Alex Schweder: "Slowly Ceiling", 2013

Alex Schweder


Alex Schweder works with architecture and performance art to complicate the distinction between occupying subjects and occupied objects. These projects include Practise Architecture at Tate Britain, Flatland at New York’s Sculpture Center, 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, Counterweight Roommate in Scope Basel, Roomograph at the deCordova Museum, and The Rise and fall in the Marrakech Biennial, The Hotel Rehearsal at the Denver Biennial of the Americas, In Orbit at the Boiler in Brooklyn, and Wall to Wall Floor to Ceiling at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art. The Pollack Krasner and Graham Foundations have funded his projects. He is a three-time artist in residence at the Kohler Company and was in residence at the Chinati Foundation and American Academy in Rome. Schweder has been a guest professor at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Pratt Institute, and the Institute for Art and Architecture in Vienna, and the Architectural Association in London.

Slowly Ceiling

aufblasbare Struktur, 2013 (currently exhibited in the museum)

First presented at the Lisbon Architecture Triennial in 2013, Schweder’s inflatable structure found its new home within the walls of Kranich Museum. Similar to the artist’s other moving structures, Slowly Ceiling is experimenting with the bodily encounters of visitors in relation both to the artwork and to each other. It is doing so by pushing all but two inhabitants out of the room by means of an inflatable concealed in black carpet. As these two forms engorge, the two sofas in the center of the room also tip backward until they are on their backs. At this point, they form a single bed where the two remaining occupants of the room face an unexpected closeness with a stranger.

Folded Murmur

video installation, 2006 (currently exhibited in the museum)

EUR, the southern suburb of Rome, planned and only partly executed by Mussolini for a Universal Exhibition celebrating fascist Italy, is the setting for tens of thousands of starlings descend on the area at dusk in the winter months. The artist’s four-channel unedited projection takes one evening of this flocking phenomenon and „folds” a single moving image into a square room. The flow of the starlings moves from foreground to background as the image moves from wall to wall.

Waiting for the Cranes

2011 (currently exhibited in the park)

„Waiting for the Cranes” is a meditation on desire. Visitors to Kranich Museum all hope to see a crane. The crane, on the other hand, wants food. Since corn is a crane’s favorite food the artist planted a patch of corn just outside the museum to create an intersection of those desires. The patch is visible from a window in the museum’s upper lobby where a visitor can wait and watch comfortably. The artist does not expect cranes to arrive, but rather while gazing at this potential, he hopes that visitors will find other often overlooked moments of interest as they wait patiently.