For more than a decade, Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley have been practicing a form of experimental architecture that explores the dance between the designed environment and its consequences. Since 2007, the duo have designed, built, and lived in (or on) structures in locations where the public are invited not only to witness, but also to actively engage with the artists in direct dialogue about their practice—an activity that has coalesced into what they call “performance architecture.” Blurring the boundaries between art, architecture, design, and performance, the artists’ work poses questions about the nature of social space and the way architecture influences human behavior.
Alex Schweder received a BA from the Pratt Institute School of Architecture, an MArch from Princeton University School of Architecture, and is completing a PhD through the Department of Architecture at the University of Cambridge, UK. Recent exhibitions include the 2014 Venice Biennale, the Tel Aviv Art Museum, the 2013 Moscow Biennial, the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Biennial, and the Tate Britain. He has been an artist in residence at the Kohler Company and the Chinati Foundation, and was awarded the Rome Prize in Architecture at The American Academy in Rome.
Ward Shelley received a BFA from Eckard College and an MA from New York University. Solo exhibitions of his work include Pierogi Gallery, NY; Massimo Carasi Gallery, Milan; Center for Contemporary Art and Launch Projects, Santa Fe; and Socrates Sculpture Park, NY. He has received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant, an award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, two fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and a fellowship from The American Academy in Rome.