8-18 June, RARE
During the eleven days, the visitors of PQ will have the opportunity to experience around 150 exhibitory projects and installations, 50 performances mainly in the public space, a live exhibition of 35 concepts of performance spaces, 60 of the most inspired publications about scenography issued in the past five years or 40 blocks of expert lectures.
The 15th edition’s main theme is RARE, in a sense of unique and raw artistic realities: the focus of the festival will be on works springing out of ideas, materials, artistic approaches and craftsmanship specific to the environment, location and genius loci in which they are created.
At the Holešovice Market
The historically most significant programme sections of PQ – Exhibition of Countries and Regions (ECR) and the Student Exhibition (SE) – will take place on the grounds of the Holešovice Market for the first time. All in all, the exhibitions will show about 100 installations by creative teams from 65 countries/regions of the whole world, curated by representatives of the participating countries/regions. ECR will be situated in the indoor spaces of halls 11, 13 and 17, while the SE will have its premiere in the open sky location between halls 24 and 25.
Apart from the traditionally participating countries of Europe, Asia or North and South America, countries of the Near East will have their appearances at the festival (e.g., Turkey, Lebanon or for the first time the United Arab Emirates) and Africa (besides Egypt and the Republic of South Africa, Morocco will present itself after its first appearance at PQ 2019). After a break, PQ expects participation from Singapore, Lithuania and Greece.
Theatre hall Jatka78 will be the venue for the presentation block PQ Talks, which will open the themes of ecoscenography or the sustainability in production processes, it will raise broader questions about costume on and outside the stage, use of technology and new creative approaches, pedagogy, identity in scenography and more.
Prague Quadrennial is preparing a programme section for the youngest visitors as well: PQ Kids, which will be co-produced by a creative platform Máš umělecké střevo?. A series of workshops in hall 27 will introduce various techniques and approaches to the art of scenography to children.
A synthesis of performance and new technologies via multimedia setting and a series of technical workshops will be delivered by the 36Q° project, co-created with the Arts&Digital Lab – H40 collective.
“In this edition, we will emphasise the ability of performance design to transform usual events into extraordinary moments that happen at reimagined places and offer unique experiences. You might say, well that’s been done, performance design always does that. This time, however, we live in unusual times and the word RARE takes on quite another meaning because what is RARE in strange times like ours? We lived through a pandemic that expanded our usual places of assembly and sharing further into ever-growing cyberspace; yet we realized the importance of human touch and physical presence. These seemingly opposing ideas are merging, moving and changing our regular cultural habits and expectations,” says Markéta Fantová, the Artistic Director for PQ, and explains: “Public spaces, nature, trains, airports and our homes, all of these spaces became the main places of performance, while theatres stood empty for almost two years. We are living through a new experience and performance design is reflecting, imagining and shaping something new and unique. We might not know what it is yet, but we offer a 10-day immersive experience into where we might be going next…”
At the Trade Fair Palace
The Trade Fair Palace building of the National Gallery Prague will be a venue for the Performance Space Exhibition and Fragments II. The former is focused on theatre architecture from the perspective of unconventional places conceived for assembly, sharing and artistic expression. It accentuates the transition from the locally assigned theatre architecture to more vivid and performative concepts of performance space.
Fragments II, emphasizing scale-play as its key factor, will be a follow-up to the exhibition of the same name at PQ 2019. This year, it will concentrate on models, scenes, costume design and in one case, a light design exhibit.
Visitors of the Trade Fair Palace will be able to leaf through the selection of the currently most noteworthy publications concerned with performance design and space in its broadest sense.
The educational platform of Prague Quadrennial will be hosted by the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Thirty educational and result-driven workshops will comprise the project PQ Studio, along with student performances situated in the DISK theatre and in the streets of Prague. The [UN]Common Design Project consists of public scenographic interventions, being created by students from more than 50 art schools from all over the world since as early as Autumn 2022.
In the streets of Prague
PQ Performance is a series of site-adaptive performances, which will give new meanings and life to iconic and more ordinary locations of Prague. Out of almost three hundred applications, the international team of PQ selected 25 performances by artists from as far as Chile, Mexico, Brasil or Burkina Faso.
Anywhere - with the Festival Pass
All the programme sections of Prague Quadrennial 2023 will be accessible only to the Festival Pass holders. From 18 January, you can purchase the 11-day Festival Pass for an early-bird price of 2400 CZK and 1400 CZK for students via the GoOut.net portal. The Festival Pass also grants access to the time-limited Digital Archive of PQ.
From Spring 2023, PQ will offer 3-day and 1-day Festival Passes as well. Later in 2023, the ticket sale will start, for those interested in visiting just the main exhibition spaces in the Holešovice Market and the Trade Fair Palace of the National Gallery Prague.
Since 1967, once every four years, PQ explores the artistic areas of scenography, performance design and space within all their aspects - from scenic art, costume, lighting and sound design, and performance space architecture to side-adaptive performance, applied scenography or costume as a performance. The core of the festival’s idea is to present contemporary performance design as a self-sufficient art form, acting upon the human imagination through all the senses - sight, smell, hearing, touch and taste. PQ traditionally hosts artists from more than a hundred countries and is the most important event of its kind in the world.
Performance design/scenography has evolved substantially and expanded far beyond established theatre conventions. Models, sketches of designs, and performance photographs still remain excellent resources that map the minds and open the door to the imagination of their creators. On the other hand, these formats capture only one part of the creative process and tell us little about the environment, circumstances, emotions, and overall atmosphere of the performance. The one way to present scenography in its genuine form, comprising all of its parts and including audience participation, is to experience it live, in performative settings and curatorial environments that create or recreate its operations.
The present-day practice of performance design/scenography is one of the most exciting art forms and creative domains – in the innovative, fresh and holistic ways of engaging their audiences, participants, and the public.
In 2015 Prague Quadrennial received the EFFE award and was named one of the most innovative festivals in Europe.
Prague Quadrennial is initiated by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic
and organized by the Arts and Theatre Institute.
With the supprt of: Prague 7 City District
In cooperation with: the Holešovice Market, National Gallery Prague, the Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech Centers, Art&Digital Lab - H40, Máš umělecké střevo?
Partners: Volkswagen Czech Republic, Mama Shelter Prague
Main media partner: Czech Radio
Photo: Jan Hromádko; Formations, Peces Caminando! - Complejo Conejo (CL)