and appliances reduce our actions to an empty cult.