• Chloe Gordon

'A Garden At Night' Explores A Tragic Story Through Design


A Garden at Night, designed by Sergio Alves and Cátia Lima , explores the relationship between form and landscape through ideas of trauma, performance, and writing. It is divided into two formal spaces. One side is a mirrored accordion-folio that has both illustrations and poems sprinkled throughout its whole. The other side is made up of four different texts written by authors Allen S. Weiss, Pedro Pousada, Nancy Perloff, and Tiago Madaleno. This piece is innovative and takes the viewer on a journey reminiscent of German artist Kurt Schwitters' traumatic childhood story; an adventure through a labyrinth.

As a boy, the German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948), had a garden that was maliciously destroyed by neighboring children. That event led Schwitters to an epileptic crisis that left him bedridden for two years.


Based upon this tragic story, "A Garden at Night" explores the relation between body and landscape through concepts of trauma, performance and writing. It is divided into two walks, both formally demarcated. One is a mirrored accordion-folio with an interplay between several artistic illustrations and poetic sentences; the other is composed of four texts written by four authors: Allen S. Weiss, Pedro Pousada, Nancy Perloff and Tiago Madaleno.


This book is part of the exhibition with the same title that happened at RAMPA (Porto, Portugal) supported by the City of Porto. It reflects upon some of the exhibition’s main topics: the Garden, the life and work of Kurt Schwitters and the concept of Text Expanded into Space.


Project Credits

Design atelier d’alves

Designer Sergio Alves, Cátia Lima

Production Manager: Susana Fernandes

Printer: Maiadouro

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