The NZPQ organisational team warmly invite submissions for the Aotearoa , New Zealand representation in  Fragments II: The Magic of Scale at the Prague Quadrennial of Performance Design and Space 2023.

Fragments II: The Magic of Scale

The only way we can experience performance design/scenography in its true form is through a live performance. After the performance is over, all that’s left are fragments of design work, such as models, plans, drawings of sets, and costumes. Those fragments are pieces that open In live performances, we can find the most recent changes and shifts because that is where we experience the newest ideas, discoveries, experiments and encounter unexpected, unique, and unrepeatable moments. By performances we mean any type of performance, including theatre, dance, opera, performance art, visual art driven performance, sound or light driven performance, contemporary ritual, street performances, puppet theatre, and more. During these performances, we can experience design using all of our senses. The designer’s work is only finished when all elements of a performance become one piece with the audience.

Models, maquettes, mock-ups, thumbnails – any three-dimensional miniature representations of reality are fascinating. They provoke our imagination, stir up our fantasies, and invite us to contemplate different fictitious worlds. As children, we play with dolls, toy cars, houses, and railways, as adults, we admire models of cities in museums. There is something special about the possibility to explore an object from all sides, to get closer to it and appreciate it in its intricate detail as well as in its relation to other objects. Stepping into the world of a miniature or engaging with it provides a new relationship with reality. Scale becomes crucial here as it is the magic of scale that allows us to see relationships among bodies and objects from a different perspective.

In scenography and performance design, the practical purpose of scale models is to facilitate communication between members of the creative team. Models are tools that enable us to convey ideas in a collaborative process and test design choices in scale that is manageable in terms of physical labor and expense. Scale can be used dramaturgically here, as it helps to suggest the relationships between characters, create an emotional impact on the audience, and radically dictate the way a performer navigates the given space. Conventionally, models and maquettes are seen as a part of a bigger whole of a performance. Once the show is over, they represent the material traces of it, evoking its memory. However, removed from the original context of the performance, scaled models can become work of art in themselves, taking on their own life beyond their service to performance design.

Fragments II calls for entries of three-dimensional scale models of sets, costumes, lighting, projections, make up design, wig design, prop design and any other components of performance design, whether realized or unrealized in performance within the last 8 years. We want to celebrate exceptional craftsmanship and exhibit scale models which transcend their original practical purpose and become themselves works of art. We are interested in the after-life of models in the wider sense of the word.

Please note this is exhibition is curated by PQ23 Fragments II Curator, Klára Zieglerová.

The New Zealand curatorial team will work with the selected artist to realise the display practice and presentation of the selected New Zealand designer.

Submission requirements:

  • Biography
  • Why the particular fragment was chosen
  • A photo of the model/fragments (or more as needed), and overall dimensions, please note display practise should not exceed a base footprint of 1200mm x 1200mm.
  • Links to any relevant media of the production of the fragment.

Link to submission form >

Extended open call, Closes 19th June 2022.  – Applications close

30th June – Applicants notified

 July-September – Project development (workshops 1-3)

This will be through a series of in person and/or digital workshops. The exact dates for these will be determined based on the selected artist and needs of the project. 

September – Display concept and design shared with PQ23 curatorial team

September – Project development (workshop 5, in person/blended)

September/October – Project development (workshop 6, in person/blended)

October 2022-February 2023 – Development/making/presentation preparation 

13th-18th February 2023  – All group workshop/final design/pre presentation

February/March 2023 – Public showing tbc