Gao+Viddam, Louisville, KY

Artist Statement


Fling embodies the tradition of welcoming guests, or hakhnasat orekhim, to join in the Sukkot celebrations. The structure can transform for a variety of uses, from a more personal cocoon-like experience, to opening up its walls like wings for a large gathering.

A dramatic gesture

Wood arches connected by a s’chach made of bamboo poles forms the spine of the sukkah. Its operable walls comprise thin bamboo poles woven with nylon strings. A steel wire connects the bottoms of each pole to allow the walls to hold its arch shape when pulled open. As each wall is opened, it forms a dramatic floating archway to amplify the act of hospitality into a performance.

With fronds like these

The form of the Fling refers to the ceremonial tents of the ancient tabernacles, as well as to the ritual of waving the lulav. The ribbing of the walls are inspired by the palm frond, the weaving by the supple willow, and the overall form by myrtle leaves. The weave’s visual porosity and the way it can be more open or closed contributes to its mysterious tension between openness and privacy.