• Rust on a Razor Blade: Mickey Muennig in Big Sur, 1970–2000
    Marco Piscitelli
    Boskuhl Gallery, Gibbs College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma, Norman
    Aug 25, 2023 to Sep 04, 2023
    Marco Piscitelli

Unknown Photographer (Presumed Mickey Muennig), "Construction Photograph, Chimney of Psyllos House II," 1978. Photograph on mat, 11 x 14 in. Courtesy Western History Collections, Special Research Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries, Norman OK. G. K. “Mickey” Muennig Architectural Papers and Drawings, Box 96, Folder 8

The idiosyncratic architecture of Mickey Muennig (1935–2021), “the man who built Big Sur,” contributed much to the built and cultural landscape of this storied coast. Its natural and social climate acted as a testing ground for the architect to develop so-called organic architecture as a new, unstable hybrid. His recently acquired archive reveals the vast media deposits of an architecture and practice shaped in and through the geological and cultural constraints of an apparently pristine yet highly, scientifically managed landscape and the rigorous, fastidious tectonics of these quietly radical buildings. These works trace the history of Big Sur’s contested wilderness and its fading counterculture; a close reading on the technical expands existing discourse on organic architecture’s indistinct interface with the living world and suggests the potential for a “good Anthropocene.” This exhibition probes these archives to reveal tensions between the utopian and the prosaic.

Marco Piscitelli is an architect, researcher, and educator living and working in Brooklyn and Oklahoma City. His design experience at influential architecture studios ranges in scale from urban planning to furniture design. Piscitelli asks how a research-based practice may operate as an alternative to market-driven modes of creation. His work straddles art and design and has been exhibited internationally: in New York City and recently in Milano Design City 2021. Piscitelli holds a bachelor’s of architecture from Syracuse University and a master’s of science in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP). Piscitelli has taught at Columbia and is currently the Herb Greene Teaching Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Gibbs College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma.