The Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco is pleased to announce an exhibit of work by Alex Schweder, titled Ours. The show will include the large-scale pieces Plumbing Us, Our Weight Around Us, and an installation of scratch-and-sniff wallpaper.
Schweder, an architect turned artist, is among a new group of emerging practitioners in which the gallery is invoked no longer as an area of display, but as a testing ground to formulate new paradigms of spatial practice. Here, architecture functions as a medium or spatial protagonist, through which forms of agency may be invented, negotiated, provoked, uncovered, eschewed, or displaced.
In the three works included in the exhibit, Schweder addresses the domestic while redefining the prescribed roles of objects such as toilets, furniture and décor. In Plumbing Us, man and woman share a drain on a conjoined urinal. Straddling the wall that normally segregates them, this work requires bodies to mix prior to their removal. Similarly, with only enough air to fill one of the two conjoined sofas in Our Weight Around Us, users of this furniture must work cooperatively. If not, and one person stands while the other is still seated, the seated person will fall to the floor. Schweder’s scratch-and-sniff wallpaper explores color and scent in relation to their construction of a “succulent” space. Set up with different ratios of scented scratch n’ sniff varnishes and colored inks, the wallpaper is transformed to have an olfactoral effect in addition to its characteristic visual impact.
Alex Schweder is the 2005 – 2006 Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture. Since this time, Schweder has been experimenting with time and performance based architecture including Flatland at the Sculpture Center in New York; This Apple Tastes Like Our Living Room Used to Smell at Western Bridge in Seattle; Melting Instructions at the Tacoma Art Museum; Its Form Will Follow Your Performance at Gallery Magnus Muller in Berlin; Stability at Lawrimore Project in Seattle; and a yet to be titled exhibition on performance architecture scheduled at the De Cordova Museum, Lincoln, MA in 2010. Schweder’s projects have been collected by several eminent individuals and institutions including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He is a three time artist in residence at the Kohler company and will be in residence at the Chinati Foundation in Fall 2009.