The Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space was established in 1967 to bring the best of design for performance, scenography, and theatre architecture to the front line of cultural activities to be experienced by professional and emerging artists as well as the general public. The quadrennial exhibitions, festivals, and educational programs act as a global catalyst for creative progress by encouraging experimentation, networking, innovation, and future collaborations. PQ aims to honour, empower and celebrate the work of designers, artists and architects while inspiring and educating audiences, who are the most essential element of any live performance.
Prague Quadrennial 2019 strives to present design for performance as an art form concerned with the creation of performance environments that are far beyond merely decorative or beautiful, but allow new types of experience and interactions to occur. At the heart of each PQ are two main exhibitions: the Exhibition of Counties and Regions and the exhibition featuring the fearless work of students and emerging designers. PQ19 are purposely not giving an overarching curatorial theme for these two exhibits, and are encouraging countries and regions to capture and share the works of contemporary performance design trends that reflect the current views, thoughts, and artistic developments in their countries and regions striving to enrich, inspire and expand the boundaries of this constantly evolving art form.
This edition of Prague Quadrennial is inspired by the Golden Triga, the statue and the main award traditionally given as the highest prize to the best exhibition, where the metaphor of the Triga maps three phases of the cyclical creative process: Imagination, Transformation and Memory.
_IMAGINATION represents the phase where the work is raw, visceral, and untamed. Student Exhibition dedicated to works of students and young designers up to 5 years after school should reflect the thoughts of the emerging generation and let us see the brave and wild utopias that might never be realized, but are fascinating and tell a story about the world we are part of here and now.
_TRANSFORMATION of inspiration and ideas into the final solutions is at the core of the creative process and will be dedicated to the Exhibition of Countries and Regions. In this section we will strive to inspire by looking for the best examples of outstanding collaborative performance design and architecture, where experience and deep understanding played a major role in its successful realization.
_MEMORY will celebrate the phase in the creative process where all learning, gained experiences and memories merged and crystallized into a strong life philosophy. The project Fragments asks each country or region to celebrate the individual artist by sharing samples of work representative of performance design living legends.
There is no overarching theme, giving as much freedom as possible to curators from each country and region to bring the best works, but there is an overarching philosophy that comes with the sharing the common exhibition space. The philosophy is best described by the quote of Thich Nhat Hahn:
“We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.”
To which PQ19 would like to add to that we are here to awaken others from the illusion of our separateness through our work.
Performance design and performing arts reflect the environment and era we live in.
We live in the world where the tensions between local and global, international and national are rising and the question of identity and border between familiar and other is going through complex evolution bringing uncertainty, new creative energy and in case of our exhibitions several important questions:
What does a national exhibition mean in the current world here and now?
When each, country, region, puts up a wall, a division what happens to the overall shared space?
Could a territory be defined without barriers?
Isn’t the art of performance impossible without collaboration?
For the next Exhibition of Countries and Regions, PQ19 would like to challenge the countries to think about ways how to present the best works of performance design and how to together create a dynamic scenographic landscape where each country and or region has a place and where a unique kind of experience is offered.