Alex Schweder: Performance Architecture

english with russian translation

Alex Schweder’s “Performance Architecture” imagines a future for architecture that is based on the history of performance art. In his talk, Schweder will present works from his practice that explore what this might mean. To organize his thinking, Schweder has grouped his projects into five categories: Buildings that Perform Themselves, Bodily Performance in Architectural Time, Rescored Spaces, Architect Performed Buildings, and Forms that Follow Performances. Each category is based on a particular relationship between an occupant and his or her environment.


Alex Schweder is an artist and architect living in New York and Cambridge UK. He studied architecture at Pratt, Princeton, and Cambridge and has experimented with architecture through its exhibition for over a decade. Since winning the Rome Prize in 2005 where he met Ward Shelley, Laurie Anderson, and Bill T. Jones, his work has focused on the connections between performance and architecture.

During this time he has produced and exhibited many works of what he now calls “Performance Architecture”: Flatland at New York’s Sculpture Center, Stability at Lawrimore Project in Seattle, Its Form Follows Your Performance at Berlin’s Magnus Muller, A Sac of Rooms All Day Long at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Architectural Performances in Geologic Time at the Chinati Foundation, Counterweight Roommate in Scope Basel, Roomograph at the deCordova Museum, The Rise and fall at the 2012 Marrakech Biennial, The Hotel Rehearsal at the Biennial of the Americas, and Sometimes Ceiling at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial.

His projects have received funding by the Pollack Krasner and Graham Foundations. Schweder is the author of Stalls Between Walls included in Ladies and Gents, the Gendering of Public Toilets (2009) and Performance Architecture included in Urban Interiors (2011). He is a three-time artist in residence at the Kohler Company and was an artist in residence at the Chinati Foundation. Schweder has been a guest professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, the Institute for Art and Architecture in Vienna, Pratt Institute, and the Architectural Association in London. He is currently pursuing his PhD in architecture at the University of Cambridge in the UK and is represented by Jack Hanley in New York.

Alex Scheweder’s exhibition “Performance architecture”, which will take place at the Solyanka State gallery (Sept 17th-Nov 19th), is the final episode of Lexus Hybrid Art 2013 and a part of parallel programme of The Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art.