The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space runs from June 6–16 at Výstaviště Holešovice and other locations around Prague including theater school DAMU, divadlo X10, náměstí Jana Palacha, and Štvanice Island.
This year there will be exhibitions from 79 countries, featuring more than 800 artists, as well as 600 performances, workshops, and lectures. The exhibits were chosen from over 17,000 entries.
Thousands of theater professionals are expected to visit, but the events and exhibitions are also open to the general public, who can buy tickets for one day, multiple days or the entire festival.
The Quadrennial comes once every four years, and is now in its 14th edition since it began in 1967. “PQ 2019 presents scenography as the art of singular moments. It is more than a mere exhibition,” PQ artistic director Markéta Fantová said.
“We do not present scenography merely through artifacts or just as the decorations and costumes of traditional theater – we present it as a summary experience. Scenographic works are what connects the inner world of the artist’s imagination with the audience’s fantasy,” she added.
The Prague Quadrennial has three competition sections: the exhibition of countries and regions, the student exhibition, and the performance space exhibition.
The exhibition of countries and regions lets representatives from geographic areas present their specific approaches to scenography. The main part of the exhibition of countries and regions will be in the right wing of the Industrial Palace and in Křižík Pavilion B.
Some countries opted for other spaces, though. The Czech Republic will have its entry on Štvanice Island. A container city represents a camp for alien refugees from distant planets. The CAMPQ exhibition starts at Výstaviště, where a bus takes people to the island at half-hour intervals.
Aside from the competitions, another main section is the Fragments exhibition. It presents iconic objects by various legends of scenography. The audiovisual project 36Q° will take over Malá sportovní hala, and other events will spread into Stromovka Park. The festival also offers a children’s program and workshops as part of the PQ Family Program.
The previous Prague Quadrennial in 2015 was spread out in palaces and other spaces across Prague’s city center. After 12 years, the event returns to Výstaviště Holešovice, were the first Quadrennial was held.
According to the organizers, this year’s program focuses on three themes or repeating stages in the creative process: imagination, transformation, and memory.
Imagination includes the student exhibition, the site specific performances, the PQ Studio program for emerging theater artists, and the PQ youth and family program.
Transformation includes the exhibition of countries and regions; the performance space exhibition; the performance-based Formations project, which combines architecture, urbanism, dance, and movement theater; 36Q°, which is focused on sound and lighting design; and lectures, presentations, and discussions of PQ Talks.
Memory includes the Fragments exhibition. The project titled Emergence, meanwhile, spans all three themes.
For a complete program, visit the official Prague Quadrennial website.