Collective Design 2018


Davenport Yawn offers the gift of respite to fairgoers. Two at a time, each reclines on a furry sofa-like form. Shortly after their heads hit the pillows, air begins to fill the soft suede-like surface they walked upon to reach the center. Sparkling sac continues to engorge; the sofas and their supine guests slowly rotate toward each other. Full now, the inflated forms have turned the backs of the sofas into a momentary bed where strangers face one another intimately. Exhaling begets the end of this short closeness. Rotating in silence, returning to two, this room’s shimmering yawn beckons two more into its embrace.

Rozalia Jovanovic curated Alex Schweder’s new inflatable installation, Davenport Yawn, especially for Collective Design in collaboration with by Davide Quadrio at Alcantara. This work was commissioned by Alcantara and was inspired by Schweder’s work, Slowly Ceiling, exhibited at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale curated by Mariana Pestana and Beatrice Galilee. My Turn, a newly commissioned work in collaboration with Ward Shelley is contemporaneously on view at the Armory Show.

Alex Schweder, born in New York City, 1970, coined the term “Performance Architecture” in 2007 to encapsulate the understanding of architecture that it both gives cues for how we are to behave and offers itself as a prop for inhabitants to form and perform their identities. Schweder’s exhibitions include “Counterweight Roommate”, upcoming at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, “The Newcomers” in the 2017 Performa Biennial, “Your Turn” at the Aldrich Museum, “Antarctopia” at the 2014 Venice Biennale, “In Orbit” at the Pierogi Boiler in Brooklyn, “Wall to Wall Floor To Ceiling” at the Tel Aviv Art Museum, “Performance Architecture” at the 2013 Moscow Biennial, “The Real and Other Fictions” at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Biennial, “Draft Urbanism” at the Biennial of the Americas, “Practise Architecture” at Tate Britain, “A Sac of Rooms All Day Long” at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, “Roomograph” at the deCordova Museum, and “The Rise and fall” in the 2012 Marrakesh Biennial. Both the Pollack Krasner Foundation and the Graham Foundation have funded Schweder’s projects and he has been an artist in residence at the Kohler Company, the Chinati Foundation, and The American Academy in Rome as the 2005-6 Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture. Alex Schweder is represented by Edward Cella Art and Architecture, Los Angeles.