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TINA DiCARLO

Alex Schweder: Its Form Follows Your Performance

2009
PROJECT Notes: Magnus Muller Gallery, Berlin

THE Brief

This summer Magnus Muller Gallery will debut Its Form Will Follow Your Performance, the most recent project by performance architect Alex Schweder. In a two-week long performance, Schweder will offer free architectural advice to any visitor who seeks it. On view will be a rehearsal space for clients and five renovations recently completely by Schweder. In all of these works he seeks to alter the architecture by changing the behavior of the occupants.

In Schweder’s architecture, occupation and performance are forms of construction, unstable, variable, permutative, and fluid. He proposes that architecture is enacted as much as it is built. Therefore altering (or renovating) space can also occur through the way occupants behave in it. This position reformulates the modernist credo of form follows function, placing architecture beyond the realm of the formal, as designated by function and program.

Schweder, a Princeton-trained architect turned artist and a Rome Prize Fellow, 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. Architecture functions as a medium, or spatial protagonist, through which forms of agency may be invented, negotiated, provoked, uncovered, eschewed, or displaced.

This project, which resulted in the writing of the above text, involved working with the architect on one of the five renovations that were performed and installed in the gallery.

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