Prague Quadrennial, June 2011

Artists from a variety of contemporary disciplines will be gathering

The 12th Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space, a leading world artistic event held once every four years, returns to Prague, Czech Republic, in June 2011. The upcoming edition of the Prague Quadrennial will offer much more than the traditional competitive world exhibition in which a record number of 62 countries will be participating, presenting designs from Ruhr Triennale, Bregenzer Festspiele, and the SITI Theatre Company, as well as the work of theatre and visual artists such as João Brites, Yukio Horio, and Pavel Althamer. Coming to Prague will also allow visitors to discover a unique outdoor performing exhibition, Intersection: Intimacy & Spectacle, presenting thirty internationally acclaimed artists, including Romeo Castellucci, Anna Viebrock, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Nathaniel Mellors, and Josef Nadj. Additionally, a large number of projects will take place in public spaces throughout the city – a unique occasion to discover Prague through the eyes of the world´s contemporary arts. Visitors will also be able to explore various disciplines essential to the performing arts thanks to projects focused on lighting and sound design, architecture, and costumes, as well as talks with personalities such as Arata Isozaki, Es Devlin, Eiko Ishioka, Richard Sennet, Alan Read, and many more. Over 40,000 visitors from all over the world are expected to attend, making Prague the center of the performance world for those very special 11 days, from June 16-26, 2011.

Prague Quadrennial, June 2011

Over 10,000 m2 of expositions will present the best of world performance, sound, lighting, and costume design within three competitive Sections, focusing on Section of Countries and Regions, Student Section, and Architecture Section. Participating countries include traditional attendants such as the USA, Mexico, and Germany, as well as countries that will join for the first time including Armenia, Kazakhstan, Columbia, and Mongolia. The work presented includes designs from Ruhr Triennale, Bregenzer Festspiele, and the SITI Theatre Company, as well as the work of theatre and visual artists such as Verdensteatret, Thierry Mugler, or Viacheslav and Anna Koleichuk and also various reflections of Bauhaus ideas and practice in contemporary art. Attentive to those exhibitions, nine prominent artists from all over the world will serve on a jury that will present awards in the various artistic fields, including the prestigious Golden Triga. The jury includes, among others, director and scenographer Brett Bailey from South Africa (Golden medalist PQ 2007), Japanese architect and designer Arata Isozaki, Austrian scenographer Erich Wonder, and American theoretician Marvin Carlson.

Unique to this edition, the Prague Quadrennial will introduce an original, curated project, Intersection: Intimacy and Spectacle, which will center around an outdoor interactive performing exhibition presenting thirty internationally acclaimed artists creating variety of performative environments within an architectural installation for an outdoor public space in the very center of Prague. “The project includes Romeo Castellucci, Josef Nadj, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, Anna Viebrock, Nathaniel Mellors, Ana Borralho & João Galante,  Markus Schinwald, Brett Bailey, Elevator Repair Service,  Guerra de la Paz, Harun Farocki, Abbey Theatre,  Ulla von Brandenburg … They were chosen in such a way to show the large span of disciplines that performance and performativity appear in, as well as to show extreme variety of themes connected to the idea of performance (war as performance, tango as performance, clothes as performance, etc.). The exhibition aims to inspire audiences to explore and question the forms of performance in today´s world,“ explains Sodja Zupanc Lotker, the Prague Quadrennial´s Artistic Director and the Curator of Intersection.

Prague Quadrennial, June 2011

Furthermore, the next edition of the Prague Quadrennial will focus on essential aspects of performing arts thanks to special projects featuring particular disciplines. The Light and Sound project will examine contemporary lighting and sound design as crucial elements of contemporary theatre. A lighting design exhibition will present the work of 25 renowned artists including Jennifer Tipton, Enrico Bagnoli, and Willie Williams, and talks with and by leading sound and lighting designers such as Hans Peter Kuhn, Scanner, Olaf Winter, and Felice Ross.

The Extreme Costume exhibition will present some of the most exciting work in costume design mixing work that uses extreme materials with work that uses costume within performance in extreme ways. Costumes included were created for the Metropolitan Opera and Cirque du Soleil as well as for visual art performances by artists such as Misha Le Jen and Pat Oleszko.

The Architecture project NOW/NEXT will be designed as a research space including expositions from more than 30 countries; an eleven-day laboratory and a series of encounters with prominent architects and theoreticians including Arata Isozaki and Richard Sennett. “I want to provoke architects, theatre-makers, and the public into re-thinking the potential of performance space as a place of live human interaction in the new century,“ explains Dorita Hannah, Commissioner of the project.

Aiming to become a living center for creative expert exchange in scenography, the Prague Quadrennial will include an extensive series of discussions, presentations, symposia, and talks, hosting practitioners such as Es Devlin, Jan Pappelbaum, Małgorzata Szczęśniak, Eiko Ishioka, Mark Friedberg, Carlus Padrissa, Kirsten Dehlholm (Hotel Pro Forma), and Guy Coolen (Muziektheater Transparant).

The next generation of artists and students won´t miss out either. Scenofest, the PQ and OISTAT´s educational project, will consist of over 50 workshops, 60 performances from students from across the globe, and 6 site-specific performances created by students in collaboration with internationally recognized artists including Louise Wilson and Rolf Abderhalden Cortés (MAPA Teatro). Over 2,000 students from all over the world are expected to come to the city.

The whole city of Prague will be living with the Quadrennial, happening all around the center as well as in some non-traditional spaces, from the main exhibition in the functionalistic building of the Czech National Gallery – Veletrzni Palace, to the beautiful medieval Prague Crossroads-Saint Anne´s Church, run by Vaclav Havel´s Foundation VIZE, and passing by the New Scene, ex-Laterna Magika, a historically important theatre where Josef Svoboda created some of his most important works.  Non traditional found spaces will be invaded by performances, including, among others, by director Árpád Schilling/ Krétakör, The Tears of Stalin by Claudia Bosse/ theatrecombinat, and the site-specific production of Phillip Glass´ opera Les Enfants Terribles directed for the National Theatre Prague by Alice Nellis in a found space in Bohnice Psychiatric Area. All of this will allow over 40,000 visitors to (re)discover Prague through the eyes of a wide selection of today´s world artists. Visitors will also be able to discover the Czech scene, thanks to PQ+, a showcase of current performances and exhibitions in Czech theatres and galleries.

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