Swoon: The House Our Families Built

On Saturday, February 6, and Sunday, February 7, join us for The House Our Families Built. Traveling around NYC, this diorama-style outdoor sculpture transforms a 14-foot box truck into a stage for both visual and performance art, inspired by domestic scenes and stories shared via PBS American Portrait, an initiative that brings together Americans from across the country. 

Caledonia Curry, whose work appears under the name Swoon, uses intricate cutaways, painting, and performance to build a world that blends reality and wonder. As a roving, mobile sculpture, The House Our Families Built asks viewers to consider the legacy of ancestral histories–whether through traditions, trauma, or repeated narratives–and the ways in which they inform how we understand and talk about ourselves.

Curry and her long-time collaborator, Jeff Stark selected a diverse range of stories to express through this sculptural work. These stories have been shaped into a 15-minute performance that transitions through emotions from humor to fear, tenderness to confrontation, encouraging people to ask where they’ve come from and what they can leave behind. When the sculpture is not staging a live performance, a recording of the audio will be played via directional speakers so passersby can always engage with the narrative.

The House Our Families Built was conceived and orchestrated by Caledonia Curry. Performances developed by Jeff Stark and Irene Lazaridis. Project management by Marshall LaCount, with fabrication by Orien McNeill and Zack Tucker.

Learn more about the project on the American Portrait website.