Ghent, NY, May 22, 2018 – Architect Alex Schweder returns to the Architecture Fields at Art Omi for a weekend-long performance in the spinning, tilting, futuristic home ReActor on June 9, 2018.
ReActor is a 44-foot by 8-foot habitable sculpture that rotates 360-degrees atop a 15-foot concrete column in response to its inhabitants’ movements, exterior forces, and interior conditions, making visible the intimate relationship between architecture and its occupants. The work is a collaboration between architect Alex Schweder and artist Ward Shelley, and was erected in Architecture Field 01 at Art Omi in June 2016. Since its completion, the pair have inhabited ReActor over a series of three durational performances; during these activations, onlookers are invited to observe and interact with the residents as they navigate the ever-shifting structure as it reacts to atmospheric conditions. Schweder has described their approach as “performance architecture,” and stated that “our relationship with our audiences is a bit different from many performance art works in that we have conversations about the work with them.” For this latest performance, Schweder will be joined on Saturday, June 9 by Oberon Sinclair, and on Sunday, June 10 by Sean Anderson. This two-day tenancy of ReActor concludes at 5 p.m. on June 10.
Alex Schweder and Ward Shelly met while fellows at the American Academy in Rome in 2005. They first collaborated on Flatland at the Sculpture Center in 2007, a piece that focused their interests toward performative social architecture. The duo went on to produce Stability in for Lawrimore Project, Seattle (2009); In Orbit, at Pierogi Gallery’s Boiler Room (2014), and Counterweight Roommate at SCOPE, Basel, Switzerland (2011), acquired by The Museum of Modern Art for its permanent collection. ReActor is their first outdoor piece, and it further explores how constructed environments affect relationship dynamics, and how relationships impact the constructed environment.
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, 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, Roomograph at the deCordova Museum, and The Rise and Fall in the Marrakech Biennial. The Pollock Krasner and Graham Foundations have funded his projects. Schweder is the author of “Stalls Between Walls,” included in Ladies and Gents, the Gendering of Public Toilets and “Performance Architecture,” included in Urban Interiors. He is a three-time artist in residence at the Kohler Company and was in residence at the Chinati Foundation, Marfa Contemporary, 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.
The Art Omi: Architecture program is conceived to facilitate projects exploring the intersection of architecture, art and landscape by architects. Nestled within the campus of Art Omi, this program offers pristine, 60-acre fields designated to cultivate the production of physical structures such as pavilions, installations, landscape interventions, and constructed environments. In addition, the program encourages the integration of all varieties of related media, ideas, propositions and curated exhibitions in a landscaped setting. Since January 2016, Manhattan-based architect Warren James has served as the program’s Director.
Art Omi is a not-for-profit arts organization offering world-class public exhibitions, arts events, education programming, and international residency programs for visual artists, writers, translators, musicians, and dancers. Situated in the scenic Hudson Valley in Ghent, New York, Art Omi’s grounds are comprised of 300-acres of rolling farmland, wetlands and woodlands. The Fields Sculpture Park presents the works of internationally recognized contemporary and modern artists, offering the unique possibility to experience a wide range of large-scale works in a singular outdoor environment. The Fields offers more than sixty works of art and architecture on view, with several pieces added or exchanged every year. More information at artomi.org